Abdominoplasty surgery (tummy tuck)

From £750

What is abdominoplasty surgery?

Abdominoplasty surgery, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is an operation to remove extra skin, scars, stretch marks and fat from the tummy, and sometimes to tighten the tummy muscles.

Why have a tummy tuck? People have this surgery to take away extra skin and fat, or get a flatter tummy, often after pregnancy or gaining and losing weight. It can help rejoin the muscles of the abdominal wall if they have been pulled apart in the middle (known as ‘divarification of the recti’). Stretch marks can sometimes be cut away or tightened to make them less obvious. Ideally, your weight will be normal before the surgery. A tummy tuck is not for people who are overweight, or carried out in order to lose weight. For the right person, a tummy tuck can make a big difference to their confidence and quality of life. What will happen before my operation? You will meet your surgeon to talk about why you want surgery and what you want. The surgeon will make a note of any illnesses you have or have had in the past. They will also make a record of any medication you are on, including herbal remedies and medicines that are not prescribed by your doctor.

Your surgeon will examine your tummy, and may take some photographs for your medical records. They will ask you if you want to have someone with you during the examination, and ask you to sign a consent form for taking, storing and using the photographs.

The surgeon will measure your height and weight to make sure that it is safe to do an operation. If you are overweight, pregnant r planning to become pregnant, your surgeon may suggest delaying your operation.

What does tummy tuck surgery involve?

Tummy tuck surgery is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, and comes in two forms - either partial or full.

A partial abdominoplasty involves a large incision cut across your lower tummy, where the skin is separated from the abdominal wall just below the tummy button. This is so excess skin and fat can be removed before the incision is pulled back together and stitched into place.

A full tummy tuck involves a large incision like the one just described, but from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. A second incision follows to free the belly button and its surrounding tissue, before the skin is separated from the abdominal wall, abdominal muscles realigned and excess skin and fat removed. The belly button is then stitched back in place and all skin pulled back together before being stitched.

Operations like this will typically take up to five hours, and if you undergo the surgery, it’s best to plan for a few nights in the hospital.

Is there any pain?

You’ll experience some pain after a tummy tuck operation, but the surgery will provide pain relief, and it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.

If you’re at all unsure about the level of pain you might experience and how you might react, it’s best to think about the surgery very carefully and seek expert advice both from your surgeon and GP.

The recovery period

Following abdominoplasty surgery, you’ll likely need around six weeks off work. During that time, it’s important you don’t exercise either, and you won’t be able to drive until the recovery period is over and, most importantly, you feel fit to do so.

You should expect it to take a few weeks before you start to see the effects of the tummy tuck operation, and it’s important to wear a corset or tummy control pants in order for the skin to heal properly. This will also reduce any potential swelling.

Are there any side effects?

Abdominoplasty surgery will leave you with a scar that runs across your lower tummy. If you had full abdominoplasty surgery, you will also have a scar around your belly button.

Following the procedure, you might find it difficult to stand up straight and will likely experience some pain during movement. Bruises are also common.

It’s not unusual for people who have had abdominoplasty to feel numbness in their tummy for a few months afterwards, but red or raised scars will eventually fade and become white relatively quickly.

Unsure?

Tummy tuck procedures aren’t for people who want to loose weight, and if you want to simply tone up a flabby tummy, there are better ways to do so that involve standard exercise.

If you’re unsure about having a tummy tuck, it’s best to seek expert advice. Speak to us, and we’ll answer any questions you might have.

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