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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

What is a tummy tuck?

This operation is also known as an abdominoplasty. It involves removal of excess skin and fat and in some people is combined with tightening of the abdominal wall muscles.

Why do people seek tummy tuck procedures?

Men and women often seek this type of surgery following weight loss. In women, excess tissue is usually more apparent following pregnancy. In addition to this the abdominal wall muscles are stretched and lose tone. Stretch marks are usually obvious in the skin and these can be removed at the time of surgery.

Even after a conscientious weight reduction programme and exercise, it may not be possible to achieve a tight and toned abdomen, free of stretch marks. It is to address these factors that people consider surgery.

What is advisable before a tummy tuck procedure?

If you are overweight, a sensible weight reduction programme is advisable. It is also advisable to stop smoking and the oral contraceptive pill.

What does a tummy tuck procedure involve?

This is a procedure that requires a general anaesthetic and a hospital stay of 2-4 days. A surgical incision is made in the lower part of the abdomen and around the navel. Excess skin and fat is removed. In some patients it may be necessary to tighten the abdominal wall muscles. The navel is repositioned. Drainage tubes are used and removed 24-48 hours later.

What happens after tummy tuck surgery?

A comfortable fitting abdominal support or corset is recommended initially. Light activities are usually possible after a couple of weeks. Sports are not recommended for at least 6-8 weeks following this type of surgery.

Are there risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?

  • Scars - these are noticeable and although positioned to be hidden underneath swimwear, they are permanent. There is usually a lower transverse scar as well as one around the navel. The quality of the scar depends on how each individual heals. Scars are initially red but usually settle down after a number of months. Occasionally some people may form thicker scars that can but itchy or uncomfortable.
  • Wound healing
  • Haematoma
  • Seroma
  • Swelling
  • Numbness of the lower tummy wall- this is usually transient but sensation may be reduced permanently

It is very important for you to discuss your expectations with your surgeon and to be realistic about them as this is the key to maximising the likelihood of your satisfaction with the result.

Get in Touch

Contact Miss Mary O’Brien for more information on Cosmetic or Hand Surgery.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
The Royal College of Surgeons of England Bapras The British Society for Surgery of the Hand

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