Abdominoplasty is the medical term for Tummy Tuck surgery. This procedure involves the surgical removal of excess skin and fat in the region of the abdomen. Tummy Tuck is part of the group of body-contouring operations, which also includes Fat Removal procedures (liposuction), other Skin-Tightening procedures (arm, thigh and buttock lifts) and Muscle enhancing procedures (calf, buttock and pectoral implants, and abdominal six-pack etching).
There are several variants of the abdominoplasty procedure:
- Mini Abdominoplasty. In the Mini Abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat above the pubic bone is removed. The umbilicus is left intact.
- Standard Abdominoplasty. In the Standard Abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat between the pubic bone and umbilicus is removed. There is also a scar around the umbilicus.
- Extended Abdominoplasty. In the Extended Abdominoplasty procedure, excess skin and fat around the loins and back is also removed. This results in a longer scar.
- Abdominoplasty with Muscle Plication. In the Abdominoplasty with Muscle Plication procedure, in addition to the removal of skin and fat, the muscles over the abdominal wall are sutured so as to give the appearance of being tighter and flatter.
Who requests Abdominoplasty surgery?
- Women with excess skin and fat following pregnancy, etc.
- Patients with residual folds of skin following weight loss.
- Patients with stretch marks following pregnancy or weight loss.
- Patients with weak abdominal wall muscles following weight loss, pregnancy, etc.
What to consider at this stage
Before you see the surgeon, it is important to consider exactly what you are trying to achieve from your surgery. In particular, you must understand that Abdominoplasty surgery is most definitely not a treatment for weight loss or obesity.
How is Abdominoplasty surgery performed?
- The abdominoplasty operation is performed under general anaesthetic.
- Surgery takes between 60 minutes to 3 hours depending on the type of abdominoplasty.
- Patients stay in hospital overnight for 1 night.
- For those not engaged in physical work, expect to return to work after 1 to 2 weeks.
- Anticipate resuming normal physical exercise after 6 to 8 weeks.
At your consultation, your surgeon will advise upon a highly personalised treatment plan. This might involve other body-contouring surgery considerations, particularly liposuction.
After the operation
As with all surgery, you must expect to feel bruised and sore. The treated areas are likely to be swollen. It will be necessary for you to wear a tight support garment for several weeks. Most patients are able to fully return to their normal activities within 3 to 4 weeks. Sutures will be removed after ten to fourteen days.
The most important thing to remember is that all tummy tuck surgeries are associated with noticeable scars. Many may be hidden by some underwear. However, as with all scars, they will fade over a period of time. In many patients, they heal to form very faint white lines. However, it is important to remember that no surgical scar will ever disappear totally.
Risks & Complications
Cosmetic surgery is amongst the safest of medical procedures. However, patients must understand and accept that no surgical procedure is totally without risk.
For further information concerning the risks and complications associated with Tummy Tuck, please refer to Risks and Complications of Abdominoplasty.
At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss these risks with you. However, it is important to understand that abdominoplasty is a significant surgical procedure, with all of the ensuing implications.
How long will the results of your tummy tuck last?
Tummy tuck surgery can produce considerable benefits, and these benefits last exceptionally well. By maintaining a sensible weight, and preferably also exercising, the patient will be doing all they can to both maintain and even improve the result of their surgery. Any subsequent pregnancy might again produce some degree of skin sagging.