What are the aims and benefits of performing a Tummy Tuck?
The ultimate objective of an Abdominoplasty is to improve and flatten abdominal contour, tighten abdominal muscles and remove loose fat and skin from the lower abdomen.
This procedure is commonly performed following pregnancy or weight loss in order to recreate a tighter and flatter abdomen and if stretch marks are present, some of these can often be removed at the same time.
The best candidates for this procedure are those who have a normal BMI or those who have lost weight to within normal limits, as regular exercise will improve the tone of abdominal muscles but not the skin excess or apron.
How is a Tummy Tuck performed?
This procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes around 2 hours to complete. Patients usually stay in hospital for 2 nights following surgery.
There are several types of Abdominoplasty:
This is the most common procedure. Here the skin and fat from the level of the umbilicus down to the pubis is removed and the skin above the umbilicus is lifted up and stretched down to the pubis. The umbilicus is repositioned. The gap in between the Rectus muscles is also repaired. This procedure can be combined with liposuction to the flanks (sides).
Where there has been a large amount of weight loss, folds in the flank areas are also excised, resulting in a longer scar to achieve a better cosmetic result.
A Limited Abdominoplasty is usually performed in those where there is less of a fold in the lower abdomen and usually less skin laxity. Here the umbilicus is not repositioned. This results in flattening of the lower abdomen but the not the upper half.
More recently, the Lockwood abdominoplasty is advocated in patients who would benefit from a tummy tuck but do no have enough tissue in the upper abdomen for the Standard operation. Here instead of carrying out the more limited procedure, the umbilicus is also repositioned, allowing the upper stomach to be tightened as well. There is an additional short vertical scar above the pubis at the end result.
Important advice to follow before surgery
Are there any risks or complications associated with Abdominoplasty?
Although every care is taken to minimise complications, these can occur. This list is not exhaustive and will be discussed in more detail at your consultation.
However, a special mention should be made about scars following this type of surgery, as although most abdominoplasty scars heal well and are easily covered by underwear and swim wear, the final appearance of scarring will vary between individuals and there is a small risk of poor wound healing.
The main scar following Abdominoplasty surgery is in the bikini line and there is also a scar around the umbilicus. Usually scars on the abdomen widen slightly but fade reasonably well over time. Scars related to Abdominoplasty are usually longer than that of a Caesarean section or Hysterectomy.
At either end of the scar, there may be a small fold or pleat in the skin, this usually settles down but can be revised around 6 months later.
More serious but rare complications:
Guide to recovery after a Tummy Tuck:
Return to work 2-
Driving 2 weeks
Aerobics 8 weeks
Swimming 8 weeks
Massage Scars 2-
Flights 6 weeks
Initially, your abdomen will feel tight and for the first week, you will be advised to sleep sitting up with your knees flexed. You will gradually straighten out from walking in a bent over posture over two weeks.
This procedure can also be carried out in conjunction with the following procedures
Special note to all patients considering Tummy Tuck surgery
This is a general description of an Abdominoplasty and its typical recovery.
However, recovery times and risks will vary between individuals and Mr Foo will discuss this in more detail with you at consultation.