Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)
An abdominoplasty (or ‘tummy tuck’) is cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of your abdomen (stomach). It may involve removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal muscles.
The operation can help those whose abdomen does not shrink back after pregnancy or after losing a lot of weight. Abdominoplasty is not an operation for people who are overweight, or those still trying to lose weight. Patients who are thinking about becoming pregnant should not undergo this procedure, and should wait until they are sure they are not having any more children.
Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you.
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and can take between two and five hours, depending on the exact procedure. Your surgeon will discuss with you what will happen before, during and after your surgery, and any pain you might have.
With full abdominoplasty you should be able to go home after two to three days. Most patients are mobile from day one and return to normal activities within six weeks. However everyone heals differently. Be sure and discuss your return to work with your surgeon.
The results of an abdominoplasty improve gradually over the first six months. The best results for you will happen if you keep to a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
Side-effects of a tummy tuck may include:
• Pain and bruising for at least a few days
• Swelling – this may not completely subside for several months
• Scarring – these usually fade over time, but won’t completely disappear
• Numbness of your skin over your abdomen – the skin below your belly button may be numb for several months, but this numbness will gradually disappear as the nerves regrow
Are there any risks?
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. Ask your surgeon to explain in more detail how any risks apply to you.