Tummy tuck / Abdominoplasty

Overview

The basic principle of the surgery is to reduce the sagging of the skin of the abdomen, take some of the fat away and tighten the underlying muscles to give a flat tummy. The vast majority of people who have had a tummy tuck are glad they have had it and are very pleased with the results.

Click here for Abdominoplasty FAQs


A standard abdominoplasty to reduce the overhang

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Another standard abdominoplasty to reduce the overhang


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A Fleur de Lys abdominoplasty where there is too much skin side to side as well

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Another Fleur de Lys where there has been massive weight loss and a significan amount of skin excess

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Abdominoplasty FAQs

 

Different Types of Abdominoplasty Surgery

There are several ways of performing Abdominoplasty surgery in terms of the surgical approach e.g. Liposuction only, Mini-abdominoplasty (below the umbilicus (belly button). Full abdominoplasty (above the umbilicus which is reformed (belly button)) and Fleur de Lys (or extended) abdominoplasty (with an up and down scar as well). They are all used widely and each has pros and cons. Often the type of procedure needed is clear from the appearance of the patient’s abdomen.

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The Abdominoplasty Operation and hospital stay

The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 2 hours. When you wake up you should be comfortable as local anaesthetic is used in the wounds and you will remain on regular analgesia (painkillers) for several days until you are effectively pain free. There will be dressings on your abdomen and a compressive garment. After the surgery you will stay in hospital for 1 or 2 days until it is safe to send you home. Surgical drains are used to prevent blood collection in the tissues and these are removed once they have settled.

After Abdominoplasty

Expect to feel washed out for a few days after the surgery and to tire quickly although you will return to your normal energy levels in a few weeks.

The sutures in the lower wound are all dissolving (and in a Fleur de Lys the vertical wound as well), but the ones around the umbilicus (belly button) need removing. Two supportive pressure garments are provided (one to wear and one for the wash) and I ask that these are worn for the first three weeks and as much as possible for the next three weeks. A one week follow-up will be given to make sure everything is OK and take these stitches out. I will personally see you at 1, 4 and 12 weeks and 6 and 12 months following surgery and more if required.

What to expect from Abdominoplasty

Abdominoplasty surgery makes an immediate and dramatic difference. There may be some discomfort for a few days and standing straight may be difficult. Initially the skin feels tight, however normally 1-2 weeks after the surgery, the skin should relax. It may even be quicker than this. As said above, expect to feel washed out for a few days after the surgery and to tire quickly although you will gradually return to your normal energy levels. The scars may become more visible and lumpy at around 3-4 months after the surgery. This is normal and in most cases the scars settle to form fine, flat, pale scars.

Cost of Abdominoplasty Surgery

– from £4050 for miniabdominoplasty
– from £5842 for full
This includes all required follow-up and in the unlikely event you require further treatment due to post-operative problems any further treatment is also included

Post Operative Instructions for Abdominoplasty

What can go wrong with Abdominoplasty

I feel it is important that anyone having surgery with me is aware of the possible negative sides of surgery and understands the small but real risks. The following paragraphs cover what happens when things occasionally don’t go as expected.

Like all surgery there are risks of complications whoever does your surgery. If they are treated promptly many have no obvious effect on the final outcome.

All operations have a risk of bleeding. In abdominoplasty there is a small risk that there may be bleeding inside the operated tissue leading to a collection of blood (haematoma), which needs to be removed under an anaesthetic (less than 2%). Infection is rare (less than 5%) and antibiotics are given around the time of surgery to reduce the risk. A seroma (a collection of straw coloured fluid) can collect under the skin (about 10-15%) and can need to be removed several times before it stops returning. Occasionally further surgery is required to deal with this. Some people form bad scars (about 2%) and these can be troubling for a while although often respond to treatment over several months. All operations can result in long-term discomfort. All operations have a small risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), chest infection and Pulmonary embolism. Death following elective surgery is exceptionally rare (1:250,000 in fit and well people)

Risks particular to abdominoplasty are problems with skin sensation, which may be lost or significantly reduced above the scar. Fat necrosis can occur where the fat cells die and sometimes a yellow oily fluid seeps from the wound line and there is some redness and firmness, this is almost always self limiting. The end of the scar can stick out (dog ear) this can require a small local anaesthetic procedure. There can also be problems with wound healing (minor problems requiring small dressings are not uncommon) and even skin loss (very rare). These respond in the main to dressings and have little if any impact on the final result. However they can require further surgery to correct and can lead to a permanent reduction in the quality of the result and patient satisfaction, but that is very rare (1-2%).

As this is a surgical procedure to deal with appearance no guarantee can be given to the final appearance, but if we agree it is an unsatisfactory result correction will be offered at no additional cost.

What to bring to hospital

If you would like, bring a family member or friend. Bring some easy to put on bed wear, preferably with front buttons and your own clothes and toiletries and something to pass the time like books, puzzles or some music . The rooms have televisions and there is free Wi-fi.

What to look out for after you have gone home

Before you come into hospital, you will get a package that contains a set of post-operative instructions and a thermometer.

Watch out for redness, swelling, pain, discharge, opening of the wound, fevers, sweating and shaking. Whatch to see if your temperature is above 37.2C and you feel unwell or it is above 37.6C.

If any of the above are seen or any of the information of the instruction sheet call the numbers on the instruction sheet or the hospital you had your operation.

Things to Avoid

The following are medications or herbal medicines to avoid before surgery.

Please disclose all medications (including self prescribed and herbal and vitamin supplements) during the consultation. The following increase the risk of post operative problems.

Roacutane or other vitamin A skin preparations / aspirin / steroids / warfarin / clopidogrel / Brufen / alka-seltzer / Fish oil / Flagyl / anti-rheumatics-arthritics / blood thinners eg persantin / St John’s Wort / Aloe vera / Cimetidine / Vitamin E (>600mg/day) / Vitamin C (>1000mg/day) / alfalfa / arnica / bromelain / calendula / celery / chamomile / cloves / Evening primrose / garlic / ginger / ginko / goji berries / licorice / meadowsweet / diabetes medication / blood pressure medication / diuretics

Most fruit and pickles have aspirin like chemicals in them so avoid large quantities in the two weeks before surgery.

Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns to ask during one of your consultations. Writing questions down is sometimes helpful.

Driving

Normally you can re-start driving at around 2 weeks. You are fit to drive if you feel you are fit. I recommend you have someone take you to an industrial zone or supermarket car park late at night so you can attempt driving without risk to others. If you find you can drive without problems you are safe to go out on the road

Work

Depending on how physical the work you do is, you can start working from between 1 and 3 weeks.

If in doubt remember you can always ask for advice.

Exercise

At home rest is necessary for one week and any strenuous activity, bending, and lifting etc. is to be avoided. You can shower once your dressings are reduced after your first appointment.

Physical exercise more than a gentle walk should be avoided for the first least 3 weeks and then only undertaken if comfortable. After 3 weeks I allow swimming and cycling and more vigorous walking. After 6 weeks you can, if it is comfortable, return to full activities.