Abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck) is a surgical procedure that removes fat and skin excess and can repair weakened or separated abdominal muscles creating a smoother and firmer abdominal profile.
Many times even with exercise and weight control is not possible to achieve a flat abdomen and even individuals of normal body weight and proportion can develop a protruding or saggy abdomen.
The most common reasons for this are:
- Previous surgery
- Significant fluctuation in weight
By saying this abdominoplasty is not a procedure to loose weight and patients that are considering future pregnancies or are planning to lose weight will be advised to do so beforehand. Not all stretch marks will be removed with this operation but only the ones that are located on the areas of skin that will be excised.
- Anaesthesia: is performed under general anaesthesia so you will be unconscious during the procedure
- Incision: the incision and subsequent scar will be located horizontally from hip to hip above the pubic hairline (this will not always be completely covered by swimming clothes depending on the amount of skin to be removed). The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the amount of excess skin.
Another scar will be present around the navel that will need to be repositioned.
- Once the abdominal skin is lifted the abdominal muscles will be repaired.
- The upper abdominal skin is pulled down, the excess skin is trimmed and the remaining skin sutured together
- A new opening for the belly button is created and the navel restored in a new position
- Usually only dissolvable stitches are used to close the incisions
You may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck if:
- You are healthy and stable with your weight
- You have realistic expectations
- You do not smoke
- You don’t feel comfortable with the appearance of your abdomen.
The decision to have plastic surgery is very personal and only you can decide if the benefits will achieve your goal and if the risks and potential complications of surgery are acceptable. You will be ask to sign a consent form to ensure that you fully understand the procedure, its benefits and any risks and potential complications. Possible risk of abdominoplasty include:
- Anaesthesia risks
- Bleeding (possible need for blood transfusions)
- Seroma (accumulation of fluid that may required drainage) and/or prolonged swelling
- Necrosis (skin loss)
- Numbness or other changes in sensitivity (can be permanent)
- Poor wound healing
- Bad scarring
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Persistent pain
- Unsatisfactory aesthetic result
- Possibility of revision surgery
- DVT, cardiac and pulmonary complications
These risks and others will be fully discussed by Mr Netri prior to your consent .
A tummy tuck is usually scheduled as an overnight stay in hospital (sometimes you will be booked for two nights in hospital depending on different circumstances that will be discussed at the time of your consultation).
You will need to wear a compression garment night and day for four to six weeks to minimise swelling and support your abdomen as it heals following surgery.
Before leaving the hospital you will be given specific instructions on how to care for your abdomen, medications to take and when to follow-up with your surgeon. You will need to keep the dressing clean and dry for two weeks after surgery. You should refrain from exercise and heavy lifting for six weeks after surgery. You can drive after one week and go back to work after two weeks depending on the physical requirements of your job.
The final result of a tummy tuck can take several months, usually up to one year or longer because of the scarring process and the swelling.
Eventually your tummy tuck will result in a flatter and firmer abdominal contour that is more in proportion with your body type and weight.
Results will vary significantly from person to person. It is very important to understand that anatomical features will determine the type of result that you will achieve. Looking at or showing pictures during consultation will only be useful for you to explain the kind of result that you are or you are not looking for and for your surgeon to understand your expectation but the results can be significantly different from the ones shown.
Your consultation with Mr Netri will last approximately one hour. During this time you will be able to discuss the reasons why you are considering this procedure, your expectation, your desired outcome and your concerns.
Mr Netri will collect your family history and your personal medical history and will ask you for the permission to contact your GP in order to receive all the important medical information that will make the operation as safe as possible. A psychological assessment may be required as recommended by new guidelines for cosmetic surgery in the UK.
Mr Netri will examine and measure your abdomen and take notes of skin quality, stretch marks, muscle tone , hernias and previous scars. You will have all the time that you need to make questions and Mr Netri will do his best to answer these as clearly as possible. You will be offered a second consultation to re-discussed the surgical plan and to make questions that you might have forgotten to make during your first appointment.
A cooling off period of a minimum of 14 days is required by Mr Netri from the last consultation and the day of the operation.
- Before surgery you may be asked to see an anaesthetist for an assessment and have blood tests or other investigations performed
- You may be asked to suspend or adjust your current medications
- You will be asked to stop smoking and suspend aspirin or other anti-inflammatory that can increase risk of bleeding or any other supplement
- Arrange somebody to pick you up from the hospital and somebody that can stay with you for the first night
An average price for a tummy tuck would be between £6,000 - 7,000. Price may vary depending upon facility, number of nights in hospital and need for liposuction.
- Anesthesia fees
- Hospital facility costs
- Surgeon fees
*Extra costs can be applied for preoperative tests, medication, compressive garment and revision of surgery. Discuss these details at the time of your consultation.