Many people may notice a loss of skin elasticity due to the abdominal skin becoming loose and wrinkled. Common causes include significant weight loss, previous pregnancies or can be due to hereditary factors. A resultant loss of self-confidence may develop as a result. Fortunately, these issues can be easily treated with a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty procedure.
Tummy tuck surgery is also known as abdominoplasty. It is designed to remove redundant abdominal skin, remove excess fat and tighten the abdominal muscles to achieve a flat and contoured stomach. Here we discuss vital facts about tummy tuck surgery and the different types of tummy tucks available in the U.K.
Your surgeon can perform different types of tummy tucks
Tummy tuck surgery is customised for the individual patient. This depends on the amount of excess fat and skin that needs to be removed and whether the abdominal muscles need to be tightened due to pregnancy.
- Full abdominoplasty – the full tummy tuck is most appropriate for patients with significant excess skin in the upper and lower abdomen and excessive fat deposits in the waist area. This procedure is effective for the removal of excess skin and fat and is also able to reconstruct the weakened abdominal muscles.
- Mini abdominoplasty – the mini tummy tuck is ideal for patients with localised excess skin in the lower part of the abdomen between the mons pubis and the umbilicus, where the skin tends to have a wrinkly appearance. A mini tummy tuck cannot correct weakened muscles, which will require a full tummy tuck.
- 360 Lipo and abdominoplasty – this procedure consists of circumferential liposuction to contour the midsection followed by an abdominoplasty to tighten abdominal skin. Rectus muscle repair may be undertaken if required.
- Brazilian tummy tuck – the Brazilian tummy tuck involves a combination of liposuction and abdominoplasty to contour the abdomen, waist and flanks to achieve a sculpted look. The recovery time after Brazilian abdominoplasty is shorter compared with a traditional full tummy tuck.
Tummy tuck scars fade with time
Most patients are understandably keen to improve the appearance of tummy tuck scars. Abdominoplasty scars will gradually fade over the first six months and may require up to 1 year for full maturation. The scar will be red and often thickened during the first three months but will gradually flatten and take on a pale, whitish appearance. Tummy tuck scars can be improved by applying silicone gel which can be used four weeks after the procedure.
Initial abdominoplasty recovery takes between 2 to 4 weeks
After a tummy tuck surgery, recovery is approximately 3 to 4 weeks. Once the procedure is complete, you’ll be discharged roughly a few hours later to allow you to recover in the comfort of your own home. During the first couple of weeks, prescription painkillers can easily control any discomfort. It would help if you tried to keep the stomach area straight or slightly bent forwards to facilitate good wound healing. It is essential to wear an abdominal compression garment for the first four weeks to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck should not be considered a treatment for weight loss
Tummy tuck surgery is a specialist body contouring procedure. It is designed for the removal of excess skin in patients who have been pregnant or have lost significant amounts of weight. In some cases, abdominoplasty may be carried out for people who are unhappy with the appearance of the abdomen as part of the ageing process and would like to achieve a firmer and flatter stomach. Patients who choose to have a tummy tuck at Centre for Surgery in London should aim to reach their ideal body weight before having the procedure, as future fluctuations in weight can affect tummy tuck results, and you may require revision surgery to correct this. If you are considering becoming pregnant after having a tummy tuck, it is essential to be aware that the abdominal skin might undergo significant stretching leading to loose skin. This may require a revision abdominoplasty to improve the initial results from the first procedure.
Men can have also have abdominoplasty surgery
Although tummy tuck surgery is most commonly performed in women who often have been previously pregnant, an increasing number of men each year choose to undergo a male tummy tuck to get rid of excess skin, which is most commonly developed as a result of significant weight loss. Some men may also require abdominal muscle repair for rectus diastasis.
Tummy tucks can be carried out under general anaesthetic or local anaesthetic
Most tummy tuck surgery is done under a general anaesthetic as a day case. In a small number of cases, a mini tummy tuck can be safely carried out under local anaesthetic with mild sedation. Your surgeon will determine patient suitability for local anaesthetic. You could learn more about mini tummy tuck under local anaesthetic by booking a face-to-face consultation with one of our expert tummy tuck surgeons in London.
Can a tummy tuck be carried out simultaneously as a C-section?
The combination of a tummy tuck with a C section is called “C-tuck”. Our surgeons do not recommend this procedure to any of our patients as the recovery period can be significantly prolonged and may affect the ability to look after your newborn baby. The risk of complications is also much higher. The abdominal muscles commonly stretch after pregnancy, and a full tummy tuck is an ideal procedure to tighten the abdominal muscles. Because of this, we recommend waiting at least 12 months before having a tummy tuck after C-section. This will ensure that you are in the best possible fitness for abdominoplasty surgery.
What is tummy tuck recovery like?
The average abdominoplasty recovery requires approximately 4 to 6 weeks for initial healing. It is essential to follow the post-operative instructions below to ensure proper healing after a tummy tuck:
- Take your pain medication and antibiotics for one week after the surgical procedure.
- You must wear an abdominal compression garment for a minimum of four weeks.
- If you are developing excessive swelling, cold packs can be applied to the area to reduce localised swelling. You should check with one of our post-operative nurses before undertaking this.
It is vital to comply with the surgeon’s post-operative instructions in full to minimise the risk of complications after tummy tuck surgery. We recommend attending all your scheduled post-operative appointments with our nurses and your surgeon.
A tummy tuck can get rid of love handles
A full tummy tuck does not specifically target the love handles located between the hips and the lower rib cage on each side of the abdomen. An extended abdominoplasty is an ideal procedure to remove love handles. If you have a good skin elasticity, you may be able to remove the love handles with liposuction alone.
Choosing Centre for Surgery for tummy tuck and abdominoplasty surgery
Centre for Surgery is the leading cosmetic surgery clinic in London and is home to some of the U.K.’s most experienced tummy tuck surgeons. We have considerable expertise in all types of tummy tuck surgery, including the Brazilian tummy tuck. We focus on achieving the highest standards of medical care to help you get the best abdominoplasty results. From your first consultation to your final post-operative appointment, we strive to ensure that your patient journey with us is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
If you would like to learn more about tummy tuck surgery or you’d like to book an abdominoplasty consultation, please call us on (020) 7993 4849 to speak to one of our friendly and expert patient coordinators. Our state-of-the-art Baker Street clinic is one of London’s most advanced cosmetic surgery clinics.