At a Glance
An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle to lower abdomen, as well as tightening the abdominal wall muscles. This is a suitable surgery if you have a large amount of weight or excess skin which you are wanting to remove.
There are two types of tummy tucks – the mini abdominoplasty and full abdominoplasty. The mini abdominoplasty makes a smaller incision and removes fat and excess skin. The naval will be pulled lower, and there is not as much abdominal tightening required. As this surgery is smaller, there will be a quicker recovery time.
Surgeons at Centre for Surgery in London, perform a modern variant of the traditional abdominoplasty called a Lipoabdominoplasty. In addition to skin removal and muscle tightening, this procedure also involves extensive liposuction to sculpt and contour the abdomen and flanks.
Centre for Surgery in London has pioneered the ClearField™ technique for abdominoplasty surgery.
We have gone a step further and taken the lipoabdominoplasty procedure and combined with this our innovative ClearSleep™ anaesthesia technique to make us one of the few providers in the UK to offer day case lipoabdominoplasty.
Many people do not know the differences between abdominoplasty and liposuction, what results they can achieve and the best candidates for each procedure.
It is best to discuss your wants, needs and ideal outcome in your consultation, so your surgeon can recommend the best procedure for you to have.
A tummy tuck is more suitable for those who have excess skin or significant stretch marks. Liposuction can be performed alongside a tummy tuck. This is suitable for those people who have excess skin, such as from a large weight loss, and may also have excess weight.
Liposuction only removes fat, rather than excess skin. Liposuction will not alter the appearance of any stretch marks, and can even make them worse, as the skin will be looser. Liposuction is more suitable for patients who have excess fat but still have firm abdominal skin, as the skin will shrink after the liposuction.
If you are not keen on the idea of having scars from abdominoplasty surgery, Centre for Surgery also offer a ‘scarless tummy tuck’ utilising the innovative BodyTite platform. A BodyTite tummy tuck utilises minimally invasive bipolar radiofrequency to tighten the skin along with Morpheus8 RF microneedling. By using both BodyTite and Morpheus8, your surgeon is able to address mild to moderate skin laxity in a minimally invasive manner and without the downtime of a traditional abdominoplasty. A BodyTite abdominoplasty can be performed under local anaesthetic (with or without oral sedation) in properly selected candidates.
Your surgeon may also wish to combine the BodyTite/Morpheus8 combination with a mini abdominoplasty to extend the benefits of a partial skin excision. In this case the procedure would be performed with ClearSleep anaesthesia.
Good candidates for abdominoplasty are men and women who:
- Are physically and mentally healthy
- Are close to their ideal body weight
- Have good skin elasticity
- Have large fat deposits
- Have excess skin
- Have lost elasticity in the muscles and/or skin, particularly due to pregnancy or ageing
- Are a non-smoker
- Are at a stable weight
If you are planning to lose a large amount of weight, it is best to postpone this surgery until you have achieved your weight loss goals. This surgery is also not recommended for women who are planning future pregnancies, as the tightened muscles can separate during pregnancy.
If you have abdominal scarring, the surgeon may advise against undergoing an abdominoplasty, as this may increase the noticeability of the scars.
If you are interested in having this procedure, you may wish to look at our finance options.
An abdominoplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic known as ClearSleep™, so you will be asleep during the procedure.
The abdominoplasty procedure involves:
- An incision going from each hip – the amount of excess skin will also have an impact on how large the incision is going to be
- Abdominal skin is lifted
- Muscles and skin are tightened
- Any excess skin is removed
- The belly button will be repositioned
- Any recommended liposuction will be performed
- The remaining upper abdomen skin is pulled down and over the incision
- The incision will be closed and dressing applied
An abdominoplasty is performed as an outpatient surgery. This means you will be able to return home the same day as your tummy tuck and recover in the comfort of your own home. You will need someone to drive you home, and you may wish to have someone stay with you for the first few days following the procedure.
Before deciding to undergo the procedure, make sure you know about the risks of choosing to undergo a tummy tuck abroad.
The first few days following the procedure will be the most uncomfortable, and you may experience some pain. You can take medication to help manage your pain.
During the recovery period, you will have to avoid any strenuous activity, particularly if your abdominal muscles were tightened. You will have to avoid physical activity for four to six weeks.
After the abdominoplasty, you will notice bruising and swelling in the abdominal area. This will take between one and two weeks to reduce. You may be given a garment to wear which will help to reduce the swelling. This swelling will reduce the results of the procedure, but you will be able to notice this once the swelling has gone down. However, it may take several months to see the final results.
After surgery, you will retain some water, which can cause temporary weight gain. This is a completely normal side effect, and will quickly dissipate.
To help speed up recovery, you will need to avoid smoking. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen, which can result in infections and problems with the wounds.
Your surgeon and medical team will be in contact with you during your recovery period to monitor your progress and to help avoid any complications.
What is a tummy tuck?A tummy tuck, otherwise known as an abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic surgical procedure which removes excess skin from the abdomen. This generally occurs as a result of pregnancy or a large weight loss.
What anaesthetic is used?Abdominoplasty is performed under ClearSleep™ anaesthetic. This means you will be asleep throughout the whole procedure.
How much pain will I experience?Following a tummy tuck, patients describe a major feeling of tightness around the abdomen. The discomfort is described as an intense muscle ache similar to the feeling after an aggressive abdominal workout. It is generally the case that the most expertly performed tummy tucks will cause a certain amount of postoperative discomfort. This is related to the extent of tightening that the surgeon has achieved. If a tummy tuck doesn’t hurt at all, the abdomen was likely not tightened adequately.
Bruising and swelling are always seen after a tummy tuck or liposuction. Additional liposuction to the upper abdominal area and love handles and bruising will also be performed.
Can I go home the same day?Patients are able to leave the hospital on the evening of their procedure. Although straining, heavy lifting and bending should be avoided, tummy tuck patients must start minimal walking and leg exercises the day of the surgery. Lying in bed for hours at a time is dangerous and must be avoided to minimise the risk of blood clots. When going to sleep, a couple of pillows under the knees and behind the head will act to ease the tension on the surgical incision and will help relieve discomfort.
When can I return to work?Patients with jobs that require significant physical activity including bending, lifting, or quick movement will need about four weeks off before being able to return to full duties comfortably.
Those patients with jobs not demanding physical activity can return to work after two weeks.
When can I restart gym activities?Light workouts involving exercises that do not strain the surgical incision or the abdominal muscles can begin at two or three weeks post-op. This includes brisk walking or stationary bike riding.
Heavier workouts including abdominal crunches, sit-ups and running should not be attempted for about one month.
Do I need to wear a compression garment?Yes, tummy tuck patients should wear a special compression garment for four weeks after a tummy tuck.
When will I be able to see the final result?You will have bruising and swelling for the first few weeks. This may hinder you from being able to see the results.
Your final results may be viewable after two months.