What is Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty)?
Tummy tuck is also known by its medical description, abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure for removing redundant skin from the abdomen and reconstructing the rectus muscle of the abdomen to give a more contoured, flatter and tighter-looking abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery is increasingly popular in the UK and ranks just behind liposuction in its popularity as a body contouring procedure. Abdominoplasty is a highly effective method for removing saggy and stretched skin that often develops after pregnancy or massive weight loss.
View our Tummy tuck educational video
The presence of extra fat beneath the skin of the abdomen leads to the overlying skin stretching out. When someone successfully loses a large amount of weight, this stretched-out skin cannot return to its original tight and contracted state. As we age, the production of collagen and elastin diminishes, leading to thinning of the skin and a resultant loss of skin elasticity which increases the likelihood of sagging and wrinkle formation. In older patients, even a loss of small amounts of weight can result in a significant amount of skin laxity due to the loss of collagen and elastin in the dermis. It is very common for women after pregnancy to develop excess redundant skin and loose, weakened abdominal musculature due to the increase in the volume of the womb during pregnancy. Tummy tuck surgery is a highly effective procedure for restoration of the female body shape to the pre-pregnancy state.
Nowadays, abdominoplasty is rarely performed in isolation and is most commonly combined with other body contouring procedures, including liposuction. Many women who have lost breast volume due to pregnancy and breastfeeding will also have a breast augmentation with or without a breast lift at the same time as a tummy tuck. The combination of abdominoplasty surgery with a breast augmentation or lift is often referred to as a mummy makeover. It is very popular with an increasing number of women unhappy with the shape of their bodies after childbirth.
Why have a tummy tuck?
Abdominoplasty is a highly successful procedure when carried out by an expert surgeon at Centre for Surgery. It can deliver long-term results provided that patients maintain a stable weight and avoid any fluctuations in weight to avoid the risk of recurrent skin laxity. Your surgeon may recommend against having a tummy tuck until you have completed your family as the risk of developing recurrent laxity is high for women who have had a tummy tuck followed by further childbirth.
Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedures at Centre for Surgery. Our surgeons are experienced in all types of tummy tuck surgery for comprehensive rejuvenation of the abdomen. The tummy tuck procedure can produce impressive results in both women and men.
|Tummy tuck||Fast facts|
|Procedure time ⏳||2-4 hours|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||General anaesthetic|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||1 day|
|Washing 🛁||1 week|
|Travel ✈️||4 weeks|
|Sexual activity ❤️||6 weeks|
|Driving 🚗||4 weeks|
|Postoperative garment 👕||6 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||On back for 4 weeks|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||6 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||6 months|
Tummy Tuck results
Browse our tummy tuck photo gallery to see results achieved by our surgeons at Centre for Surgery. The before and afters below offer a sampling of the patient photos we have on file. When you come in to see us for a free consultation, a wide variety will be made available to you. At Centre for Surgery, we only show photos of our patients who have given written consent to allow their images on our website.
Before and After only 1 WEEK after surgery!:
Tummy tuck London
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a cosmetic surgical procedure specifically used to achieve a tighter, flatter smoother-looking abdomen. The procedure involves the removal of excess fat and skin along with the surgical repair of weakened and separate muscles.
There are two types of tummy tucks – 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. At Centre for Surgery in London, we also perform a modern variant of the traditional abdominoplasty called a Brazilian tummy tuck.
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 are one of the very few providers of Brazilian abdominoplasty in London. We have gone a step further and taken the lipoabdominoplasty procedure and combined this with TIVA general anaesthesia to make us one of the few providers in the UK to offer day case lipoabdominoplasty. We also perform tummy tucks for men.
***Please note there is no non-surgical alternative to a proper abdominoplasty which, although invasive in nature, achieves dramatic results through skin tightening, muscle reconstruction and targeted fat removal – all in one procedure.
Whilst the surgeon will make every effort to make scars as concealed as possible, if you are not keen on the idea of large incisions, potentially long scars and a required period of downtime then we do also offer a new highly effective solution with BodyTite.
All our surgeons are on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery. The Royal College of Surgeons of England has an excellent information resource on cosmetic surgery.
Our clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
Why choose Centre for Surgery in London for your tummy tuck procedure?
- Over 15 years of experience in all types of abdominoplasty in London, including full, mini, extended and Brazilian abdominoplasty. So you can be sure our surgeons will select the right procedure for you. Abdominoplasty surgery techniques have vastly improved in the last 10 years. & we offer bespoke options rather than a ‘one size fits all approach’.
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed abdominoplasty surgery takes time, so our surgeons perform a maximum of one tummy tuck per day and always schedule them for first thing in the morning. We take much longer to perform abdominoplasty than other providers, which is reflected in our 99.3% patient satisfaction rate. We do not cram 3-4 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform abdominoplasty, which is a very demanding procedure to get the best results. Centre for Surgery have our own purpose-built operating theatre facilities both in central London and Watford. We do not use ‘third-party’ providers and can provide the highest standards of care at affordable prices.
- Our surgeons live and work in London. We don’t work with ‘fly-in, fly-out’ surgeons from Italy. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise tummy tuck complications, complications can and do occur. Our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise. All our surgeons are supported by a first-class nursing team who are on hand for you for any concerns you may have, however minor.
Our surgeons are full members of:
Brazilian tummy tuck before and after
Recently had a tummy tuck at the Watford clinic. I’m just so happy with the result – after 2 pregnancies my body was ravaged. The extra lipo also made my waist smaller and it looks perhaps even better than when I was younger. I gave consent for my photos to be published on their tummy tuck page – think it was the 5th set
Tummy Tuck Expected Results
- Tighter abdominal musculature to reverse the looseness which develops after pregnancy
- Lipo contouring of the abdomen and flanks with liposuction
- Removal of excess skin and fat that cannot be addressed with diet and exercise
- Ability to revise unsightly c-section scars from previous pregnancies
- Removal of stretch marks
- Abdominal hernia repair
- An improvement in confidence
- Better fitting clothing
Things to consider before a tummy tuck
We believe that the best outcomes after tummy tuck happen when patients make the right choice of clinic and surgeon.
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery are specialists in cosmetic surgery and have been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions you may have to empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and having a record of good patient feedback. You should know who you will be seeing before your consultation. At Centre for surgery, our surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointments process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform cosmetic surgery. Read more about our doctors here.
3. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both fully trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your procedure.
4. Avoid clinics that offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We believe patient safety and happy satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical provider of cosmetic surgery. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward honest advice and you can be assured that your journey with Centre for Surgery will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
Would highly recommend Centre for Surgery. Very professional staff who supported me through my entire journey from initial consultation to the procedure. Always on hand to answer any questions I had and thoroughly explained the procedure and associated risks to ensure I was well-informed.
What is a mummy makeover?
Having children brings unquestionable happiness, but the effects on the female body can be significant. Undesirable effects include loose, flabby skin, droopy breasts with loss of volume, the development of stretch marks and weight gain. A mummy makeover is a comprehensive cosmetic surgery procedure that addresses several problem areas for a dramatic transformation. Usually, a combination of abdominoplasty combined with breast lift is the norm.
After pregnancy and childbirth, the loss of breast volume can be dramatic. A breast lift (with or without breast implants and/or fat grafting) is often required to reverse the changes induced by pregnancy. In addition, our surgeons combine liposuction of the abdomen and flanks with an abdominoplasty to contour an hourglass figure and much-improved waistline. Surgeons at Centre for Surgery are renowned experts at performing the mummy makeover procedure to restore your self-confidence.
Mummy makeover before and after
Read our testimonials from our amazing patients
Aesthetic ideals of the abdomen
Achieving a great tummy tuck result requires the surgeon to consider the position of the transverse lower scar, position and shape of the umbilicus, waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio, and definition of the underlying abdominal wall musculature. These considerations differ in female and male patients and must be taken into account because an ever-increasing range of patients seek abdominal contouring procedures.
What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
There are several differences between abdominoplasty and liposuction, including what results they can achieve and the best candidates for each procedure. It is best to discuss your wants, needs and ideal desired 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 significant 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 could even make them worse, as the skin will be looser. Liposuction is more suitable for patients with excess fat but still have firm abdominal skin, as the skin will shrink after the liposuction. Patients now have access to a highly effective treatment for stretch marks in the form of Morpheus8 which our non-surgical practitioners offer at Centre for Surgery in London.
If you are not keen on the idea of having scars from abdominoplasty surgery, Centre for Surgery also offers 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 can 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 partial skin excision. In this case, the procedure would be performed with TIVA anaesthesia.
Ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery
The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck with or without liposuction is a woman who desires no further children with no significant medical conditions, normal body mass index of below 30, and loose abdominal muscles, also known as rectus diastasis, and/or skin laxity secondary to pregnancy.
However, with the ever-growing global obesity epidemic, a growing number of patients have significant fat deposits of the central abdomen and flanks. In addition, some patients seeking abdominoplasty present after massive weight loss (MWL), whether through weight loss surgery or diet and exercise, which may present unique considerations for surgical planning and management.
Ideal candidates for tummy include::
- 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 procedure is also not recommended for women 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.
Will a tummy tuck get rid of my stretch marks?
Stretch marks located on the region of abdominal skin marked for removal will, of course, also be removed along with the skin flap. The overall presence of stretch marks should become markedly reduced as a result. Stretch marks that are outside the area of skin excision will remain. Centre for Surgery offers several highly effective stretch mark removal treatments, including Morpheus8 micro-needling and fractional laser resurfacing.
What are the different types of Tummy Tuck techniques?
Centre for Surgery perform the full range of tummy tucks:
A full abdominoplasty addresses the removal of redundant extra tissue involving skin and fat. The muscle layer is also reconstructed, which helps to create a more narrow torso. Repairing the muscle layer is also referred to as rectus diastasis repair. A full abdominoplasty is ideal for patients after pregnancy or who have undergone weight loss. Traditional abdominoplasty does not involve liposuction and has become something of an obsolete technique in recent years.
A full abdominoplasty has generally been a major surgical procedure with recognised complications including postoperative bleeding, seroma formation, delayed wound healing and abnormal scarring. Often complications require many post-op appointments with the doctor leading to an unsatisfactory outcome. Surgeons at Centre for Surgery specialise in the Brazilian tummy tuck or Brazilian abdominoplasty, similar to a full abdominoplasty. It involves removing excess skin, muscle repair of the rectus muscle, and creating a new position for the belly button. The key difference is the addition of liposuction to the above to facilitate a gentler method of mobilising the excess skin without excessive dissection and compromise of the blood supply to the skin flap. This leads to better healing and less risk of postoperative wound complications.
A Brazilian tummy tuck should not be seen as a lesser version of a full tummy tuck. It does not involve more steps and is a more effective body contouring procedure than an old-style ‘cut and shut’ abdominoplasty, which is still most commonly performed in the UK. Brazilian tummy tuck takes longer to perform than a full tummy tuck due to the extra liposuction required but the dramatic results achieved are well worth the extra time needed. In keeping with all the other types of tummy tuck performed at Centre for Surgery, a Brazilian tummy tuck is performed a day case procedure and a more favourable side risk profile compared with a full abdominoplasty.
Benefits of Brazilian Abdominoplasty:
- Significantly less postoperative pain and discomfort
- A shorter period of downtime
- Lower risk of localised seroma or haematoma formation
- Day case procedure, which means you get to go home and recover at home, leading to better healing.
- A more defined and smaller waist as a result of liposuction combined with the tummy tuck
Downsides of a traditional tummy tuck:
- Inpatient stay of 2-3 nights required with risk of acquiring nasty hospital superbugs
- Increased period of recovery required
- Higher risk of haematoma formation
- More pain and with a regular requirement for postoperative opioid medicines given IV
A mini-abdominoplasty is a smaller procedure than a full abdominoplasty. The procedure involves the removal of the loose skin from below the umbilicus. The procedure also involves the surgical tightening of the lower abdominal muscles. A mini-abdominoplasty is ideally suited for patients on the lower end of BMI (BMI<23) who have skin laxity below the umbilicus only and not above the umbilicus. The scar from a mini tummy tuck is shorter with a shorter recovery and downtime. With skin laxity above the umbilicus, a full abdominoplasty may be more suitable. As with a Brazilian abdominoplasty, the use of liposuction is used to contour the waist and is performed as a day case without any requirement for the insertion of drains.
One of the main advantages of a mini tummy tuck is that it can address smaller more localised areas of the abdomen in those who otherwise have good skin elasticity. Similar to a full tummy tuck, a mini tummy tuck is a highly effective surgical technique to tighten and contour the lower abdomen with long-term results provided that patients adhere to eating a healthy diet and maintaining a stable weight.
Extended abdominoplasty involves the removal of extra skin and tissue from the flanks in addition to the abdomen. This often requires liposuction in addition to skin excision. The incision is longer than for a full abdominoplasty to ensure full correction to the sides. If you have extra muscle looseness in the hips and flank area in addition to abdominal laxity, an extended abdominoplasty may be an appropriate option. Liposuction is always a key component of an extended abdominoplasty.
A subset of patients who present for abdominoplasty surgery will have extra redundant skin both vertically and laterally. A standard abdominoplasty may not adequately address the loose skin located centrally. The Fleur-De-Lis technique of tummy tuck involves both the standard low horizontal incision and a vertical incision. The resulting incision resembles an inverted T shape with a small midline vertical aspect extending from the midline of the horizontal scar upwards towards the belly button.
Circumferential abdominoplasty or Body Lift
A circumferential abdominoplasty or 360 tummy tuck or body lift is a major procedure compared with a standard full abdominoplasty. It is an ideal procedure for massive weight loss patients who often have extensive hanging skin all the way around their torso. The incision encircles the torso is performed in 2 stages – first, the front is addressed followed by the back and sides. Circumferential abdominoplasty is often combined with a thigh and buttock lift. This is known as a lower body lift or belt lipectomy – A major body contouring procedure. At Centre for Surgery, body lift surgery is always carried out in a two-stage procedure to ensure proper healing.
Caesarean section scar revision
After a Caesarean section, it is not uncommon to develop a prominent fold of skin that sits above the C-section scar. The prominence of the scar is due to the attachment of the scar to deeper structures and therefore any fat or lax skin above looks much more obvious. Many women notice that the bulge protrudes through tight-fitting clothing. The extra skin and fat can be surgically removed and this can be combined with liposuction if appropriate. The Caesarean scar revision procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and as a day case procedure.
Our surgeons see a growing number of patients who have had tummy tuck surgery with another surgeon elsewhere and are disappointed with their results. Our surgeons have sub-specialist expertise in abdominal wall reconstruction in the NHS and have years of experience performing revision tummy tuck surgery for patients who had their first procedure elsewhere – often overseas in places like Turkey.
Reasons to seek revision tummy tuck:
- Excess fat not removed at the original procedure
- A poorly shaped umbilicus
- Insufficient muscle repair
- An unsightly scar
- A poorly placed scar (often too high)
I recently had surgery here and would definitely recommend, from initial contact from Carolyn to the aftercare I received was exceptional, Carolyn was very helpful and informative and answered all my questions – even the silly ones late at night! Dr Tillo was very knowledgable, professional and welcoming at the same time and put me at ease about the procedure, it’s still early but so far I’m pleased with the results
What does a Brazilian tummy tuck involve?
A Brazilian tummy tuck also known as lipoabdominoplasty differs from a full tummy tuck in the following ways:
TIVA anaesthesia combined with specialist medicines to dramatically reduce intraoperative bleeding. Less bleeding leads to less inflammation and a smoother recovery.
Tumescent anaesthesia – The use of tumescent local anaesthesia (TLA) has revolutionised the safety of abdominoplasty. Tumescent anaesthesia involves the injection of a diluted local anaesthetic into the abdomen before the procedure starts. The benefits are numerous, including reduced pain, shorter recovery, less bruising and swelling and enhanced results.
Liposuction of the flanks – Tummy tucks performed elsewhere often omit this step to save time. One of the main reasons for the unsightly ‘muffin top’ after surgery is the lack of flank liposuction. Our surgeons routinely combine liposuction with abdominoplasty to shape and contour the waist area.
SAFElipo technique – SAFElipo helps contour the abdomen and helps to create defined surgical planes for accurate tissue dissection.
Advanced belly button reshaping techniques – a natural-looking belly button is an aim.
Barbed suture technology for improved scar cosmesis.
Utilising the shortest scar possible.
How to prepare for tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery
You will be given detailed preoperative and postoperative instructions for tummy tuck surgery at your consultation with the surgeon. To ensure your recovery progresses smoothly and uneventfully, you should aim to follow all the steps below:
- Ensure all the required blood tests if requested by the surgeon and get clearance by a medical specialist if you have a medical condition that requires close monitoring.
- Make arrangements for a responsible adult to pick you up from the clinic and look after you for the first few days after tummy tuck surgery. You will not be allowed to drive home.
- Collect your prescription medications before the day of the procedure, as some medications may need to be started straight away.
- Buy any necessary supplies such as extra bedding, reading materials and entertainment products to make your first few days more comfortable.
- Arrange for time off work for approximately one week
- Eat a soft diet for the first few days after surgery to keep your digestive system functioning well.
- Avoid smoking and exposure to people who smoke as nicotine interferes with wound healing and increases the risk of wound infection.
- Wear your postoperative garment continuously for a full 6 weeks after tummy tuck surgery to ensure good healing and reduce swelling
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 6 weeks.
- Attend all your follow-up appointments with the nursing team and your surgeon to ensure you are healing correctly – try not to miss these.
Very happy with my experience at the Centre for Surgery, very helpful from start to finish and procedure was carried out very thorough. Any questions were answered quickly and in-depth so I had no worries and was pleased I went ahead with it. Even after the surgery, I’ve had calls and messages to check up on how I am and if everything went very well.
Benefits of TIVA anaesthesia for tummy tuck
Total Intravenous Anaesthesia or TIVA for short is the most advanced form of general anaesthesia available. Traditional general anaesthesia uses volatile gases, resulting in delayed recovery due to prolonged dizziness, drowsiness, and an increased risk of nausea and sickness. TIVA uses medicines given exclusively by the IV route, and the medicines used are both quick onset and short-acting.
This means that the recovery profile is smooth and quick for even longer procedures like a tummy tuck. Most patients will be ready for discharge after about 3 hours in recovery. Our anaesthetists also avoid the use of muscle relaxants which can prolong recovery and may increase the risk of complications. TIVA is regarded as a gentler form of general anaesthesia. Many patients will recall the quality of the anaesthetic to be far better than any anaesthetics they may have received in the hospital in the past.
Tummy tuck surgery is performed at one of our outpatient surgicentres using TIVA general anaesthesia. All our tummy tucks are outpatient procedures which means you will be admitted and discharged on the same day. Centre for Surgery are one of only a handful of providers in the UK to specialise in day case abdominoplasties.
A full abdominoplasty takes 3-4 hours to perform on average. In the case of combined procedures such as breast augmentation or breast lift, the procedure duration could take 5-6 hours.
Step by step tummy tuck
- STEP 1: You will be placed under general anaesthesia
- STEP 2: If required – the surgeon will perform liposuction to the flanks – you will lie on your front for this step
- STEP 3: Liposuction using the SAFElipo technique is performed to the abdomen
- STEP 4: The belly button is freed from the surrounding skin with a circular incision
- STEP 5: An incision is made along the lower abdomen just above the public hairline – the length will vary on the amount of skin to be removed
- STEP 6: The abdominal skin flap is created to the lower part of the sternum, and the redundant skin is then removed
- STEP 7: The abdominal muscles are repaired
- STEP 8: The belly button is brought out to a suitable position and sutured in position
- STEP 9: The abdominal incisions are closed
- STEP 10: Two drains are inserted, dressings are applied, and a postoperative compression garment is 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.
How will my belly button look after tummy tuck surgery?
In full and extended abdominoplasty surgery, a new belly button will need to be created after the skin is pulled down. The original belly button will be released from its original location and secured in the new location once the surgeon has removed all the excess skin and fat. Our surgeons are well known for their specialist expertise in umbilicoplasty surgery, using advanced methods customised to each patient to ensure naturalness.
In mini tummy tucks, your original belly button will be preserved.
What does tummy tuck recovery involve?
After the procedure, your surgeon will apply waterproof dressings to the horizontal incisions and the umbilicus. A well-fitting compression garment will then be applied. This should be worn for 6 weeks after surgery. When walking, you should try to walk with a slight stoop forward for 2 weeks to avoid undue tension on the incision line to optimise wound healing.
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. You will have to avoid any strenuous activity during the recovery period, particularly if your abdominal muscles were tightened. You should 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. You should stay mobile to reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism occurring.
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 wounds.
Your surgeon and medical team will contact you during your recovery period to monitor your progress and help avoid any complications.
SEE ALSO: Best sleeping positions post-surgery
How to look after tummy tuck scars
Our surgeons are trained to create low transverse incisions which sit directly above the pubic area. The length of the tummy tuck scar will depend on the type of tummy tuck that is chosen. The appearance of the tummy tuck scars will be influenced by proper care of the area and following the post-procedure instructions to optimise its appearance.
Top Tips to Help with Tummy Tuck Scar Healing
- It is important to keep the postoperative dressings for the recommended duration.
- Avoid stretching the area too much. An example would be bending backwards, which may stretch the scar.
- Avoid sun exposure. Sun exposure leads to excess scarring and delays wound healing.
- Use recommended silicone scar gels and medical-grade brown tape.
- Have patience. Any scar takes time to mature and fade. Scars that are still overly prominent can be treated with several modalities, including laser or Morpheus8. Centre for Surgery has a specialist department for scar revision of all types of scars at our 106 Crawford Street clinic.
Tummy tuck drains
What are surgical drains used for in abdominoplasty?
The surgeon places surgical drains at the end of the abdominoplasty procedure to facilitate the removal of any blood or body fluids. The drains are under negative pressure, and this will allow any fluid inside the abdomen to drain efficiently outwards. Without drains, the risk of seroma and haematoma development is much increased, with a resulting adverse impact on wound healing. Our patients are sent home with two drains in situ, and your surgeon will give detailed postoperative advice on all aspects of drain care, including emptying the contents. One of our expert nursing team removes the drains between 3-5 days following your tummy tuck procedure. Drain removal is an effortless and straightforward procedure and takes less than 30 seconds per drain removal.
How do I look after my surgical drain?
You will be discharged with two drains in situ. It is important to keep the drains in a bag to minimise the risk of them coming out prematurely on their own. The drains should be handled only with clean hands and avoid any water from bathing from getting into the drain sites. The character of the drain output is also essential. A straw-coloured or pink colour is to be expected. If the output looks like bright red blood or thick cloudy fluid resembling pus, then this should be urgently reported to your surgeon. Any unusual drainage should always be reported to the surgeon. We may need to call you in for a face to face assessment.
Risks and potential complications of tummy tuck surgery
Our surgeons have many years of experience in abdominoplasty surgery of all types. Advanced techniques are used to provide patients with the ideal result for them. When you choose a reputable provider such as Centre for Surgery for your tummy tuck, the abdominoplasty procedure is performed to the very highest standards.
Tummy tuck risks:
- Anaesthetic risks
- Venous thromboembolism
- Hypertrophic scars
- Delayed wound healing
- Excessive bleeding
- Seroma or haematoma
- Nerve injury or changes in skin sensation
- Asymmetric results
- Surgical site infection
- Requirement for revision procedure
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
There are a number of factors that will determine the overall cost of your tummy tuck procedure, and the final quotation will be given after a face-to-face consultation with your specialist plastic surgeon.
- Type of tummy tuck – full, mini, extended or revision
- Tummy tuck combined with another procedure such as breast surgery
- Number of areas of liposuction in combination with a tummy tuck
- Primary or revision tummy tuck
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to a consultation for a tummy tuck.
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon for your tummy tuck procedure. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instill in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the tummy tuck procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same-day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for the first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator available to answer all your questions
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for your tummy tuck procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care are described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face-to-face checks to ensure you are healing well.
Spread the cost of your tummy tuck procedure – from as little as £120 per month
Centre for Surgery is fully approved to offer finance via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance. no longer need to use your savings to pay for your treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for your procedure. Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment, apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments, using one of their payment options. Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider that focuses solely on the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
Schedule a tummy tuck consultation
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of an abdominoplasty, schedule a consultation with one of our top cosmetic surgeons at Centre for Surgery. Our patient coordinators are extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of the procedure and they have been directly trained by our team of consultant plastic surgeons.
What is a tummy tuck ?Tummy tuck surgery is designed to tighten the skin of the abdomen through the removal of excess skin, remove stretch marks, removal of fat with liposuction and tightening of the abdominal muscles weakened by pregnancy or weight gain. Abdominoplasty surgery achieves more than what a good diet and exercise can achieve. Even heavy exercise will not be able to reverse muscle bulging caused by pregnancy. Liposuction is an integral part of a modern tummy tuck procedure to contour the waist.
What is an abdominoplasty ?An abdominoplasty is also known as a tummy tuck or abdominal reduction. It is designed to tighten the abdominal muscles, remove extra skin and excess fat through liposuction. It is commonly performed following pregnancy and childbirth and also weight loss.
Larger BMI patients benefit from a Brazilian abdominoplasty to effectively contour the abdomen and flanks along with a muscle repair to flatten the abdomen.
There are a number of different types of abdominoplasty:
- Brazilian tummy tuck.
- Mini or short scar abdominoplasty.
- Extended abdominoplasty
- Lower body lift for massive weight loss performed in 2 stages - first, an extended abdominoplasty followed by a second stage thigh and buttock lift procedure.
How to choose the best abdominoplasty surgeonThere are a number of important factors which patients should take into account when choosing the best surgeon for tummy tuck in London. It is important to recognise that there are a number of different techniques used for performing abdominoplasty surgery but all share a common principal involving the removal of excess fat and skin or just skin alone in those with minimal fat stores. A full tummy tuck or Brazilian abdominoplasty is more invasive in nature when compared with a mini tummy tuck. An experienced tummy tuck surgeon will take a full medical history and carry out a detailed physical examination before advising you on the most appropriate abdominoplasty technique and whether the tummy tuck should be combined with liposuction.
At your face-to-face consultation with the surgeon, your surgeon will explain what happens at each step of the procedure to achieve a result in line with your expectations and also what to expect in the recovery period. A full discussion will be made of the potential risks and complications associated with tummy tuck surgery.
It is vital to ensure that every patient verifies a surgeons credentials to ensure that they are an accredited specialist in abdominoplasty surgery. Make sure to ask to see the surgeons before and after photos of patients who have had tummy tucks similar to yourself to give you an accurate idea of how you could look after surgery. We would also advise you to view patient reviews on verified websites such as Trustpilot.
As part of the selection process for abdominoplasty surgery, the qualified tummy tuck surgeon will undertake a full assessment of your medical fitness for Surgery which includes both your physical and mental health. For patients who have uncontrolled chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, may not be ideal candidates for abdominoplasty surgery.
All surgeons who carry out tummy tuck surgery must be accredited specialists and you can check this by viewing the specialist register found on the GMC's website. Many surgeons also belong to specialist associations such as BAPRAS or BAAPS or their international equivalent.
What is a mini tummy tuck or mini abdominoplasty?A mini tummy tuck is a less invasive version of a full tummy tuck and is ideal for patients with milder deformities of the abdominal wall. A mini abdominoplasty is ideal for correction of sagging and loose skin that is situated beneath the level of the belly button (umbilicus) which also is the area most impacted by pregnancy. The procedure begins with the performance of liposuction to the upper and lower abdomen and also the flanks to remove fat deposits that have more difficult to remove with exercise and diet.
Then redundant skin is surgically removed followed by a limited rectus muscle repair below the umbilicus only. The result is a nicely contoured and tight looking abdomen and is ideal for women with lower BMIs. A mini tummy tuck does not involve the surgical repositioning of the umbilicus, the umbilicus may appear lower than before but without a scar around the belly button unlike a full Brazilian abdominoplasty which involves a neo-umbilicoplasty. A mini tummy tuck results in just single horizontal incision across the lower abdomen. With a longer scar, the surgeon is able to remove more loose skin resulting in increased skin tightness.
A mini tummy tuck incision is similar in length to a Caesarean section scar and can be well concealed beneath the underwear line. The orientation of collagen fibres in the body means horizontal scars have a better scar cosmesis compared with vertical scars. The surgeon takes care to keep the scar as low as possible and often as low as the pubic hair. The disadvantage of a low scar is related to patients with darker skin types who may have a greater likelihood of developing unsightly keloid scars which involve the roots of the hair follicles in the pubic region.
A mini tummy tuck is an ideal procedure for women who have previously had a Caesarean section as the old scar can be removed at the time of the mini abdominoplasty. A mini tummy tuck benefits from being able to be performed under a local anaesthetic without the requirement for surgical drains as it is less invasive compared with a full tummy tuck.
Who is the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck?There are generally three main types of patient who would benefit from a tummy tuck.
(1) Patients who have minimal skin laxity with no weakness of the abdominal musculature with only localised subcutaneous fat deposits. These patients are ideal candidates for liposuction using PAL lipo with targeted removal of thee fat deposits without the need for skin removal or muscle tightening.
(2) Patients with good skin elasticity but they have a bulging abdominal wall caused by weakness or separation of the abdominal muscles. The ideal approach is to perform an endoscopic rectus diastasis repair using only a 3-4 cm incision.
(3) Patients with poor skin elasticity with obvious skin sagging. These patients would benefit from a full tummy tuck with removal of loose skin and tightening of the abdominal muscles. Often liposuction will be used to contour the waist and flanks. This is known as a Brazilian abdominoplasty and is commonly performed at Centre for Surgery.
Tummy tuck surgery may be requested by patients for a multitude of reasons when they develop an obvious unsightly appearance to their abdomen often as a result of childbirth. The tummy tuck procedure is most suitable for patients who have gained and then lost a large amount weight in one or more pregnancies. There are a number of recognised methods in performing tummy tuck surgery and the most appropriate technique will be agreed upon after a face to face consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons. For patients with good skin elasticity, an endoscopic tummy tuck could be ideal for repair of the abdominal wall musculature without the requirement for a traditional tummy tuck incision. For patients with loose and sagging skin but otherwise have minimal fat in the abdomen then a mini tummy tuck could be suitable which is best for treating the lower abdomen. Patients who have developed hernias which are due to localised weakness of the abdominal wall then a full tummy tuck will be required for a full correction.
What anaesthetic is used for abdominoplasty ?Abdominoplasty is performed under TIVA general anaesthetic. This means you will be asleep throughout the whole procedure. TIVA anaesthesia has been shown to have a lower risk of dizziness and grogginess following anaesthesia with a faster and smoother recovery.
In selected cases, a mini abdominoplasty can be performed under a local anaesthetic with oral sedation for cases requiring only skin excision and a small amount of liposuction.
What happens before the tummy tuck procedure starts?Special preparation for tummy tuck surgery is not required other than having a chlorhexidine preoperative body wash which includes extra cleaning in the belly button and genitalia area. When you have changed into your patient gown, the surgeon will perform marking of the areas to be treated while you are standing. The proposed incision areas will be marked as well as the liposuction areas. The surgeon will also take standardised photographs of you in a number of views. These photos serve as a permanent record when compared against future after photos taken at follow-up visits after your procedure to serve as an objective measure of improvement in the areas treated with a tummy tuck.
Can I get a Tummy Tuck on the NHS?The NHS does not perform procedures for purely aesthetic reasons and it is therefore not possible to have a tummy tuck on the NHS. Even for medical conditions, with recent funding shortages, it is no difficult to have tummy tuck for any reason on the NHS.
What is a mini abdominoplasty or mini tummy tuck ?A mini tummy tuck is a smaller scale procedure compared with a Brazilian tummy tuck and is ideal for patients who have skin laxity located beneath the umbilicus only. Mini tummy tuck is ideal for smaller and slimmer women and is not as commonly performed as a full Brazilian abdominoplasty.
The mini tummy tuck consists of firstly performing liposuction to the areas of fat excess in the upper and lower abdomen and lower flanks followed by removal of the extra redundant skin. The abdominal muscles may also be pulled and sutured tighter if necessary which gives a flatter abdomen. In a mini tummy tuck, the belly button is not repositioned unlike in a full tummy tuck and so the appearance of the belly button will be more natural although it may sit lower than before due to the skin being pulled down in to a new tighter position.
A mini procedure has only a single incision which is horizontally positioned across the abdomen and is often slightly shorted than a full tummy tuck incision. If there is more skin excess laterally then the incision will need to be extended to remove the excess skin. The length of the mini tummy tuck scar is similar to the length of a C-section scar and is easily concealed by many types of clothing. The orientation of collagen fibres in the body means that horizontal abdominal scars heal much better than vertical ones. The surgeon will take every precaution to position the incision as low as possible and often as low as the pubic hair. The disadvantage of a very low lying scar is the potential for prominent keloid scarring as the incision transects the hair follicles. For women who have had a Caesarean section, the mini tummy tuck procedure is ideal as it can remove the old incision as part of the procedure. Unlike a full tummy tuck which requires general anaesthesia, a mini tummy tuck can be performed under local anaesthesia in selected cases.
What is a full tummy tuck?A full tummy tuck is also known as a traditional abdominoplasty which is still a very commonly performed procedure by many plastic surgeons in the UK. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons are experts in performing a Brazilian tummy tuck which is a more advanced version of a full tummy tuck. The skin and attached fat of the anterior abdomen is removed which is then followed by a rectus muscle repair for women with significantly parted muscles. The surgeon will dissect from the lower abdominal scar up to the lower ribcage to release the lax abdominal skin prior to surgical removal.
The remaining skin is then carefully sutured to the lower scar resulting in a tighter-looking appearance. The final scar runs along the lower part of the abdomen just above the pubic area. In many cases, the incision can be concealed in most underwear. The umbilicus is sutured into its new position once at the end of the procedure. A traditional tummy tuck performed at other units in the UK is a significant undertaking that often requires 2-3 nights in hospital. The surgeon will often omit the injection of local anaesthesia to speed up the procedure but at the expense of postoperative discomfort with many patients relying on postoperative strong opioids to mobilise effectively. The risk of DVT is also higher as many patients will be slower to mobilise following the procedure.
At Centre for Surgery, the best way to produce a tight looking and contoured abdomen is a combination of liposuction and abdominoplasty also known as a Brazilian tummy tuck. Using liposuction allows the surgeon to sculpt the abdomen and flanks and also facilitate a more gentle and less extensive dissection with preservation of the crucial blood supply to the abdominal wall which results in a faster recovery. After a few hours, patients are fit enough to mobilise without significant discomfort and can be discharged later the same day allowing them to recover in the comfort of their own home.
Is a tummy tuck painful ?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.
What is the recovery like after tummy tuck?Tummy tuck surgery at Centre for Surgery is performed under TIVA anaesthesia as a day case procedure. This means you be able to go home after the same day once you have recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic. The procedure varies in duration depending on the extent of liposuction performed but is in the range of three to four hours. Your anaesthetist may give you intravenous fluids when you wake up from the anaesthetic which will be stopped once you are drinking fluids.
The anaesthetist will also give you antibiotics before the procedure begins to minimise the risk of wound infection. It is standard to have one or two drainage tubes emerging from the lower aspect of the abdomen to remove any excess fluid. The drains are usually removed at between days 3-5 at your follow-up visit with the nurse. Your surgeon may not place wound drains in a Brazilian tummy tuck although this will be determined by the progress of the procedure. Our surgeons perform all their tummy tucks as day cases but it is a mandatory requirement to have a responsible adult to look after you for the first 24 hours after your procedure as your movements will be restricted. If you have had a rectus muscle repair, your abdomen will often feel quite tight and sometimes a little tender.
Simple over the counter painkillers will be sufficient to keep you comfortable during the early stages of recovery. Your surgeon will place dressings over the incision sites at the conclusion of the procedure. A supportive pressure garment will then be applied for at least 4 weeks after the procedure. To reduce the tension on your scar, you should try to keep your hips and knees in a bent position to prevent the wound from becoming stretched. In the recovery phase, you should be out of bed shortly after your procedure and encouraged to mobilise keeping things to light activities only for the first two weeks. Normal exercise can be restarted six weeks after the procedure. Exercises should be restricted for up to three months for patients who have has a rectus muscle repair.
Your surgeon may prescribe blood thinner medication and anti-embolism support stockings to minimise the risk of deep vein thrombosis or DVT and/or pulmonary embolism (PE). It is advised to be off work for two weeks depending on the nature of your job. More active jobs may need more time off. The abdominal area can be quite tender to touch and sore with activity for a number of weeks after the procedure. You should avoid lifting heavy objects and avoid sexual intercourse for at least 4 weeks. The key is to start gradually and build up with time. You should avoid driving a car until you can comfortably wear a seatbelt, look over your shoulders and perform an emergency stop. You should double check any restrictions on driving with your car insurer if you are unsure.
What is a Brazilian abdominoplasty or Brazilian tummy tuck ?A Brazilian tummy tuck also known as a Brazilian abdominoplasty is a new and advanced method of performing a full tummy tuck. It has superceded older techniques with the added benefit of liposuction to contour the abdomen and waist. The procedure includes surgical skin removal and abdominal muscle tightening as with a full abdominoplasty. The liposuction is the key addition as the skin is able to be safely mobilised without cutting extra tissue such as blood vessels and nerves. This reduces postoperative pain and reduces the potential complications of surgery. At Centre for Surgery, Brazilian Abdominoplasty is performed as a day case.
Can love handles be treated with a tummy tuck ?Love handles are the lateral deposits of extra fat which extend round to the back at waist level. The formation of love handles is different between patients and depends on a number of factors including genetics, age and level of physical activity and quality of diet. Liposuction combined with a tummy tuck can effectively address love handles for a comprehensive rejuvenation when combined with skin removal and abdominal muscle tightening.
Will I have a scar after abdominoplasty?A scar after abdominoplasty surgery is to be expected as the procedure is very comprehensive in its power to rejuvenate the entire abdomen and flank area. The best way to ensure acceptable scarring to is to position the scar low down on the abdomen so that they can be hidden in the underwear line. A tummy tuck scar is very similar to a Caesarean section scar when performed meticulously by a skilled plastic surgeon and should result in a faint, flat white line over time.
How old do you have to be to have a tummy tuck ?If you are still keen to have further children, we would recommend you first complete your family before undertaking a tummy tuck as the results could be compromised by having further children. Although there is no upper age limit to having a tummy tuck, we would advise patients to maintain a healthy lifestyle so they do not present a risk for tummy tuck surgery if they wish to have it done at later stages of life.
What if I were to get pregnant after having had a tummy tuck ?There is no problem in becoming pregnant after previously having had a tummy tuck - a period of at least one is ideal. Provided you maintain a healthy weight, your results should return to their normal state after having given birth.
Can a tummy tuck be combined with liposuction ?Yes - a full tummy tuck at Centre for Surgery involves liposuction in addition to the tummy tuck procedure in the same procedure.
Will my belly button change shape after the tummy tuck procedure?As part of a full abdominoplasty, the belly button is released from the existing loose skin before being surgically fixed into a new position on the new skin flap. The shape of the belly button should remain the same. The new belly button will remain the same in appearance as your old belly button.
Can I go home the same day after a tummy tuck ?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.
How can the risk of wound infection be reduced after tummy tuck?The impact of wound infection after a tummy tuck, also known as surgical site infection (SSI), can be considerable. Centre for Surgery has taken our infection prevention protocols to the next level through partnership with a leading UK initiative to prevent and/or minimise the risk of surgical site infection.
Centre for Surgery is a proud supporter of OneTogether.
OneTogether is a collaborative partnership between leading UK professional organisations interested in preventing surgical site infection (SSI). The mission of OneTogether is to promote and support the spread and adoption of international best practice guidelines contained in 7 key recommendations to prevent SSIs across the entire surgical patient pathway. Our surgeons actively put their 7 key recommendations into action at all stages of your care from start to finish.
When can I return to work after abdominoplasty?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 after tummy tuck surgery?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 tummy tuck 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 after abdominoplasty?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.
Is a tummy tuck permanent?The results are generally seen as permanent but there are a number of factors which can affect the results including significant weight gain or weight loss or subsequent pregnancy. If you anticipate to get pregnant in future then it may be sensible to postpone a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck is not a treatment for weight loss or prevent weight gain in the future.
The ideal candidates for tummy tuck surgery are in good health and have a stable weight.
How much is a tummy tuck in the UK ?Tummy tuck surgery cost starts from £4995 for a mini tummy tuck
Your treatment package includes both preoperative assessment and postoperative support by our nursing team. The cost of a tummy tuck depends on the type of tummy tuck and whether it is combined with another procedure such as breast enlargement.
Can I view tummy tuck before and after images ?As well as the selection of before and after images found on this webpage, you can ask to view more before and after tummy tuck images when you see your surgeon at your face to face consultation. The surgeon will be able to show you before and after images which are more relevant to your body shape to give you a more accurate idea of how you could look after the procedure.
What To Expect
When you have a consultation with an experienced body contouring surgeon, a number of measurements are taken of the body areas where fat is to be removed and an assessment will be made of the soft tissue quality. Those who have good skin elasticity then you may be a good candidate for liposuction alone. If however, you have significant skin laxity with associated muscle weakness then a tummy tuck may be a better option. Your surgeon has is skilled in all types of tummy tuck surgery including the Brazilian tummy tuck and the most appropriate choice will be made based on your physical examination (full/mini/extended). The surgeon will also give information on the location of the incisions for the abdominoplasty procedure which usually runs from hip to hip and around the belly button if a full tummy tuck is planned. If you have a consultation for a revision tummy tuck after surgery performed elsewhere, your surgeon may want to see you again for a second consultation. He will want to see the medical records from your previous tummy tuck to plan the revision abdominoplasty more effectively.
High-resolution photos will be taken and your surgeon may also use computer digital imaging to map your areas of concern in closer detail. Your surgeon will take time to discuss the important risks and potential complications of abdominoplasty surgery and what you can expect in the postoperative period.
The surgeon will also take a full medical history which includes previous operations, current list of medicines taken and any potential allergies. This information will be used to decide on your fitness for the tummy tuck procedure. If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for surgery then we would recommend spending a period of time to reflect on all the information given. We always recommend a minimum of a '2-week cool off period' to weigh up your options.
All our prospective patients are more than welcome to have as many follow-up consultations after their initial consultation to make sure you are fully empowered with all the information to make an informed decision for proceeding with tummy tuck surgery at Centre for Surgery.
Before the abdominoplasty procedure
Once you have decided that a tummy tuck procedure is right for you, our preoperative assessment team will be in contact to prepare you for the procedure.
The following are recommended actions to take:
- For 6 weeks beforehand, it is highly recommended to stop smoking as active smoking is associated with a number of risks including delayed wound healing which could result in wound infection. There is also a risk of impaired blood supply to the abdominal skin flap and this could result in wound breakdown.
- You should stop oestrogen-containing oral contraceptives 4 weeks before your procedure.
- You should also avoid aspirin and all medicines containing aspirin for at least one week prior to the tummy tuck procedure.
- For 6 hours before the abdominoplasty procedure, you should refrain from eating any food or any type of drink apart from sips of clear fluid (water and tea/coffee without added milk) which is allowed for up to 2 hours before the procedure.
On the day of the tummy tuck procedure
Please aim to arrive for your abdominoplasty procedure at the confirmed time. One of our nursing team will admit you for the procedure and will carry out a number of tasks including checking your blood pressure and other vital signs including pulse and temperature and then getting you changed into single-use clinic wear. The consultant anaesthetist will then come in to assess you to make sure you are fit for the TIVA anaesthetic and will also prescribe a number of pre-medications which are given by your nurse to help your recovery after the liposuction procedure. You will then be seen by your surgeon who will confirm the procedure to be undertaken and you will sign the informed consent form. Skin marking and photos may be taken at this point.
Abdominoplasty is a very commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery and is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case. The tummy tuck procedure takes between 2-4 hours to perform depending on the extent of the procedure and if other procedures are combined as well. The surgeon begins by making an incision across the lower abdomen as low as possible to ensure optimum concealment of the resulting scar and an incision is made around the belly button. The abdominal skin flap is carefully undermined using radiofrequency cautery all the way to the lower ribcage. This resulting skin flap is then pulled down and the excess redundant skin is trimmed off to match the new contours. Liposuction is also performed to the upper abdomen, flanks and edges of the incision to create a smaller waist. The incision is closed with minimal tension to maximise good wound healing. A new opening for the belly button is created and the existing belly button is sutured into its new position. You may have one or two drains inserted to collect any excess fluid used during the liposuction and these are usually removed about 2-3 days later in the clinic.
Once you have woken up from the TIVA anaesthetic, our nurses will closely monitor you for 1-3 hours afterwards to make sure you make a full recovery. You will be given a fruit juice drink or a hot drink as you prefer to build up your energy levels. Once you are assessed as fit for discharge, you will require a responsible adult escort to take you home in a car or taxi and to look after you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery. You may have a mild sore throat for a few hours after surgery. This is due to the presence of the breathing tube used for your anaesthetic - it is temporary in nature.
After your procedure
After your procedure, our dedicated postoperative support team are available round the clock to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our team will call you regularly for the first 2 weeks after your procedure to make sure your pain levels are well controlled and your healing is progressing as normal. You will need to come in for drain removal by one of our nurses 2-3 days after your procedure.
The recovery after a Brazilian tummy tuck is usually straightforward with minimal discomfort that can be effectively controlled with tablet painkillers and the majority of our patients are very comfortable by the end of week 1. The key is to keep well hydrated and keep mobilising gently to help the healing process as there is a risk of DVT/PE after tummy tuck surgery. Your doctor may recommend a period of approximately one week off work. You should minimise any excessive physical activity for the first 2 weeks after surgery to help with the healing of the incisions and reduce swelling.
You will be required to wear a supportive compression garment for a full 6 weeks to make sure healing is optimal, and also so that scars heal as best they can.
You will attend for a postoperative check-up with one of our nursing team at 7-10 days to review your surgical wound sites and ensure proper healing is taking place. Recommendations on treatments for scar healing may be given for optimal cosmesis. At 6 weeks you should begin to see your final results and you will see your surgeon for a comprehensive review and make sure your results are in line with your expectations.