Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during the tummy tuck surgery?
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes two to three hours. Mini tummy tucks need take only an hour or two. Most commonly, the surgeon will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone, just above the pubic area. A second incision is then made to free the navel from surrounding tissue.
With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not need to be moved, although it may be pulled into a lower position as the skin is tightened and stitched.
Next, your surgeon separates the skin from the abdominal wall and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are then pulled together and stitched into a new position so that they are tighter. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline. The skin flap is then pulled down and surplus skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place.
Finally, the incisions are stitched and dressings applied. A temporary drainage tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid. In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is pulled down, the excess is removed and the flap is stitched back into place.
How do I plan my tummy tuck surgery?
Initially your botonics surgeon will evaluate your health and assess both your abdominal fat deposits and your skin tone. Tell your surgeon if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other drugs.
Discuss your expectations frankly and he, in turn, will describe your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each. If, for example, the fat is all below the navel, a partial abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck may be enough. This can often be performed on an outpatient basis.
You may, on the other hand, benefit more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body shape. Sometimes liposuction alone will create the best result. Your botonics surgeon will work with you to come as close as possible to achieving your desired body contour. He will also cover anaesthesia, the location for your surgery, the recovery schedule and the costs.
You will be given specific instructions on preparing for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins, and medications. If you smoke stop at least two weeks before your surgery and do not to resume for at least two weeks afterwards. Avoid overexposure to the sun before surgery, especially to your abdomen, and do not diet excessively. Both can inhibit your ability to heal. If you develop a cold or infection of any kind, your surgery will probably be postponed. Whether your surgery is done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards, and be available to help you out for a day or two if needed.
Our surgeons perform tummy tucks in an operating theatre in one of the London’s prestigious private hospitals. The surgery takes from one to three hours depending on the procedure chosen. Most clients remain in the hospital overnight; some are able to go home on the day of the surgery.
Am I a good candidate for Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty surgery?
If you are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise, a tummy tuck could be right for you. The surgery is particularly helpful to women whose pregnancies have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal.
In older clients a loss of skin elasticity often comes with slight obesity. This can also be improved. Clients who intend to lose a lot of weight should clearly do so before the surgery.
Women who plan further pregnancies should also wait, as vertical abdominal muscles tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy. If you have bad scarring from previous abdominal surgery, your botonics surgeon may also recommend against abdominoplasty since your scars could be unusually prominent.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and so increase your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily achieve your ideal. So, before you decide on surgery, discuss everything frankly with your botonics surgeon to make sure you are being realistic.
What are the main risks and complications of tummy tuck surgery?
Every year thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully. When carried out by a qualified plastic surgeon trained in body contouring the operation normally works well. Nevertheless, there are always risks with surgery and there are specific complications associated with this procedure.
Infection can, of course, be treated with antibiotics and,if necessary, drainage both of which may prolong your hospital stay.
You can minimise the risk of blood clots simply by moving around as soon after surgery as possible.
It is also possible that poor healing, which is likely to leave conspicuous scars, may make a second operation necessary. The more popular term for this procedure is scar revision.
Smokers should stop, since smoking may increase the risk of complications and delays healing. Follow your surgeon’s directions carefully, especially with regard to resuming physical activity.
Will I be happy with the results of my tummy tuck surgery?
Abdominoplasty produces excellent slimming and shaping results. You must, however, be realistic in your expectations, accept the permanent scar and take some time off to recover. The results are normally long lasting, provided you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
What is the difference between a mini-tummy tuck and a full tummy tuck?
With a mini tummy tuck, it is only the excess skin that is removed between the navel and pubic bone. This procedure generally takes around one hour only and will require no hospital stay, often performed under local anaesthetic.
With a full Abdominoplasty the muscles are tightened as well and the belly button is lowered, performed in a hospital under general anaesthetic.
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Summary of treatment
- Procedure time
- Hospital stay
- Sensitivity period
- Back to work
- Full recovery
- Duration of results