What is a tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty)?
It is a popular procedure, which removes excess skin and fat around the middle and lower abdominal area, and tightens the remaining tissues. Usually the internal abdominal wall muscles are tightened at the same time. This procedure is often combined with liposuction of the tummy, abdomen, hips, waist and thighs to give the best results.
Who is a suitable candidate for tummy tuck surgery?
If you have excess abdominal skin, a sagging tummy, bulging of the abdomen or muscle weakness, a tummy tuck will improve your appearance. Genetics, childbirth, skin type, weight loss/gain all affect the abdominal area and often skin is stretched to the point that it no longer contracts. For these reasons a tummy tuck is really the only option.
If excess skin and lax muscles are limited, then you may be a more suitable candidate for a mini-tummy tuck with a shorter scar, no belly button repositioning, which does mean a quicker recovery.
How long does tummy tuck last?
Results are permanent but should be accompanied by a regular sports programme and a healthy life style in order to get the most out of the procedure in the long term.
How is a tummy tuck performed?
This usually involves an incision made across the lower abdomen and pubic area. From here, skin is separated from the abdominal wall up to the ribs, and the excess removed and the remaining tightened. Internal muscles may be pulled closer together and stitched into their new position. Often a second incision is made to remove the navel from surrounding tissue and this is then replaced in the right position. The wound is closed and dressed and drains are put in place. The patient is usually required to wear a medical garment immediately following the procedure.
Duration of operation – 1.5 – 2 hrs ( general anesthesia )
What should I expect immediately after surgery?
You can expect minimal bruising but there will be significant swelling (especially if performed with liposuction). Temporary mild to moderate discomfort and pain may be experienced especially if muscle tightening has been performed. Drains may be left in place for between 3-5 days to help speed up recovery by removing excess fluids from the body. Leakage, asymmetry, lumps, surface irregularities, hardness, discomfort and discolouration are normal at this time and will disappear within the first few weeks.
A 7-14 night stay in Turkey is recommended. Bruising and swelling can continue for up to 6 weeks and the final results will not often be seen for up to 12 months after surgery.
Will I wear a support garment after liposuction?
A specially designed surgical, elastic binder will be fitted immediately after surgery to be worn for up to 3-6 weeks after the surgery. This garment minimizes swelling, improves skin retraction, protects the treated areas and keeps you comfortable.
How long will it be before I can get back to my normal life?
This should not be rushed. Walking is recommended from early after the operation but vigorous exercise should be avoided for up to 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. It will take up to a year before the scar flattens, softens and fades and the final results seen.
Can a tummy tuck surgery be performed without scar?
A tummy tuck involves removal of skin and necessitates the creation of a scar that runs almost from hip to hip. However, it is placed as low as possible and it can be concealed by underwear in the future. Most scars are conspicuous initially and take up to 12 months to develop completely. Redness will fade over time.
By removing excess skin and fat, a trimmer, more contoured appearance can be achieved. Often performed as part of a body shaping procedure, a tummy tuck can be performed alongside breast surgery, or thigh and arm lift.