Abdominoplasty, the medical term for what is commonly called a “tummy tuck”, involves surgically removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower part of the abdomen and often tightening the abdominal muscles. The intention is to provide a flatter abdomen with a smaller waist, because the procedure corrects loose, sagging skin and excess fat. Both women and men are candidates for tummy tucks. The procedure is especially useful for women whose skin has stretched after more than one pregnancy. For people whose excess tissue is just on the lower part of the abdomen, a partial abdominoplasty, or mini-tummy tuck, may be an option.
Excellence in abdominoplasty means careful planning of incisions; tightening of muscles; liposuction; preventing “dog ears,” bulges, and wide incisions; and blending in the contours to the adjacent hip and groin regions. There are several variations of tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) and the decision as to which one is correct will depend upon your anatomy:
In general the best candidates for the procedure are those who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. Surgery can provide increased self-esteem, a wider choice of underwear and swimwear options and the ability to wear more fitted clothes with confidence.
Patients come for tummy tuck or abdominoplasty for a variety of reasons and it is certainly one of the most often requested of all of the body contouring procedures that I perform. Excessive, loose or hanging abdominal skin is a condition that frustrates many people because of their inability to improve upon it despite diet and exercise. Furthermore, this loose skin can make it difficult to fit in certain types of clothing.
During the consultation, I will review a number of specific anatomical features that will determine which is the best procedure for you and what the likely outcome would be. These will include excess skin, muscle laxity and any residual fat that may still exist. We will bring together all of these factors and together with your expectations, formulate a plan for you.
In general however, surgery involves making a bikini line incision that hides low on the abdomen. Through this same abdominoplasty incision, I am able to tighten the tummy muscles and create a space which allows me to to loosen retaining ligaments so allowing the edges to be pulled together at just the right tension. The tummy button is preserved.
There are several possible variations on this technique depending upon your requirements:
Standard Abdominoplasty: As describe above, this is the most standard operation.
Mini Abdominoplasty: This is an abbreviation of the above procedure. If you have loose muscles and not too much loose skin, the incision can be shorter. The tummy button is is generally not moved and only the lower skin tightened.
Midline Abdominoplasty: This is a great operation in selected patients whose laxity is side to side. These will often be patients who have lost a significant amount of weight but who do not need or want a full body lift. The incision is up and down in the center of the abdomen.
Abdominoplasty surgery or tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia and therefore you won’t be able to eat or drink for six hours before the operation.
You should expect detailed instructions to be provided by your hospital on exactly what you should and should not do before surgery. The procedure usually takes around 2 hours and depending on the time of the operation and overnight stay.
In terms of follow up, the following guidelines are generalised and I will often vary these to match your individual needs.
The procedure usually takes around 2-3 hours.
Hospital stay is generally one (or sometimes two) nights
Most patients who have abdominoplasty are back to work within two weeks
You will need to wear support garment for two weeks during the day
You should be able to go back to work after about two weeks
You should be able to drive after a week or two
You’ll be able to walk around straight away but it will be three months before you can run again and around six months before you can do sit-ups
In terms of discomfort this should be controlled with simple analgesia.
“I had a mini tummy tuck (floating abdominoplasty) with muscle repair with Dr Warr in 2016. Dr Warr was always easy to talk to and we discussed options and the best solution for what I was looking for. There was never any pressure and the results are amazing, I can highly recommend Dr Warr and the team at Cheltenham Nuffield for wonderful service and care.”
Hi Mr Warr,
Just a quick email to say a big thank you to you for your kind and professional care before, during and after my procedure. I went to the gym for the first time after my op today and I didn’t feel self conscious at all in my gym kit. The results are amazing and I wish I’d done it years ago.
Today, I finally felt well enough to look in the mirror at the results of my operation. I cannot believe what you have achieved. I am completely taken back and wanted to thank you so very much for your hard work. This truly does change my life and restore my confidence.
“From the initial visit to to surgery day, I felt well informed and confident in Mr Warr’s skills. The rest is amazing and I can’t wait to get my bikini on this summer.. Couldn’t be happier. Already recommended a friend.”