Mr Simon Mackey, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at The McIndoe Centre, talks about the various tummy tuck techniques available.

Abdominoplasty or ‘tummy tuck’ surgery helps to improve the appearance and function of the abdominal wall after weight loss, pregnancy or abdominal surgery. During abdominoplasty, excess skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen, whilst tightening the skin and the “six-pack” muscles can produce a flatter tummy and help to define the waistline.

Depending on the degree of skin and muscle laxity, any one of a number of different techniques may be most appropriate for you. Sometimes it may be possible to perform a “mini-abdominoplasty” leaving the “tummy-button” untouched and a shorter scar along the bikini line. However, after significant weight loss, a “fleur-de-Lis” abdominoplasty which is likely to provide the best result, leaves a scar along the “bikini-line”, and also a vertical scar along the center of the abdomen.

It is also often possible to combine abdominoplasty with other operations such as liposuction, breast enlargement or reduction. Combination surgery can mean fewer anaesthetics and shorter total recovery. However, with any surgery the precise technique should be tailored to you specifically.

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To get the best results from a tummy tuck, you should be as close to your ideal weight as possible before proceeding with surgery. Although you may lose several kilograms of abdominal fat and skin with an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck should not be regarded as a “weight-loss procedure”. The only way to get rid of the fat that lies within your abdominal cavity is through weight-loss.  This fat can make the tummy bulge even after abdominoplasty, and cannot be directly removed with any form of surgery. 

In general, you should expect to be in hospital for 1-2 nights following surgery and you will be relatively mobile within 2-3 days. I would normally expect a return to normal activities within a short time of just 6-12 weeks. 

One thing that The McIndoe Centre takes pride in is the fact that your operation is always specifically tailored to you. All surgeons should arrange to see you at least twice prior to surgery, to allow ample opportunity to review your past medical history, discuss the limitations and complications of surgery, and to complete the consent process. 

Page last reviewed on 20/02/2017

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