Alexandra Robinson* | Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Patient Story: Alexandra Robinson*

Pregnancy is a transformative journey for women, both emotionally and physiologically. Among many changes, alterations in the abdominal muscles and tissues can have lasting effects postpartum. 

Alexandra Robinson* had a challenging pregnancy where she lost four stone due to the severe, persistent vomiting condition called hyperemesis gravidarum.  

Following the birth of her baby via c-section, she was left with a protruding abdominal pouch.  Despite her efforts to adhere to recommended diet and exercise regimes, Alexandra found herself frustrated and disheartened by the lack of progress.  

But she was completely unaware it was due to a condition called diastasis recti (where the stomach muscles separate during pregnancy), which wasn’t revealed until a consultation at The McIndoe Centre.  

“I had a kangaroo pouch at the front,” Alexandra said. “I tried to put in the effort of exercise, but I plateaued and couldn’t really work out why it wasn’t budging.  

“During any form of basic exercise, I would get friction burn and had to apply Vaseline to the skin. I couldn’t wear jeans, even with a belt they didn’t stay up. I had to wear loose black leggings. 

“I reached a point where this had become the norm, but I was fed up and felt I couldn’t do anything. It felt taboo to talk about it as I was blessed to have a healthy baby.” 

Alexandra works in healthcare and had heard of The McIndoe Centre. After researching which consultants carried out abdominoplasty surgery (a tummy tuck), she booked a consultation with Mr Oliver Harley, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.  

Tummy Tuck Surgery at The McIndoe Centre

Tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) procedure provide solutions to patients who are looking to rid stubborn fat pockets as a result of pregnancy, weight loss or the natural aging process. This procedure will give you a firmer, flatter abdomen.

“The consultation was really informative and I wasn’t bombarded with questions and information,” Alexandra explained. 

“I said what I wasn’t happy with and Mr Harley was very professional and authentic. He gained my respect. 

“I was open to hearing what Mr Harley suggested, whether that was to do more exercise or eat better. But he said it didn’t matter what exercise I did, as I had diastasis recti. 

“It was a complete surprise but a relief to hear it wasn’t just down to diet and exercise. He understood anatomically what was going on with me and what the options were. 

“I was really scared at the thought I was going to spend that amount of money on myself, but I felt really reassured by meeting Mr Harley and by being at The McIndoe Centre.” 

Alexandra’s surgery took place in November 2023. She arrived at The McIndoe Centre first thing on Friday morning and was home by Sunday. 

All types of surgery will cause an ‘inflammatory response’ which is a normal part of wound healing biology.  Swelling occurs as fluid accumulates in the soft tissues or in spaces between tissue layers.   

In Alexandra’s case there was an accumulation called a Seroma, which may happen to approximately 1:10 tummy tuck patients. This is harmless and she attended a couple of times in the weeks following surgery to have the fluid drained away as part of her postoperative care at The McIndoe Centre.

“The surgery was totally worth it. What I wanted to be fixed is fixed. There is a scar but I am really not fazed by it. It’s all really neat. It’s crazy that the pouch has gone. It has altered how I sit and how I stand. I have a waist now, my clothes are hanging off and it’s amazing to get into my old jeans. I feel less self-conscious and I’m more like I was before I had the baby. It has been life changing.”

Alexandra Robinson

She added: “Everyone was very accommodating and reassuring during my recovery. 

“As a surgeon, Mr Harley took a lot of pride in doing the procedure properly – he stuck to the c-section scar and stitched my tummy muscles back together. I also had liposuction. 

“The surgery was totally worth it. What I wanted to be fixed is fixed. There is a scar but I am really not fazed by it. It’s all really neat. 

Mr Harley added: "Alexandra has given an account of the problems she suffered with her tummy after having her children which I hear very frequently from so many patients.  Despite this, it was still a big step for her to have tummy tuck surgery and it is heartwarming to know that this treatment has been so transformational for her.   

“It has been a pleasure to meet Alexandra and help her with this. I hope she will fully enjoy the summer with her new flat tummy." 

*Patient name has been changed for confidentiality purposes 

Oliver Harley is a fully qualified, GMC-registered specialist Plastic Surgeon. He is also a member of The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), The UK Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (UKAAPS-CAPSCO) and The British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH). Mr Harley specialises both in cosmetic surgery and hand surgery.

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As a nationally recognised hospital of excellence in plastic, reconstructive, ophthalmic and maxillofacial surgery, we have demonstrated ourselves to be: effective, responsive, caring, safe and well-led. Recently rated ‘good’ by the CQC, we are committed to treating our patients and each other with kindness, respect and dignity resulting in life-changing outcomes.

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