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If you have been left with loose layers of fat and skin following dramatic weight loss or successful weight loss surgery leaving folds of skin around your middle you may benefit from abdominoplasty, or a 'tummy tuck'. This procedure aims to sculpt the stomach backs to your body’s natural contours resulting in a flatter stomach and more youthful form. A beneficial side effect is the reduction of visible stretch marks and existing scars, as the skin bearing the blemishes is removed during surgery.

The cosmetic plastic surgeon will make an incision in your groin area under the stomach in a natural crease of skin where any scarring will be hidden. The skin is then lifted, freeing the tissue and fat from muscle, allowing the surgeon to manipulate and remove the required amount, and also tighten the tummy muscles if needed. The incision will be closed with stitching and bandages applied -these will need to be worn for about three weeks.

Sometimes liposuction may be recommended in conjunction with abdominoplasty to achieve the best results.

The tummy tuck operation takes place under general anaesthetic, which means you will need to stay in hospital overnight. When it's time for you to leave hospital, you will be given a follow up appointment with your consultant, and/or the dressing clinic for the removal of any stitches, together with any medication prescribed.

Following abdominoplasty surgery, you will need to plan up to two weeks off work to rest at home. Strenuous activity of any sort will need to be avoided for several weeks after that. There will be some discomfort in the first few days, and swelling and bruising may occur, however any pain can be eased with prescribed painkillers. You should expect to see the full results of your tummy tuck in about three weeks. There will be an unavoidable scar, but this should be hidden and will fade significantly with time.

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