Medically Reviewed April 2023, by George Samouris - Consultant Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon
What is a tummy tuck? Are you longing to remove that excess skin that won’t shift after significant weight loss or pregnancy? We have the solution. Abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck surgery) is one of the most popular cosmetic plastic surgery procedures for both men and women. In this article, we will cover the details of the procedure, an overview of the recovery process and bust a myth or two.
During this procedure, a relatively large incision is made across the trunk from hip to hip in the bikini line. Incisions may also be made around the belly button and possibly vertically along the trunk if necessary. These incisions are made to enable the surgeon to remove the excess skin along with a small amount of underlying fat tissue. This technique results in tightened, refined abdominal contours.
Every patient is unique, and so are their reasons for choosing abdominoplasty. But the procedure is most suitable for those seeking to improve the aesthetic of their abdomen, remove excess skin following weight loss, or strengthen the abdominal muscles after multiple pregnancies.
A less invasive alternative to abdominoplasty is mini tummy tuck surgery. In this procedure, a single incision is placed in the lower abdomen, just below the waistline. The incision is smaller than in full abdominoplasty and is, therefore, more easily concealed and can even be undetectable after the full recovery period.
Operating times vary according to individual circumstances but usually range from 2 to 5 hours. The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic so you will be asleep for the duration of the treatment.
Both abdominoplasty and mini abdominoplasty are examples of major surgery that require lengthy recovery periods and often a short stay in hospital. The procedure itself is complex and is founded on sophisticated surgical principles that take decades to master. As a result of this, choosing to undergo surgery should be an investment in both the aesthetic result and safety. At The Harley Medical Group, abdominoplasty is performed by experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeons in the highest quality private hospital facilities. Clients at The Harley Medical Group invest upwards of £7,700 for full abdominoplasty and £6,125 for mini tummy tuck surgery.
For the reasons mentioned above, low-cost invasive surgery should set alarm bells ringing and you should always conduct your own research into the treatment provider and the operating surgeon.
Generally, the recovery process following abdominoplasty takes between 6 and 8 weeks and involves rest, avoidance of strenuous activity and adherence to a compression garment schedule. You can read our detailed blog post on the tummy tuck recovery process here.
Immediately after surgery, the incisions will be covered with dressings. The incision healing process takes 1-2 months. It is important to adhere to the aftercare instructions provided by your Surgeon and Nurse Counsellor regarding compression and wound care to optimise healing.
Abdominoplasty is designed to remove excess skin from around the abdomen. While sometimes a small amount of excess fat is also removed, weight loss is not the desired outcome. The ideal candidate for abdominoplasty is of normal weight and is physically healthy.
Yes, abdominoplasty is common among females, but many males choose to undergo tummy tuck surgery after weight loss to tighten the abdominal muscles and achieve a flatter, more toned appearance.