What is an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)?
It is a surgical procedure that is used to remove excess skin, scars, stretch marks and fat from the abdominal area, the surgery can also tighten the muscles in the abdominal wall, if required.
Abdominoplasty or a ‘tummy tuck’ focusses on flattening your abdomen and removing unwanted tissue. For some individuals, aging, pregnancy, previous surgery or weight loss can leave you with extra skin and localized fat around your abdomen. A tummy tuck tones and sculpts your abdominal area back to a more youthful, taut look.
When to consider an Abdominoplasty?
A tummy tuck procedure can be very beneficial for men and women who have lost weight by making a lifestyle change (eating healthy and exercising regularly), but still struggle with excess skin and fat around the abdomen area.
If you struggle with flabby skin, stretch marks and a protruding abdomen, either from pregnancy or after weight loss, that does not improve with diet and exercise, the procedure can offer a permanent and elegant solution.
When to consider an abdominoplasty?
During the procedure the plastic surgeon will remove loose skin and excess fat along with tightening the tummy muscles (these are known as the rectus muscles and when they stretch aprt this is referred to as diastasis). A tummy tuck is not a quick weight loss option and needs to be carefully considered.
The surgeon will evaluate if you have any stretch marks in the area, often these can be removed or made less noticeable.
A full abdominoplasty involves scars around the umbilicus (belly button). If you only have skin laxity towards the lower part of the abdomen a mini tummy tuck can be performed which does not leave a scar around the umbilicus. A muscle tightening procedure can also be conducted with a mini-tummy tuck.
What you need to consider.
The surgery is designed to restore to a more youthful, toned abdomen, however the surgery does require the plastic surgeon to make a very low siting incision along your bikini line. If you are planning substantial weight loss or future pregnancies it is advised to postpone the procedure until after, as this may compromise the results. However, pregnancy and normal delivery is completely safe after an abdominoplasty.
As with other surgeries, there are surgical risks to consider and require discussions with your plastic surgeon.
During your consultation you and your plastic surgeon will discuss these considerations and discuss the best option that suits your requirements and lifestyle.
What happens at the consultation?
Remember to write down all your possible concerns and questions and have them ready for when you meet with your plastic surgeon. You will be discussing your surgical options, the pros and cons of each, as well as your medical history. The surgeon will need to know all your current medications you are taking and any serious illness you may have had in the past and as to whether you smoke.
You will have your abdominal area examined, including medical photography that will be placed in your confidential medical file (you will sign a consent form for taking, storing and using the photographs). Your height and weight will be measured to ensure you are physically fit for the operation. It is important to note that if you are planning to fall pregnant your surgeon might delay the procedure.
All you need to know about the procedure
What you need to know about Tummy Tuck
There are a few surgical options that you will discuss with your board certified consultant plastic surgeon at Lutétia Clinic. Each surgery will have different incisions to consider as well as different surgical approaches. Each patient is unique and along with your surgeon the best option will be agreed on.
The mini Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
Just as the name implies this is a mini tummy tuck. A smaller amount of skin and fat is removed, and slack muscles are tightened along with the use of liposuction to further refine the area. A smaller single incision is made in the pubic area, and your plastic surgeon will place it as low as possible. You would be the ideal candidate for a mini-tummy tuck if you have laxity and protrusion below the navel, and you are in good shape, but require some assistance around the abdomen area to achieve your aesthetic goals. There is no scar around the umbilicus in this case.
Bespoke treatment plans.
Your surgeon will discuss your goals, lifestyle, including physical activity, and based on this a bespoke treatment plan will be shared with you.
These will include the surgery approach, either a standard, mini or extended tummy tuck, the outcome and risks and where the surgery will take place. Expectations will be discussed, and a post-surgery recovery plan will be shared.
Full Abdominoplasty or know as the standard tummy tuck.
This is the most frequently used surgical option, where an incision is made across the lower abdomen, across the body from one hip to the other and around the belly button (umbilicus). Excess skin is removed, the muscles are tightened and in most cases, liposuction will be used to contour the abdomen or love handles. Loose, excess skin is removed from above the naval area down to the pubic area, the muscles above and below the belly button is tightened.
What will my scars look like?
Scars vary according to the type of approach you and your plastic surgeon agree on, our plastic surgeons at Lutétia will ensure that your abdominoplasty scars are hidden when wearing clothes as much as possible. As most scars, if looked after well post-surgery, they mature over 18 months, your surgeon will make every effort to hide and minimize scars, the goal of the surgery is to achieve the best result with the least visible scars.
Recovery and how long will my results last?
Your recovery time, post-operative instructions and how long before you can resume your normal physical activity and work will be individualized depending on your procedure and discussed prior to your surgery. You will receive a medical support garment that will be required to be worn.
It is important to note that your surgeon will share detailed instructions of how to take care of your surgical area and any warning symptoms to look out for. The amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among patients and this will be discussed based on your particular case.
Abdominoplasty results are permanent, however keep in mind that age, weight gain, pregnancy, and gravity can influence your results over time, plastic surgery will not prevent the effects of normal aging Routine follow-ups should not be missed.