Whether you want to tighten up loose skin around your tummy after shedding weight or having kids, a tummy tuck or in other words, an abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tightens the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) that lie underneath.
However, an abdominoplasty is not a substitute for losing weight. Patients who are already at their ideal weight achieve better results with the surgery. Miss Judith Hunter talks about the different types of abdominoplasty, all of which can be combined with tightening your muscles that give you a six-pack!
This is the most common abdominoplasty. Skin and fat are removed from below the belly button and the remaining skin is pulled tight together. Stretch marks below the belly button will be removed, however, stretch marks above the belly button will remain. There will be two scars after the abdominoplasty. One will run from one hip to the other, across the lower abdomen and there will be another scar around the belly button.
A small melon slice of skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen, leaving behind a scar along the bikini line. There will be no scar around the belly button, but the belly button might be shifted into a lower position after the procedure. This tummy tuck is only suitable for those who have a very small amount of excess skin.
Fleur de Lys Abdominoplasty
This abdominoplasty is very similar to the standard abdominoplasty but there will be an extra scar after the surgery, which will be vertical and run along the front of the tummy. This is because excess skin is removed, not only from the lower part of the abdomen but across the abdomen too, so skin is removed both horizontally and vertically. This is more common in people who have lost a lot of weight.
Similar again to a standard abdominoplasty, this procedure is commonly used after a massive weight loss, with the scar extending further around the back of the patient.
Full Body Lift or Circumferential Abdominoplasty
This is similar to a standard abdominoplasty, however, the scar extends from the front of the tummy all around the back to the top of the buttocks. This is done after a major weight loss. Liposuction can also be combined with this abdominoplasty for some patients.
Before the abdominoplasty
Every patient will have a pre-op assessment and sometimes blood will be taken.
During the abdominoplasty
Depending on the type of abdominoplasty, the procedure can take anywhere from between 90 minutes to four hours. It’s performed under general anaesthetic, so you are fully unconscious/asleep.
You cannot eat or drink anything but water for six hours before the operation. Water can only be had up to two hours before the operation.
After the operation
Patients generally have drains placed in them and stay in the hospital overnight. Often drains are removed the next day but sometimes patients may need to go home with a drain in.
A pressure garment will be fitted at the end of the operation and will need to be worn for six weeks following the operation, every day and night. You’ll be able to walk right away after the operation but should expect to take two weeks off work, avoid driving, heavy lifting and going to the gym for six weeks.
You’ll have a follow-up appointment one to two weeks after the procedure and then once again at six weeks.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck and you have more questions, you can contact Miss Hunter through her Top Doctors profile.