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Tummy tuck: the cost, the risks and choosing the right surgeon

Written by: Mr Rob Winterton
Published: | Updated: 31/10/2019
Edited by: Cameron Gibson-Watt

Both men and women want to flaunt a flat, attractive and tight-looking abdomen. When dieting and exercise are no longer effective, a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, has been the go-to procedure to get rid of that fat that just won’t budge. Nowadays, many surgeons offer this procedure and finding the right one can be tough. Mr Rob Winterton, a consultant plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon, advises us on the cost of a regular procedure, the risks involved and how to find the right surgeon for you.

 

 

Who has a tummy tuck?

Several groups of people have a tummy tuck. It’s common for the skin to stretch during pregnancy and women who have had children, and would like to tighten up the stomach area, often have this procedure.

 

This is also the case for people who have experienced massive weight loss, resulting in overhanging or wrinkled skin. Unfortunately, after the skin has been significantly stretched, it doesn’t always bounce back to its original shape.

 

Those who have had any kind of bariatric surgery such as a gastric band, sometimes like to have a tummy tuck too. Again, this is to improve the appearance of the stomach after significant weight loss.

 

How dangerous is a tummy tuck?

As with any surgery there are risks involved, but overall, it’s a relatively safe procedure and the risks are low. Patients can expect to experience discomfort, swelling and bruising from the wound after surgery. It normally takes several weeks or months to completely recover and slowly return to regular life.

 

How much does a tummy tuck cost on average?

It can vary widely depending on the country. In the UK, with an experienced surgeon, it can cost roughly between £5,000 and £10,000.

 

At the moment, social media is poorly regulated, so cheaper or discounted procedures are advertised across these platforms. It can be worrying as there’s a rise in reports of botched cosmetic procedures in the UK. There are many poorly trained plastic surgery providers offering these procedures, and unfortunately, you won’t know until it’s too late. This has prompted doctors to call for better legislation against rogue practitioners. So the advice is just to be careful when looking for any type of cheap cosmetic surgery you find on social media.

 

Why do people choose to go abroad for a tummy tuck?

The main reason people go abroad is because it’s cheaper. The main countries that people decide to travel to for these procedures are Poland, Thailand, Turkey, India and Mexico. The downside of having surgery abroad is that it can be difficult to sort out the right post-op support if you have a complication.

 

What should you look for in a surgeon to perform your abdominoplasty?

You should always research the surgeon that’s performing your surgery and you should definitely be able to talk to them beforehand. Consider the following when choosing the right surgeon for you:

 

  • Building a good relationship - A surgeon that you are able to meet a few times before the procedure is very important, both for your reassurance and to form a relationship and build trust. If you have any doubts or concerns, you should be able to resolve these in the meetings you both have.
  • Experience – look for someone who is experienced in the area and can demonstrate the skills needed for this procedure. Consider researching how many operations they’ve performed previously and if there were any complications.
  • Regularly accessible – a surgeon that you can contact easily is very important. You need to be able to meet at least a couple of times before the procedure to build rapport, ask questions and resolve any doubts or fears you have of the surgery and recovery period.
  • Good reviews - although it may not be the most important thing to look for in a surgeon, it certainly does help. Look out for a surgeon who has bad reviews – this can be a red flag. Chat rooms and social media are quite powerful tools for recommending a surgeon, so make sure to do your research beforehand.
  • Combination of all the above - I believe a good surgeon should be able to deliver a balanced combination of all of the above. You shouldn’t rely too heavily on one particular aspect to give you reassurance that the surgeon is good enough.

 

If you are interested in having a tummy tuck or you would simply like to find out more, visit Mr Rob Winterton’s profile to book a consultation with him.

By Mr Rob Winterton
Plastic surgery

Mr Rob Winterton is a consultant plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon based in the North West (Manchester and Rochdale). He has more than 15 years of experience and has worked internationally. Mr Winterton specialises in cosmetic surgery, hand surgery, breast surgery and skin surgery.

Initially qualifying from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Mr Winterton went on to complete his higher surgical training on the Leeds/Manchester plastic surgery registrar training scheme for six years. From 2013, Mr Winterton spent a year working in Adelaide, Australia. This experience allowed him to consolidate his experience in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

After returning to the UK in 2014, Mr Winterton completed the British Diploma in Hand Surgery, for which he now teaches current students. He presents his work nationally and internationally, with a solid repertoire of book chapters and peer-reviewed articles to his name. Mr Winterton is a council member for the North West region of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and strives to deliver excellence in his practice across Manchester.

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