What’s a tummy tuck?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen.

The procedure suits those with problems such as excessive skin laxity (looseness), excess fat and laxity of the abdominal wall muscles, often resulting in the skin flapping downwards. Typical patients have often experienced extreme weight loss or pregnancy and wish to create a more svelte looking abdominal area. It is often performed in combination with liposuction.

During the abdominoplasty procedure, skin and fat are removed from the stomach area and the abdominal muscles are repaired, tackling a number of conditions at once. While liposuction is used only to remove fat, an abdominoplasty can flatten the stomach area by tightening the muscles as well as recapturing a more hourglass figure.

An incision is made across the lower abdomen, above the pubic bone, and is positioned in such a way as to be invisible under swimwear and underwear. A circular incision is then made around the navel and the skin is then separated from the muscle, working up toward the ribs, stitching the muscles together then tightens the stomach.

Excess skin is removed, and a new opening is made for the belly button. Drainage tubes are placed under the skin to collect any excess fluid that may accumulate over 48 hours.Liposuction is often performed with the tummy tuck, which creates shape and contour. The operation can take up oo three hours to perform while the patient is put under a general anaesthetic. A hospital stay of two nights is generally required.

Strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks post surgery. Some can return to work and regular daily activities two weeks after the surgery. Numbness of the lower abdomen is rather common, softening of surgical scars and the return of regular sensations may take 6-12 months.

Risks that may be involved with a tummy tuck can include infection, excess bleeding, scarring, muscle/ nerve damage, seroma (fluid collection).