Abdominoplasty is the medical term given to the surgical correction of excess skin and soft tissue around the lower abdomen and stomach area. It is also commercially known as a ‘tummy tuck.’ This procedure removes excess fat and allows for the tightening of the skin around the lower abdomen.
Why Do People Get an Abdominoplasty?
Women who have had multiple pregnancies, for example, may be left with stretched skin and muscle around their abdominal area. This procedure can correct and improve this by removing excess skin and tightening up the muscles again. A tummy tuck is also used by people who have undergone significant weight loss and are left with large amounts of excess and stretched skin. This procedure not only removes skin to improve the quality of life of patients potentially but can also go very far for patients in restoring and improving their self-esteem.
The Abdominoplasty Procedure Explained
This procedure is done under general anaesthetic, and it usually takes between 1 and 5 hours, depending on the size of the area and the desired aesthetic result. There are a variety of abdominoplasty methods and practices, depending on what is required:
Full abdominoplasty: This is for those with a large amount of excess skin and soft tissue. Your surgeon will make an incision across your lower abdomen and umbilicus before removing excess tissue and repositioning the remaining skin, ensuring your umbilicus is reconstructed to a natural position
Mini abdominoplasty: This is for those with a smaller amount of excess skin and soft tissue. The skin can often be removed with a small single incision around the lower abdomen and your umbilicus is left alone.
Endoscopic abdominoplasty: This is keyhole surgery to correct any abdominal wall muscles defects and tightening. It is not used to remove excess skin
What to Expect From an Abdominoplasty
The length of hospital stay depends on which procedure level you have had. For a full abdominoplasty, you will likely be expected to be in hospital for 2-3 days with small drains being fed into the wounds to help drain excess fluid that may accumulate. These drains are then removed before discharge from the hospital.
What Are The Risks of an Abdominoplasty?
The risks of an abdominoplasty should always be discussed at length with the surgeon performing the procedure, with risks potentially including:
- Bleeding, bruising
- Long term weight gain depending on individual desire to remain at weight post-procedure
- Blood clots
- Numbness of lower abdomen
Depending on an individual’s desire to keep post-surgery cosmesis, it is recommended to remain active, maintain a healthy diet and an ideal weight.
How Much Does an Abdominoplasty Cost?
- Privately, the average cost for an abdominoplasty can be between £4,500 to £6,000.
- This treatment is not usually available on the NHS, as it is considered a cosmetic treatment. However, if large areas of excess skin harm your health, this procedure may be offered.