A Guide to Abdominoplasty

A Guide to Abdominoplasty


Pregnancy, rapid or extreme weight loss, and natural ageing can all conspire to cause loose, sagging skin around the belly.

Abdominoplasty, also known as a “tummy tuck” is often the solution for some if Liposuction is ruled out or alongside Liposuction, but what is involve, who is suitable for a tummy tuck and how safe is the procedure?

What does a “tummy tuck” involve?

Abdominal contouring can either be improved with liposuction alone, a full or mini-abdominoplasty, or a combination of Liposuction and Abdominoplasty. In general, the patients that benefit from abdominoplasty are those with excessive amount of loose skin, poor-quality skin with stretch marks, and those with abdominal bulge due to separation of the anterior abdominal muscle, (diastasis recti).

Abdominoplasty surgery usually incorporates a combination of a excising the excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen, repairing the abdominal bulge by putting the muscle back together, and in some cases additional liposuction to improve the contour. The upper abdominal skin will be pulled downward and the patient will be left with a transverse abdominal scar just above the pubic region and a scar around the umbilicus (belly button).

After the surgery, patients will feel tight in the abdominal region and are advised to wear an abdominal garment for comfort and support. Gentle mobilisation is encouraged but strenuous activities should be avoided for around six weeks.

Can anyone get a tummy tuck?

A Tummy tuck is normally recommended for those patients with excessive fatty tissue and skin in the abdomen.

In patients with moderate abdominal fatty tissue and good quality skin, liposuction can be performed instead of abdominoplasty. In some cases, a mini-abdominoplasty instead of a full abdominoplasty is performed, leaving a short supra-pubic scar and no scar around the belly button.

Patients who are heavy smokers have a high risk of skin breakdown due to poor wound healing. Medical issues such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, large abdominal hernias, wound healing problems, and those who are on anti-coagulants such as warfarin and aspirin are at high risk of developing complications and should have a full assessment and consultation.

Some patients with excessive abdominal fat may benefit from having a two-stage operation by having liposuction in the first instance, followed by abdominoplasty a few months later.

For those patients contemplating further weight loss or future pregnancy, it may be better to have the surgery after the ideal weight is attained or after giving birth.

How safe is a tummy tuck?

As with all surgery, there are risks of wound healing, infection, swelling, bleeding, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and skin necrosis. The risk of complications is low in general but will increase with certain underlying medical conditions and smoking.

A consultation must be carried out before any surgical procedure is performed.

More details on Abdominoplasty:

Mini Tummy Tuck: https://markhoasjoe.co.uk/surgical/body-contouring/mini-abdominoplasty/

Tummy Tuck and Diastasis Recti correction: https://markhoasjoe.co.uk/surgical/body-contouring/abdominoplasty-tummy-tuck/

Liposuction: https://markhoasjoe.co.uk/surgical/body-contouring/liposuction/