Tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty

Before and after pictures of Mr Adamthwaite's tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) results 

Mini tummy tuck (mini abdominoplasty) before and after pictures

All you need to know about tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty)

Following weight loss, pregnancy and aging, we develop excess skin and soft tissue. Also, we may develop separation of the rectus muscles which leads to weakening of the abdominal wall and a bulge. This is also known as rectus diastasis or divarication. Diet and exercise often is of little help. 

Drainless tummy tuck

Mr Adamthwaite specialises in drainless tummy tuck surgery. This reduces pain following surgery and speeds recovery. This is possible by the use of techniques which minimise the complications of abdominoplasty. The most important component of this is lipoabdominoplasty in which extensive liposuction is performed with a much reduced area of skin undermining. This not only reduces the risks of surgery but also produces significantly better cosmetic results as the whole of the tummy is addressed. 

Lipoabdominoplasty
Lipoabdominoplasty

To achieve the best results for you, Mr Adamthwaite improves both the upper tummy and lower tummy using the technique of lipoabdominoplasty. More traditional techniques remove skin and fat in the lower abdomen but then create another problem when the remaining soft tissue is pulled downwards into the same area. The upper abdomen is not dealt with adequately.

 

 

What are the different types of tummy tuck?


There are three main types of tummy tuck you can opt for. All procedures require a general anaesthetic and at least one night in hospital. 

Partial or mini-abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck)


With partial abdominoplasty, the incision between your hips is much shorter and the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. The navel itself may not need to be moved. Once the lower abdominal muscles have been tightened, the skin flap is stretched down, the excess skin removed and the flap stitched back into place.


Full abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)


An incision is made low down just within the pubic area between the hip bones and a second incision is made around the navel (belly button) to free it from the surrounding tissue. After this, the skin and fat are raised off the underlying abdominal wall.  A narrow tunnel is made above the navel to give access to the rectus muscles. These muscles are tightened by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. The tightening of the abdominal muscles creates a firmer tummy and narrows the waistline.

The layer of skin is then stretched down and the excess skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place, ensuring that it still looks natural. Finally, the incision is stitched, dressings applied, and no drains are used as detailed above (drainless tummy tuck).

Lipoabdominoplasty

Often just removal of skin and fat below the navel is not sufficient to achieve the optimal cosmetic result. Usually there is excess fat above the navel as well as below it and so to achieve the best result for you Mr Adamthwaite would recommend a lipoabdominoplasty which uses extensive liposuction of the abdomen at the same time as the tummy tuck.

What are the risks with tummy tuck surgery?


In the right hands, tummy tuck surgery is extremely safe and low risk and Mr Adamthwaite consistently achieves excellent results. There are risks associated with it as with all surgical procedures but be reassured these are very low. Post-operative complications associated with full or mini tummy tucks include infection, bleeding, poor healing and blood clots.  Complications can also arise from anaesthesia and these will be discussed with you when you attend your initial consultation. 

What is the tummy tuck procedure?


When considering a tummy tuck, the first step is to attend an initial consultation. At this appointment, Mr Adamthwaite will assess the area to be treated and seek to understand the results you would like to achieve. This will help him determine the best surgical approach, and help to determine if surgery is, indeed, right for you.

If you intend to lose a lot of weight, it’s a good idea to postpone surgery. Also, women who are planning future pregnancies should also wait as the rectus muscles that are tightened during surgery can separate again during a further pregnancy. If you have scarring from previous abdominal surgery, your operation may need to be modified.

When it comes to improving the contour of the abdominal area, there may be alternative treatments to consider. If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below your navel, it may be that a mini tummy tuck is appropriate. On the other hand, you may need to have a complete tummy tuck in conjunction with liposuction to achieve the look you have in mind. Alternatively, it may be that liposuction alone will provide the best result. During your initial consultation, Mr Adamthwaite will discuss the options available to you.

If you do decide to go ahead with surgery, you need to be in general good health as this will aid your recovery. 

If you are a smoker you will need to cease at least six weeks before your operation and refrain from smoking for six weeks afterwards. 

What is the tummy tuck recovery time?


You are up and about immediately following your procedure and there is then a gradual recovery day by day. Initially the tummy will feel tight and at first you may not be able to stand straight. This slowly relaxes over the next week or two. Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may be released the next day though provision is made for two nights stay as needed. You’ll need to wear a support garment ideally for 6 weeks. This is a very thin piece of clothing similar to compression garments for sport and is worn easily under normal clothing. All the stitches are absorbable and dissolve by themselves except for a few around your navel. These are removed at two to three weeks. Most people can return to work after a couple of weeks. A healthy lifestyle where you eat well and exercise regularly will help you achieve long-lasting results from your procedure.

What is the scarring from tummy tuck surgery like?

Mr Adamthwaite is careful to place your scars very low down so that even though they never disappear completely, you will be able to cover them with normal underwear. Please do not be discouraged by images of tummy tuck scarring widely shown on the internet that often show the scars from tummy tucks as lying quite high up. Mr Adamthwaite uses his own techniques to ensure your scars are very low and more importantly that they stay low  following your procedure.   


At first, as in all surgical procedures, your scars appear as red lines. There may be some irregularities and dimpling initially.They then fade gradually and will eventually appear as pale white lines following the scars maturing over the first year or so. A small minority of people do not scar as well as one would expect and they can have more conspicuous scarring than others.

Whats' the difference between a tummy tuck and tummy liposuction?


Easily confused, tummy tuck and liposuction are actually quite distinctive from each other and will give you very different results. As mentioned above, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and some fat, as well as tightening the muscles, in order to leave you with a flatter, firmer stomach. The recovery time is longer for a tummy tuck than liposuction due to the tightening of the abdominal muscles.

Liposuction instead focuses on removing fat. It works particularly well in areas of the body where the skin is already quite tight and elastic, like the hips. With age or pregnancies, the stomach skin begins to lose its elasticity and once you remove the fat, the skin doesn’t spring back into place but rather just hangs. To remove that excess skin you would then need a tummy tuck. The less intense nature of liposuction means that the surgery time is shorter and you are unlikely to need stay in the clinic overnight.

Remember, a tummy tuck will only flatten and firm up the front of your stomach. If you have further concerns about fat on your hips or back, it could be worth looking at both at a tummy tuck and liposuction combined treatment. 
 

Can men have a tummy tuck?


Yes, men can have a tummy tuck. Just like women, men can develop an abundance of loose excess skin when they lose weight and would like to have it removed. If you’re looking for a firmer and flatter stomach and a more trimmed waistline, a tummy tuck could be the answer. It can massively help boost your self-confidence and physically deliver the body that you’d been looking for when losing weight.

 

I have weak abdominal muscles – can I still have surgery?


Whilst it is generally a good idea to be as fit as possible before you undergo any surgical procedure, weak abdominal muscles will not affect your recovery from this type of surgery.


Can a tummy tuck be carried out if you’ve had a child by C-section?


Yes, but we would recommend that you wait for a period of time after the birth before undergoing surgery. During the pregnancy the skin of your stomach will have been stretched extensively. This makes it more difficult for the surgeon to determine how much to tighten the muscles and skin by to achieve the desired results. We recommend that you wait for your skin to spring back as far as it can naturally before undergoing surgery.

Once you’ve had tummy tuck surgery, you do need time to recover and your physical movements will be limited for a few weeks and days. Looking after a newborn can be physically demanding  and there is potential for complication when using anaesthesia when breastfeeding.


Would a tummy tuck prevent you having a baby by C-section in the future?


No, but if you are considering a tummy tuck, you should wait until you have finished having children. Life does not always go according to plan and it is safe to have further pregnancies after a tummy tuck, but it will undo some of the benefits of the surgery and may require a further procedure to correct it.


How can I be sure the procedure would give me the results I’m after?


Mr Adamthwaite will give you as good an idea as possible of the results you can expect to achieve when you attend your initial consultation. He will show you before and after pictures of similar patients to yourself who have had surgery and also Mr Adamthwaite uses the latest 3D simulation software and 4D augmented reality software to show you in realtime your expected result. 

 

How can I keep my tummy muscles in shape after surgery?


Mr Adamthwaite will give you advice and guidance on keeping your stomach muscles in good shape after surgery. A healthy balanced diet and regular exercise will help.

 

Can a tummy tuck remove stretch marks?


Stretch marks are fairly narrow stripes or streaks of scarring which appear when skin stretches or shrinks quickly, such as during pregnancy or significant weight gain. They can affect both men and women. When they first appear, they tend to be red or purple in colour but will fade to a pale white after time. Depending on their location, tummy tuck surgery can completely remove existing stretch marks. If they are positioned below the belly button they can typically be removed as part of the surgery. Any above that will remain in place but may become less noticeable as the skin is tightened.

Frequently asked questions about tummy tuck surgery
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