Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
As a result of pregnancy and weight loss women often develop an excess of abdominal skin and fat with stretched abdominal muscles. Men can also suffer a similar excess of skin and fat following weight loss. A Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) is an operation to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen in order to improve the shape and contour of this region of the body. The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes 2-3 hours requiring a 2-3 day hospital stay. During the procedure a long curved cut is made in the skin across the lower abdomen at the level of the top of the pubic hair, and a separate small cut is made around the umbilicus (“tummy button”). Beneath the skin and fat the abdominal wall muscles are tightened with stitches and the excess skin and fat are then excised. The lower wound is stitched with dissolving sutures leaving the resulting scar concealed by bikini style underwear. The umbilicus (“tummy button”) is stitched with a combination of dissolving sutures and some that will need to be removed 7-10 days after the operation. This is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures and has high patient satisfaction and low complication rate. It can be performed in conjunction with liposuction if additional excess fat needs removing. In some patients with a smaller excess of lower abdominal skin and fat, a mini version of an abdominoplasty is performed requiring a smaller scar in the bikini line but without the need for any scarring around the umbilicus.