Abdominoplasty, or as it is commonly known, a tummy tuck is a medical procedure that is carried out to reshape your stomach. A tummy tuck isn’t surgery for weight loss, rather it’s a treatment that is carried out after significant weight loss, childbirth or aging to help you achieve a flatter and more defined stomach.
The elasticity of your skin will naturally diminish over time. These changes can also be enhanced by pregnancy or significant weight change.
How long does a tummy tuck last?
A tummy tuck is permanent. However, the outcome will be affected by lifestyle factors post surgery, especially weight fluctuations. It’s a good idea to wait until after your last pregnancy before having a tummy tuck. After having a tummy tuck, it’s important to look after your body by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising, and you should aim to maintain a stable weight. Remember this isn’t surgery for weight loss, it’s about body shaping and assisting you to maintain your body shape.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Good candidates for a mini abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are people who are in physically good health with a stable body weight, wish to improve the appearance of their stomach and are non smokers. Each patient is different and having a realistic expectations and commitment to long term health is important.
Who is not a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
If you’re planning on having more children, or planning on losing a lot more weight, a tummy tuck may not be right for you at this time. Similarly, if you are suffering from significant health problems a tummy tuck may not be possible. We will always discuss treatment options at an initial consultation, so please do contact us.
Your mini tummy tuck will be carried out under twilight sedation and local anaesthetic. The first stage of the procedure is the the incisions. The first is a horizontal incision, between the belly button and pubic hairline. How big the incision is, as well as the precise shape, will depend upon the amount of excess skin on each particular patient. After this incision has been made, the abdominal skin can then be lifted and the underlying abdominal muscles are repaired. In a mini tummy tuck, the belly button is not removed and repositioned. After this, the incisions will be closed with sutures. The length of surgery will vary from patient to patient but is generally one hour. Following your tummy tuck surgery, you’ll be left with a flatter stomach and firmer abdominal area, more appropriate for your weight and body type.
How long will I need off work?
It’s recommended that you take at least one week off of work after your surgery, but this will vary according to the type of work that you do. You’ll receive expert advice and care after your surgery. It’s important that you follow this to ensure that you achieve and maintain the best possible results from your tummy tuck.
Initially, bandages or dressing may be applied to your incisions. After surgery, you’ll need to wear a compression garment for at least six weeks. This garment will help prevent swelling and build up of fluid.
You’ll be given detailed personal instructions regarding your recovery, that will cover such areas as caring for the surgical site, any medication you may be required to take to help healing and reduce the potential for infection, and when you’ll need to follow up again with your plastic surgeon. You should refrain from physical exercise for three weeks after your surgery. Patients may experience mild discomfort after this procedure and you’ll be prescribed pain killers for this.
We’ll continue to see you as an out patient for up to one year after your surgery to monitor the healing process and that scars from the surgery are healing and fading.
Is there discomfort?
Because the surgery is undertaken under twilight sedation, you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. It is normal for there to be some discomfort after the procedure, and your surgeon will give you personalised advice regarding this.
Tummy tuck risks and safety
As with all surgery, there is always a small element of risk, and the decision to undergo plastic surgery is one that you need to make from an informed position. That’s why it’s important that you are open and honest with your surgeon during your initial consultation. They will explain everything to you, but you should also make sure that you ask any questions that you may have – remember there’s no such thing as a silly question! Although the risks are low, possible complications include, but are not limited to: bleeding, infection, complications from wound healing, scarring and anaesthesia risks. These can be minimised by following the pre and post surgery care instructions and advice that you will be given.
If I am interested, what now?
If Dr Oates decides that you are suitable candidate for a labiaplasty and you want to go ahead with the surgery, a booking for the surgery and the pre-operative care is scheduled. The usual waiting period is approximately three to four weeks.
You may wish to speak with one of our qualified Registered Nurses prior to seeing Dr Oates. During this free consultation, a Registered Nurse can discuss both surgical and non-surgical options to treat your cosmetic concern(s).