Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck surgery is a cosmetic procedure that is carried out to improve the physical appearance of the stomach; it is common in women that have had children and people who have lost a large amount of weight and have been left with large folds of excess skin. A tummy tuck is not a solution for being overweight and should not be considered as a quick fix for obesity; the procedure is designed to remove excess skin and tighten stomach muscles, rather than remove large amounts of fat. People wishing to lose weight should change their diet to incorporate more healthy foods and do regular cardiovascular and toning exercises.

What does the tummy tuck procedure involve?

The procedure involves removing excess skin from the stomach; there are three types of tummy tuck surgery.

The traditional tummy tuck procedure involves making incisions in the abdomen and groin area; the tummy button will then be removed. During the operation, excess skin and fat around the abdomen will be removed and the abdominal muscles will be tightened; the skin will then be pulled taut and the incisions will be closed up using stitches; the tummy button will also be put back.

The mini tummy tuck involves removing excess skin and fat from below the tummy button only; this procedure is common in women who have given birth to children.

The extended tummy tuck involves removing skin and fat from the back as well as the abdomen.

What happens after the tummy tuck operation?

After all tummy tuck procedures, the affected areas will be bandaged and the patients will be transferred to a ward where their condition can be monitored as the general anaesthetic wears off. Patients usually spend between 2 and 4 days in hospital following a tummy tuck. For a while the patient may experience pain; this usually wears off quickly with pain relief medication. Some patients will have a drip and a catheter fitted; this allows the bladder to drain and prevents dehydration. Patients are advised to get plenty of rest and avoid sudden, strenuous movements. Some patients wear a protective support around their abdomen. Doctors recommend that patients do breathing exercises to prevent chest infections during their recovery.

How long does the tummy tuck operation take?

The operation should be complete after a maximum of three hours; mini tummy tucks take less time and extended tummy tucks take longer than traditional tummy tuck operations.

How long does recovery take from a tummy tuck?

In most cases, the stitches will be removed after a period of two weeks. It usually takes between 3 and 5 weeks for patients to feel completely normal, but they should be able to do most things comfortably after 2 weeks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least six weeks.

How long do the results last after a tummy tuck?

The results should last a lifetime if the patient adopts a healthy lifestyle and keeps their weight stable. Lifestyle choices play a huge part in determining the longevity of the results so it is important to exercise regularly and eat healthily if you want to keep your stomach looking good.

How much does tummy tuck treatment cost?

The cost of the treatment varies according to the surgeon or clinic you choose; often, the cost of the treatment depends on the qualifications, experience and reputation of the surgeon but location can also affect the price (generally, prices are higher in the South than the North and city centre clinics are usually more expensive). As a guide, patients should expect to pay around �4,000 for a basic procedure and up to �9,000 for a more complex treatment.

Are there any side effects with a tummy tuck?

Common temporary side-effects include pain, swelling and bruising around the abdomen, which should wear off over the course of time with the help of anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. The operation will cause scarring, which will usually fade after a few months but will never completely disappear.

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