Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" (and the newer 'Brazillian Abdominoplasty') is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen thinner and more firm. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen in order to tighten the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall.
Women and men who have undergone drastic weight loss are often left with sagging skin in the abdominal area. The same is true for women after pregnancy.
Problems in the abdominal area vary by patient, but can include:
Uneven fat distribution – treated by liposuction or non-surgical means
Excess, sagging skin – treated by removing skin by surgery
Loss of elasticity in the skin, and stretchmarks (striae) – treated by laser
Stomach muscle weakness – treated by strengthening and tightening of the fascia or ligaments that hold the muscle in position.
Treatment is mostly a combination of these techniques as problems often coexist. A traditional abdominoplasty, known as ‘tummy tuck’ surgery, removes the excess skin and fatty tissue from above the waistline, tightening the muscle and fascia of the abdominal wall, resulting in a tighter, flatter-looking stomach. Depending on the severity of the case, you can opt for a full or mini tummy tuck.
Full Tummy Tuck (Traditional Abdominoplasty):
Where a fully tummy tuck is requred, the surgeon will remove all the excess skin and fatty tissue from above and below the belly button. The weak abdominal muscles are tightened creating a beautifully flat abdominal wall. The belly button is often moved to a more natural position. However, for patients who have major problems with loose skin and fat both above and below the bellow button, the Cadogan Clinic has a unique technique called the Brazillian Abdominoplasty:
The Cadogan Clinic Brazillian Abdominoplasty:
Traditionally, a full abdominoplasty is a large procedure with potential complications such as bleeding, fluid collection, poor healing and scarring, sometimes requiring multiple large drains and a multiple visits to see your surgeon. The Cadogan Clinic Brazillian Abdominoplasty removes the same amount of skin, tightends the rectus abdominis muscles and repositions the belly button the same way a full abdominoplasty would, however the technique is refined by incorporating liposuction to mobilise the skin in such a way that allows for significantly quicker, better healing. This procedure can also be carried out as a day case and does not come with the same complications as the full abdominoplasty.
Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty):
A mini tummy tuck only removes the loose skin and bulge of fat below the belly button to sculpt the lower abdominal wall. The abdominal muscles below the navel can sldo be tightened if necessary. If you are not a candidate for a full abdominoplasty, then a mini tummy tuck - also called mini-abdominoplasty or mini stomach correction - can offer a good solution.
Recovery time after an abdominoplasty can vary from patient to patient. Whether you're having a partial or complete tummy tuck, the area that's operated on will have stitches and bandages, so it's very important to follow all your surgeon's instructions on how to care for the bandage in the days following surgery.
Your Cadogan Cosmetics surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself whilst sitting or lying down in the weeks following your abdominoplasty surgery to help ease any pain. For at least six weeks you should seriously limit any strenuous activity and you may need up to one month off work for a proper recovery following a tummy tuck, but your surgeon will advise you on what is best for you. It may be advisable to arrange for a friend or relative to stay with you during the first day or two of your tummy tuck recovery time at home.
The primary difference between a mini abdominoplasty and a full abdominoplasty is that in the first the tummy button is not moved and therefore skin tightening is only carried out in the lower half of the abdominal wall, below the tummy button. Liposuction is used for the whole of the abdominal wall and the muscles can still be tightened.
A full or traditional abdominoplasty is a larger surgical procedure involving several drains and multiple days in hospital. An incision is made from hip to hip, just above the pubic area and the skin detached from the abdominal wall to reveal the muscles and fascia. The muscle fascia is tightened with sutures and the surplus skin removed. Skin is then pulled downwards to the low abdominal scar, making a new opening for the original umbilicus.
A Brazilian abdominoplasty – or Brazilian tummy tuck – is similar to the traditional abdominoplasty technique, in that the same amount of surplus skin is removed and the tummy button or umbilicus is repositioned; however, all the undermining is achieved by very careful liposuction, avoiding cutting blood vessels and nerves. This procedure therefore avoids multiple drains and can very often be carried out as a day case.
We offer a free, no-obligation 30-60 minute consultation with one of our Patient Advisors. They will work with you to understand your objectives and the results you want to achieve, talk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you decide that you would like to proceed to the next step and see a surgeon, your Patient Advisor will be happy to arrange this for you. At this point, you will be required to pay a consultation fee.
The next step is for you to meet your chosen surgeon at the Cadogan Clinic. Your surgeon will use this time to make a comprehensive medical assessment of you, your condition, and your expectations before making a recommendation and personalised treatment plan for you. You will then discuss the outcomes you can expect to see and ask any questions.
On the day of your procedure you will be welcomed at the Cadogan Clinic by your Patient Advisor and dedicated nursing staff. Following a brief medical check, you will meet with both your surgeon and anaesthetist to run through the details of your procedure one final time and answer any last questions you may have.
After the procedure, you will recover in the capable hands of our aftercare team. As we are a day-case facility you can expect your recovery to be complete within 2 to 3 hours. If your surgeon is happy with your results, you will be able to be discharged from the Clinic the very same day. In some cases, patients may wish to stay locally in our exclusive partner hotel the day before or after your procedure in order to be close to their surgeon. Talk to us about these options if this is for you.
After Care & Support
Our care and support continues in the days and weeks following your procedure with our complimentary aftercare programme. This comprised of a series of appointments made with your surgeon and nursing team to monitor your progress and recovery. They will also introduce you to several scar minimization techniques and bespoke products to aid your progress. Our team are also on call to answer any questions you have around your surgery at any time you are concerned.
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