Abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck" (and the newer 'Brazillian Abdominoplasty') is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen thinner and more firm.
The Cadogan Clinic Brazilian Abdominoplasty restores loose skin to that of drum tight youth. It is there for women after pregnancy and for all who have undergone weight loss and are left with sagging abdominal skin.
Problems in the abdominal area vary by patient, but 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 stretch marks(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.
A traditional Full Tummy Tuck or Abdominal Reduction is obsolete.
The Cadogan Clinic Brazilian 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 multiple visits to see your surgeon. The Cadogan Clinic Brazilian Abdominoplasty removes the same amount of skin, tightens 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.
The Cadogan 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 also 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. We use the same techniques as for the full Brazilian Abdominoplasty and perform the procedure as a day case, avoiding drains and reducing complications.
The Cadogan Caesar Correction (CCS) – Post C-Section Scar Revision: This is for the unsightly fold of skin that so often develops above a caesarean section scar. It is due to tethering of the scar and any loose skin and fat will bulge above it. This is unsightly and visible through tight clothing and swimwear. We treat this by simple excision, with or without liposuction. It is normally carried out under local anaesthesia as a day case.
The Minimally Invasive Abdominoplasty or Reduction: This is for patients who are left with a bulging abdominal wall after pregnancy without a surplus of skin and is due to an over-stretching of the muscles and the fascia retaining the vertical rectus muscles. We introduce a telescope through small incision in the pubic area and at the umbilicus to repair this weak fascia. It is very important that patients do not overexert the muscles of the abdominal wall for at least three months following this surgery.
The Fleur-De-Lis Abdominoplasty: Sometimes patients have an extra surplus of skin vertically and laterally and it is desirable to remove some skin centrally to tighten the waist. Here as well as the long horizontal cut of the standard abdominal reduction there is a vertical cut too, so that the resulting scar looks like an anchor with a small vertical element extending from the lower scar upwards towards the umbilicus.
An Apronectomy: This is a modified mini tummy tuck for patients who have a lot of skin and fat hanging down over the pubic area, here only extra skin and fat is removed. This leaves a long horizontal scar. If there are scars from previous operations the usual tummy tuck may be modified to incorporate them.
The Extended Abdominal Reduction: This is for patients who have surplus skin and fat extending right around the abdominal wall into the flanks and beyond. In these cases, the low horizontal scar is extended laterally into the flanks.
The Body Lift: In the body lift the surplus skin and fat extends from the abdomen around the flanks and across the back. It is possible to remove a strip of skin all the way around the abdominal wall in the shape of a tyre. However, if this is carried out tightly the tension is too great to allow proper healing both on the front and the back at the same time. At the Cadogan Clinic we prefer therefore, to carry out a body lift in two stages, with an extended abdominoplasty on one occasion and then the tissue of the back removed separately on another occasion.
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 Clinic surgeon will also instruct you on how to best position yourself whilst lying in bed at least for a few days following your abdominoplasty, usually on your back or side with your knees bent. The procedure is carried out as a day case and you will be able to walk out of hospital, usually slightly hunched as the skin is now very tight. By the next day, you should be able to straighten up and walk around the house. The day after you will be using your computer, but we would recommend you do not travel to work for about 10 days. You should seriously limit any strenuous activity over the next 6 weeks and if the muscles have been tightened then this should be extended to 3 months. Your surgeon will advise you on what is appropriate for you.
Pain is moderate after surgery and will if necessary be controlled by simple analgesia. 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.
Abdominoplasty surgery, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is an operation to remove extra skin, scars, stretch marks and fat from the tummy, and sometimes to tighten the tummy muscles. What is the alternative treatment? Losing weight and exercising to tighten up the tummy muscles may help. For some younger patients, liposuction (where fat is sucked out through a tube inserted into small cuts) can help. This can be done on its own, or with a tummy tuck.
People have this surgery to take away extra skin and fat, or get a flatter tummy, often after pregnancy or gaining and losing weight. It can help re-join the muscles of the abdominal wall if they have been pulled apart in the middle (known as ‘divarification of the recti’). Stretch marks can sometimes be cut away or tightened to make them less obvious. Ideally, your weight will be normal before the surgery. A tummy tuck is not for people who are very overweight, or carried out in order to lose weight. For the right person, a tummy tuck can make a big difference to their confidence and quality of life.
There is no particular preparation for you to do other than what you would expect, that is washing generally and particularly the genitalia and tummy button.
Immediately before surgery, your surgeon will mark up the skin with you standing as you will be lying down to have the operation. He/she will mark the incisions and areas of liposuction. There will then be a photograph so that both you and the surgeon can refer back to check that you have achieved the expected improvement. We expect this to be an interesting and happy moment.
Tummy tucks are usually carried out under Total Intravenous Anaesthetic (TIVA) and therefore the procedure can be carried out as a day case. The operation usually takes about three hours, and when you wake up from your operation you may have a drip to give you fluid while you are not drinking. You might be given antibiotics to keep the wound clean. Also, you may have drainage tubes in your lower tummy to drain away any fluid or blood. These tubes will be taken out when the fluid or blood has stopped draining, usually before you go home. Drainage tubes are not required in a Brazilian Abdominoplasty. You are safe to go home the same day, but a responsible adult should stay with you for the first night to ensure you come to no harm as movement may be restricted. Your tummy will feel tight and a little sore. Simple painkillers should be enough to keep you comfortable.
Dressings - You will have some dressings on your tummy. You may need to wear a well-fitting support garment, usually for weeks after the operation. You will be asked to keep your knees and hips bent whenever possible to take the strain off your stitches.
Recovery - You will be out of bed on the same day as your surgery, and doing light activities after 10 days. You should be back to normal exercise in six weeks. If the abdominal muscles are repaired then severe exercise should be limited for three months. Whilst you are in hospital, you may be given blood thinning injections, and support stockings, to reduce the risk of a clot in the leg (DVT) or the lung (PE). Most patients take up to two weeks off work post operation, depending on their job. Your tummy will be sore and swollen for weeks to months after the operation. Do not lift heavy things for several weeks, and avoid sex for at least three weeks. With all activities, start gently. Do not drive until you feel safe and are comfortable wearing a seatbelt. Check your insurance documents if you are not sure.
The abdominal reduction or "tummy tuck" is a surgical procedure to tighten the skin of the abdominal wall, frequently performed following childbirth and weight loss.
Plumper patients will require liposuction to reduce the fat following the procedure and, where the muscles are stretched, some tightening of the fascia that holds them together will be required.
There are four main different abdominoplasty procedures: - The Cadogan Clinic Brazilian tummy tuck. - Mini or partial abdominoplasty. - Full Abdominoplasty or traditional tummy tuck is now obsolete at the Cadogan Clinic. - Cadogan Caesar Correction (CCS) - post C-section scar revision
There are other techniques used in particular situations and these are described elsewhere on this website.
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.
This procedure has the added problem of increased risk of seromas and haematomas and is now obsolete at the Cadogan Clinic.
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.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Results
Click here to view our gallery of before and after and Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
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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