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What is a Tummy Tuck?

A Tummy Tuck, also known as an Abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from the abdomen and tightens the muscles underneath for a more contoured appearance. Pregnancy, rapid weight loss and ageing can cause the abdominal skin to sag which leads people to seek Tummy Tucks as a cosmetic procedure.

While primarily focused on aesthetics, Tummy Tucks can also address functional concerns, such as relieving discomfort caused by excessive skin folds or strengthening the abdominal walls after pregnancy. This procedure is not a weight-loss solution and is best suited for individuals with a stable weight and healthy body mass index. 


How to Get a Tummy Tuck on the NHS?

The NHS doesn’t typically provide Tummy Tucks as they’re deemed cosmetic surgery and funding is primarily allocated towards medically essential treatments. 

If there are medical conditions related to excess skin or weakened abdominal muscles, the NHS may consider performing the procedure. This could include functional issues due to a weakened abdominal wall, or skin infections and rashes as a result of excess skin. 

Opting for a Tummy Tuck on the NHS can be an arduous process as they will need to see documented evidence that non-surgical treatments have been ineffective. They will also assess your case in detail and see if you meet their criteria for medical treatment and not a cosmetic procedure.

However, this procedure can be performed privately. At the Cadogan Clinic, we seek to help individuals achieve their appearance goals through cosmetic surgery. For more information reach out to us through the contact form on our website where we’ll advise you of the various treatments on offer and the processes involved.


What Are the Criteria for Having a Tummy Tuck with the NHS?

The NHS's Tummy Tuck criteria are stringent and only for significant health issues rather than cosmetic concerns. This includes the following circumstances: 

  • Severe skin infections or chronic rashes: Excessive skin folds can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to persistent infections and discomfort.
  • Functional limitations: The weight and bulk of excess skin can impede mobility, making everyday activities like walking, bending, and hygiene difficult and painful.
  • Approval from the NHS is limited and based on individual medical needs. It’s largely dependent on your doctor advocating your case and helping you through the complex approval process. 

This process involves the following:

  • Plastic surgeons assess medical necessity and recommend the most suitable surgical approach. 
  • GPs advocate for patients, gather medical evidence, and submit formal funding requests to the NHS.
  • NHS administrators scrutinise requests to ensure alignment with budget constraints and established criteria.

What is the Ideal BMI for Having an Abdominoplasty on the NHS or Privately?

The optimal BMI threshold recommended for undergoing an Abdominoplasty on the NHS is below 30, with allowances made for variations in body type. Typically, a BMI above 40+ is deemed too high and for safety reasons, an NHS Tummy Tuck may not be able to go ahead. 

Plastic surgeons may recommend a Tummy Tuck with Liposuction for individuals weighing 150 and 200 lbs, with eligibility typically established at a BMI of 35 or under. This guideline aims to mitigate surgical risks and ensure patient safety.

The procedure improves the abdomen's appearance and addresses weakened or separated abdominal muscles. Thorough pre-surgical screening evaluates risk factors, including body fat thickness. The thickness of the body fat is important to consider as the procedure becomes more difficult and often not as effective with thicker levels of body fat. This is one of the factors that can cause Tummy Tuck results to vary.


What is the Wait Time for a Tummy Tuck on the NHS?

There is no determined wait time for a Tummy Tuck on the NHS, with those handful of procedures performed on the NHS subject typically subjected to long waits as non-urgent treatments. This timeframe starts from the booking date through the NHS Referral Service or upon the hospital's receipt of the referral letter from your doctor. 

Various factors contribute to the wait time, including:

  • The severity of the case: The extent of excess skin and tissue requiring removal significantly impacts the complexity and urgency of the surgery.
  • Regional capacity: Different hospitals have varying surgical capacities and waiting lists. This influences the availability of resources and the length of the waiting period.
  • Surgeon availability: The number of surgeons specialising in reconstructive procedures also influences wait times. Tummy Tucks on the NHS are typically performed by experienced surgeons with specialised training.

What Are the Alternative Options for Having an Abdominoplasty with the NHS?

The alternative options for having a Tummy Tuck with the NHS include less invasive and non-surgical methods performed in an independent private setting, including the following: 

  • Tummy Tuck (and/or Liposuction) surgery performed privately at an independent Clinic 
  • Non Invasive Body Contouring treatments: e.g. Ultrasound therapy/Radiofrequency treatments that use focused energy to target and tighten loose skin without surgery. The results aren’t as fast or effective as a Tummy Tuck, but they have quick recovery times and are less invasive. 
  • Exercise: You can strengthen the abdominal muscles with targeted exercises such as leg raises, crunches, and planks. This can be an effective way to tighten the abdominal muscles, however, it takes time and consistent effort to see results. 
  • Compression clothing: Compression clothing provides a temporary solution to excess abdominal skin sagging by contouring the stomach area. This makes the excess skin of the abdomen less apparent under clothing. 

The effectiveness and suitability of alternative options vary depending on individual circumstances. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most suitable course of action to ensure the safe and effective performance of any chosen procedure.


What Are the Costs for a Tummy Tuck Privately?

The price of a Tummy Tuck procedure will differ depending on the location and type of clinic you visit. You should expect to pay anywhere between £9,000 and £14,000 dependent on the skill of your surgeon and the quality of aftercare on offer. Mini Tummy Tucks can cost between £6000 and £9000. 

Contact us today via our contact form for more details on pricing. Our qualified consultants can answer any questions you might have.

Can I Get Tummy Tuck on Finance?

Yes, you can get a Tummy Tuck on finance when opting to go private. At Cadogan Clinic, we work with Chrysalis Finance to provide a range of payment options. We believe that finances shouldn’t be a constraint on your ability to receive treatments which is why you can choose from a variety of finance options spanning months or years depending on what’s best for your needs. 


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

While Tummy Tuck procedures are primarily cosmetic, often making them ineligible for NHS care, the Cadogan Clinic proudly offers this surgery. Our expert team conducts numerous Abdominoplasty procedures each year, providing exemplary patient care and satisfaction. Recognising the lengthy NHS waiting lists for such procedures, when they are available, we prioritise efficiency without compromising quality. At Cadogan Clinic, patients can expect personalised attention and exceptional results.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

FAQs

Similar to a tummy tuck, the removal of loose skin is often deemed cosmetic surgery and not available on the NHS. There are many private options available for tummy tucks which can often be performed faster and more effectively than through the NHS.

Costs vary depending on surgery complexity, surgeon experience, location, additional consultation fees, anaesthesia, and post-operative care. Thorough research and consideration of all potential expenses are essential before deciding. Consult a qualified healthcare professional to understand needs and explore suitable options. 

Diastasis recti can be repaired on the NHS as long as it’s not solely cosmetic. It involves the space between abdominal muscles widening and it isn’t typically considered a major medical issue. 

It can be improved with abdominal physiotherapy but if that doesn’t work, it can be funded if the following criteria are met:

  • Reconstructive surgery after abdominal wall surgery or trauma.
  • The recti muscles have a congenital abnormality. 
  • There’s a diastasis of more than 3cm leading to significant functional issues
  • You’ve had a minimum of 6 months of abdominal physiotherapy that hasn’t been effective.
  • You’ve been pregnant and given birth up to one year ago. 

If you have concerns about diastasis recti, discuss your options with a healthcare professional. They can assess your needs and recommend the most suitable course of action, whether it involves physiotherapy or exploring alternative non-surgical or private surgical options.

 

Yes but in practice this number is very low. People who meet the criteria for a medical tummy tuck have had, and continue to have, abdominoplasty surgery on the NHS. 

If the procedure is deemed medically necessary, there is no cost to the patient on the NHS. 


Treatments mentioned in this article



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