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Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396) - founder of the Cadogan Clinic and one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a 'tummy tuck,' is a surgical procedure aimed at removing excess skin from the abdominal area and tightening the underlying muscles and fascia to achieve a more toned and streamlined appearance in the midsection.
Tummy tucks have gained widespread popularity and now account for a significant portion of cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the UK.
One of the primary motivations for undergoing abdominoplasty is the elimination of surplus, loose skin that often remains after significant weight loss. When we shed excess weight, the skin may stretch, and without the ability to naturally retract, it can leave behind sagging skin. Additionally, as we age, our body's collagen production diminishes, causing a loss of skin elasticity, which can result in wrinkles and sagging. Even moderate weight loss can lead to the persistence of saggy skin in older individuals with reduced collagen levels.
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For many women, pregnancy and C-sections can result in surplus skin and weakened abdominal muscles. Consequently, tummy tucks have become a sought-after solution for restoring the body to its pre-pregnancy condition.
Abdominoplasty is frequently combined with other procedures such as liposuction and breast augmentation. Our 'mummy makeover', which encompasses a series of surgeries targeting the breasts, abdomen, waist, hips, and thighs, has gained popularity among women who have given birth.
It's important to note that abdominoplasty offers enduring results, but the longevity of these outcomes depends on proper post-operative care. Maintaining a stable weight and avoiding fluctuations is essential for preserving your rejuvenated appearance. If you plan to have more children, it is advisable to wait until you have completed your family before considering this procedure.
2 - 3 hours
Time off work
2 - 3 weeks
After 2 days
After 4 - 5 days
After 8 weeks
Bras & Garments
After 6 weeks
Sleeping on back
Recommended for 4 weeks
Tummy tuck surgery addresses the issues of excess skin and weakened abdominal muscles. It's important to note that a tummy tuck is not a solution for weight loss or fat reduction; rather, it focuses on enhancing the contours of the midsection. For those seeking fat reduction, abdominoplasty can be combined with liposuction for a comprehensive improvement.
Abdominoplasty is a proven and safe procedure, offering remarkable, immediate results with minimal downtime. The treatment not only delivers a physical transformation but can also contribute significantly to one's self-esteem and psychological well-being.
Common symptoms for those seeking abdominoplasty include:
If you find yourself dealing with excess abdominal skin that has lost its elasticity or have experienced weakened or separated stomach muscles, you may be an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck.
At Cadogan Clinic, we assess the suitability of individuals for this procedure based on the following criteria:
By meeting these criteria, candidates can confidently explore the potential benefits of a tummy tuck at Cadogan Clinic.
Words from our clients:
"I was extremely satisfied with the care and treatment I received at the Cadogan Clinic. My surgeon was friendly and informative and explained the procedure fully. My procedure went very well and with the excellent care of the nursing staff, I made a speedy and full recovery. Would recommend to anyone."Eva Berry
"At the beginning before the operation the nurse taking care of me made me feel so comfortable. The surgeon and anesthetist helped me feel so calm. Fantastic before and after treatment"Scarlett Elliott
"The girls on the reception at the clinic were very pleasant and professional. The nurse who took out my stitches after my surgery was just lovely and took me through step by step what she was doing and she also recommended a great cream to use to help with healing."Georgina Nolan
“I was treated with care and provided with thorough knowledge about the procedure I was undertaking. My surgeon was very methodical (a perfectionist) and I felt I received A class treatment."Courtney O'Sullivan
"Outstanding experience from the first appointment to being discharged. Very professional, friendly and a fantastic outcome."Gemma Stevenson
"Reception staff very welcoming and efficient. Both nurses who I dealt with were fantastic, and the whole team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) were friendly but professional, and really put my mind at ease. That I was able to stay later than I perhaps needed after my surgery to fit in with my husbands schedule was greatly appreciated."Emma Davies
Included in this treatment
Up to two 60 minute consultations with a leading specialist plastic surgeon at our award-winning premises in Chelsea
Your procedure carried out at London’s leading specialist cosmetic surgery centre of excellence
24/7 on call nurse assistance
Dedicated Patient Co-ordinator, as a personal point of contact through your journey with Cadogan
A pre-operative medical assessment to ensure you are fit for surgery
Comprehensive post-operative aftercare courtesy of our specialist cosmetic nurses
A traditional Full Tummy Tuck or Abdominal Reduction is now obsolete. Brazilian Abdominoplasty is the most advanced and desired form of treatment.
The Brazilian Abdominoplasty at Cadogan Clinic offers superior results compared to traditional tummy tucks, with reduced complications. This advanced technique removes excess skin, tightens abdominal muscles, and repositions the belly button. Unlike traditional methods, Brazilian Abdominoplasty employs liposuction to mobilise the skin, leading to quicker healing. While it's a more complex surgery requiring more time, it delivers exceptional results, including:
Mini tummy tuck
A mini tummy tuck is suitable for individuals with concerns primarily below the belly button. This procedure removes excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen, often leaving just one discreet scar. It's an ideal choice for those who may not require a full abdominoplasty, including younger individuals and those with minor weight loss concerns, like post-pregnancy 'pouches.' This technique targets specific areas, providing long-lasting results when combined with a healthy lifestyle.
We use the same techniques as the full Brazilian Abdominoplasty for the mini tummy tuck, performing the procedure as a day case, avoiding drains and reducing complications.
Caesar correction (CCS)
For patients troubled by skin folds above a C-section scar, Cadogan Clinic offers a simple excision procedure. This outpatient treatment, often conducted under local anaesthesia, effectively addresses this concern, enhancing appearance and confidence.
The minimally invasive abdominoplasty or reduction
Abdominal wall muscle overstretching can lead to a bulging abdominal wall after pregnancy. Cadogan Clinic offers a minimally invasive approach to repair weak fascia and restore muscle tone. Patients must avoid overexertion of the abdominal wall for at least three months post-surgery.
The fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty
The fleur-de-lis technique is the best option for patients with a substantial amount of excess skin, especially following dramatic weight loss. This procedure involves a specific incision shape, akin to an anchor, to address surplus skin. However, healing may take longer due to the more complex incisions.
Designed for individuals with excess skin and fat below the pubic area, this variation of the mini tummy tuck removes extra skin and fat while leaving a horizontal scar. If there are scars from previous operations this tummy tuck may be modified to incorporate them.
The extended abdominal reduction
Traditional tummy tucks are now considered outdated at Cadogan Clinic. They involve extensive skin and fat removal across the abdominal wall, with a long horizontal scar and multiple hospital nights. This approach carries higher risks of complications, necessitating the use of uncomfortable drains. Instead, Cadogan Clinic opts for modern techniques, emphasising liposuction to contour and mobilise the skin, resulting in better outcomes and faster recovery.
The body lift
For patients with excess skin and fat extending from the abdomen to the back, Cadogan Clinic recommends a two-stage approach, because if this is carried out tightly the tension is too great to allow proper healing. We begin with an extended abdominoplasty in one session and then remove the tissue of the back in another session.
Endoscopic tummy tuck
The endoscopic tummy tuck is a minimally invasive procedure with no visible scarring and minimal downtime. It focuses on internal muscle repair through a small incision above the pubic area, making it ideal for individuals with good skin elasticity but loose abdominal muscles. While it doesn't involve skin removal, it can be combined with liposuction for enhanced body contours. This procedure is suitable for post-pregnancy muscle separation or similar concerns. For those with loose skin, alternative abdominoplasty options like Brazilian or fleur-de-lis tummy tucks are recommended.
We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.
Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi
Mr Reza Alamouti
Mr. Garrick Georgeu
Mr. Hazim Sadideen
Mr. Hagen Schumacher
Mr. Omar Tillo
Mr. Paul Tulley
Mr. William Van Niekerk
Below you will find some key information to help you prepare for surgery and make necessary arrangements to ensure you have the support you need and that everything runs smoothly on the day.
Your journey with the Cadogan Clinic begins with up to two consultations at our renowned Chelsea premises, with one of our distinguished specialist plastic surgeons. These consultations typically span between 30 to 60 minutes.
Your surgeon will take you through the various options (Full/Mini/Extended) and which is most suitable and preferential for you. They will provide detailed insights into the procedure itself and its potential impact on your physique.
Open and honest communication about your surgical goals is vital for achieving the best possible results. Your surgeon will gladly address any queries or concerns you may have during this process. It's a good practice to jot down your questions beforehand. Additionally, your surgeon will conduct several essential measurements and standard clinical photography, review your medical history, and perform a physical examination.
If, based on this evaluation, your surgeon determines that you are a suitable candidate for surgery, you will then be given a two-week 'cooling-off' period to consider whether you wish to proceed with your surgery.
02.Leading up to procedure
If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure. Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:
03.On the day
We request that you arrive one hour before your scheduled surgery time. Upon arrival, a dedicated nurse will assess vital signs, including blood pressure. You'll also have the opportunity to meet with both your anaesthetist and surgeon for final preparations.
The procedure itself, conducted under general anaesthesia, typically lasts two to three hours. To ensure discreet scarring, an incision is made along the underwear line. The surgeon then lifts the abdominal skin to access and tighten, if needed, the weakened muscles beneath. Afterwards, the skin is gently repositioned, and any excess skin is meticulously removed. The incision is closed with the right amount of tension, preserving a natural appearance. A new opening for the navel (belly button) is also crafted during this process.
Following the procedure, you'll recover in our state-of-the-art ambulatory recovery rooms for approximately two to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. Our expert nursing team will closely monitor your initial recovery to ensure your well-being and readiness to return home. You'll have the option to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or family member.
After returning home, you'll have access to our dedicated on-call nursing team, available 24/7. These specialists are committed to your comfort, and pain management, and are ready to address any immediate post-operative concerns or questions.
Post-operative discomfort may persist for one to two weeks, with some tightness experienced for several weeks. We'll provide you with a post-surgical garment to offer support and assist with bruising and swelling. It's recommended to wear this garment day and night for four to six weeks. For a smooth recovery, it's advisable to avoid strenuous exercise for six to twelve weeks. Your results will continue to improve over the next twelve to eighteen months.
We'll schedule an appointment with our nursing team one week after your surgery to ensure proper incision site care and review. At this time, we also recommend a consultation with one of our on-site aestheticians to explore ongoing treatments to support healing and minimise scarring.
Lastly, we'll arrange a final check-up with your surgeon after six to eight weeks to evaluate your progress and answer any remaining questions you may have.
The Patient Journey. A breakdown of what you can expect on your journey with us
We are deeply invested in ensuring that every step of your surgical journey with us is as informative and reassuring to you as it can be. This article outlines what you can expect at each stage of the journeyThe Patient Journey
What is a tummy tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery, medically termed abdominoplasty, is a transformative procedure designed to address excess skin, scars, stretch marks, and abdominal fat. Additionally, it can restore weakened abdominal muscles. This surgery is particularly sought after by individuals who have experienced significant weight loss and women desiring to regain their pre-pregnancy figures.
The tummy tuck is not designed as a means of weight loss, but the procedure can be combined with liposuction if weight loss is the goal.
What is an abdominoplasty procedure (tummy tuck)?
The abdominal reduction or "tummy tuck" is a surgical procedure to tighten the skin of the abdominal wall. Cadogan Clinic offers a variety of abdominoplasty procedures, each tailored to individual needs:
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Candidates for a tummy tuck must meet certain criteria:
What are the main factors to consider before abdominoplasty surgery?
Before undergoing abdominoplasty, it's imperative to:
How old can you be to have abdominoplasty surgery?
An abdominoplasty is suitable for those over 18 years of age. Though the timing of a tummy tuck can significantly impact the results:
What is the right timing for a tummy tuck?
For post-pregnancy tummy tucks, the ideal timing is typically after the first year. This period allows for weight loss and the settling of sagging and stretch marks. Pregnancy one year after a tummy tuck is safe and should not significantly affect the outcome.
It's best to achieve any desired weight loss before the surgery, as tummy tucks are designed to address the results of weight loss programs.
Are there any problems with getting pregnant after a tummy tuck?
There is no harm in getting pregnant 12 months after a tummy tuck surgery. If you do not gain too much weight during pregnancy, the tummy will often return to how it looked after abdominoplasty.
Does the tummy lose form in the case of weight gain after the surgery?
Abdominoplasty creates an inner corset, narrowing the abdomen. Patients often experience weight loss after the procedure. In the event of weight gain, the abdomen retains its proportion and shape.
Can a tummy tuck and liposuction be performed simultaneously?
For suitable candidates, tummy tucks and liposuction can be performed simultaneously to enhance overall results.
Does the belly-button change shape after abdominoplasty surgery?
During a tummy tuck, the original shape of the belly button is maintained. A replacement belly button is created to match your pre-surgery appearance.
What can I expect in terms of an abdominoplasty scar?
Scarring is an inherent part of abdominoplasty, but proper positioning can make scars easily concealable behind the trouser line.
Abdominoplasty scars are often equivalent to a caesarean scar.
What factors should be considered after abdominoplasty surgery?
Upon completion of the procedure, a dedicated nursing team is available 24/7 to address post-operative concerns. Pain typically subsides within one to two weeks, and a post-surgical garment is provided for support and to minimise bruising and swelling, to be worn for four to six weeks.
Strenuous exercise should be avoided for six to 12 weeks, with results continuing to improve for up to 12 to 18 months after the procedure.
How long is abdominoplasty recovery?
The duration of abdominoplasty recovery varies based on the specific procedure type, such as C-Section Tummy tuck or full, mini, or Brazilian equivalents. However, in general, the recovery process is relatively swift and uncomplicated. Expect at least a two-week break from work, with a return to your regular daily routine after this period.
A compression garment is typically worn for six weeks, and strenuous exercise should be avoided for eight weeks. In the UK, driving is not recommended for three weeks post-surgery.
Post-operative pain can be alleviated with over-the-counter painkillers.
Consider arranging for a friend or family member to stay with you during the initial days of your home recovery.
What exercises can help maintain my tummy tuck?
Immediate post-abdominoplasty exercise is discouraged. You can resume normal exercise after six weeks, or three months if your abdominal muscles require repair. Your surgeon will provide personalised guidance on this matter.
As you regain strength, concentrate on core-focused exercises to enhance abdominal tightness and strength. These may include stretches, knee rolls, and pelvic floor exercises. Incorporate daily aerobic workouts that engage your entire body, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, aiming for at least one hour per day.
A consistent fitness regimen will help preserve the results of your tummy tuck for years to come. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and avoiding detrimental habits like smoking, is also crucial for long-lasting results.
How to choose the best abdominoplasty surgeon
Selecting the right surgeon for your abdominoplasty is crucial.
Consider the following:
In England, only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery. Verify your surgeon's registration on the General Medical Council (GMC) online register. Some surgeons may also be members of professional associations such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). However, membership status in such associations may vary among qualified surgeons.
Founded in 2004 by world renowned plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, we now work with over 100 leading consultants and successfully treat over 20,000 patients each year. We have been winning industry awards since inception.About Us
Best in Class Facilities
All of our treatments take place at our beautiful boutique premises in Chelsea. We have six consulting rooms and five operating rooms, as well as a dedicated pre and post-operative suite, and a full team of specialist nursing staff.Our Clinic
A Strong Tradition of Innovation
We were founded in 2004 by world renown plastic surgeon Mr Bryan Mayou, best known for his pioneering work in the area of liposuction, lasers and microvascular surgery. We continue to collaborate with pioneers in our field.Our History
At Home in Sloane Street, London
We are proud that our state of the art award-winning clinic is located in one of the best neighbourhoods in the countryWelcome to Sloane Street
We offer surgical consultations in London, Birmingham, Chelmsford and Bristol, and attract international patients from all corners of the globe such as as the USA, the Middle East and Europe.Get in Touch
Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.
We believe in the delivery of excellent outcomes and results, and exceptional levels of service. Our outcomes are natural and long-lasting, and we remain the premier choice for cosmetic surgery treatments in the UK.
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