Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

This procedure involves removing excess skin and fat from the stomach (abdomen) and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. Cuts (incisions) are made across the lower abdomen above the pubic area and around the umbilicus (tummy button/navel) and the muscles underneath are pulled together and stitched.  The tummy skin is stretched down and the excess skin removed. A new hole is made for the umbilicus.

A variation on this operation is to detach the umbilicus off the abdominal muscles and allow it to come down a few centimetres as the tummy skin is tightened downwards. (It is re attached deeply). This avoids a scar around the navel. This is only possible in people without too much excess skin. If it looks as if the navel would come down too far and look 'out of place' it is better to do the method mentioned above.

Liposuction is usually used as an adjunctive procedure. It helps to smooth the contour of the abdomen and can be used to get rid of hip and loin fat pads at the same time. Extra procedures add cost, however.

The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia (you will sleep through it) and will take 3-4 hours for an average case. You will probably have to stay in hospital for 1-2 days and will need to arrange for someone else to drive you home.
Your tummy skin will be swollen and tender at first and you will need to take medication for pain relief for several days.
You will need to wear a special support garment for 6 weeks after surgery, to help prevent seroma and haematoma. (We tell you where to get this, custom made ones are also available). You will probably be able to return to work after about 2 weeks. It may take 3-4 months for lower abdominal swelling to go completely and it will take 9-12 months for the scar to fade to a white line.

This page was last updated at 3:28PM on July 23, 2021.