A guide to abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) for patients

Abdominoplasty guide

Our hospital’s new Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Christopher Macdonald answers our patients’ most frequently asked questions about abdominoplasty; a body contouring procedure to remove excess belly skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy.

What is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)?

Abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck, is a very common procedure and it's a term used for a full spectrum of operations. It could be something very minor like a mini abdominoplasty where we just remove some skin from below the belly button.

Alternatively, it could be a full, traditional abdominoplasty which can be combined with liposuction. Or, for patients who have undergone significant weight loss and have got a lot of excess skin that needs to be removed, a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty or a vertical abdominoplasty may be required.

Could you describe a typical abdominoplasty patient?

A typical patient is quite difficult to describe, particularly in terms of how they look, because there's a full spectrum of body types. I see patients who need a small amount of skin or fat taken away as well as those who require a very large amount removed.

But the one thing that all of my patients have in common is that they feel very self-conscious in their body. Whether it’s a minor thing for someone, or it’s having a serious impact, that feeling of dissatisfaction is the same for all patients.

How can self-pay patients access abdominoplasty?

It's very easy for patients to book an appointment with me. You can call our Private Patient team directly on 01580 363158 or, if you prefer, complete our contact form with your details and we’ll call you back.

When should I book a consultation for abdominoplasty?

Once you’ve started your weight loss surgery journey, I’d recommend waiting at least three months before making an appointment for a tummy tuck. It's perfectly reasonable to meet a Plastic Surgeon and start discussing plans then, but I really want you to get to a stable weight for a minimum of six months, if not a year, before having surgery.

Could you tell us about the tummy tuck journey from consultation to recovery?

Once you’ve contacted us, a member of the team will take a few details and discuss what you’re looking for. They’ll book an initial consultation for you and together we'll come up with a detailed treatment plan. We'll also talk about the pros and the cons of abdominoplasty and what the procedure involves.

Once you've had a couple of weeks to think it over, either myself or another member of the team will meet you again to reiterate everything and make sure you’re happy with the treatment plan and know what to expect. We’ll also talk about a surgery date.

How long does it take to recover from abdominoplasty?

Recovery from this surgery is usually quite quick. You’ll only have to stay in hospital for one or, occasionally, two nights. This is to allow any fluid to drain out of the body.

You’ll wear a surgical dressing for about a fortnight after the surgery. During that time, you might feel a little uncomfortable or bruised.

After two weeks you can slowly return to your daily activities and start doing some gentle exercise. On average, it’ll be about four to six weeks before you can start lifting heavy weights or returning to a full gym exercise regime. There'll be some swelling and scarring which will take a little bit of time to settle down, but at six weeks you should be back to your normal life.

Can I have a tummy tuck and arm lift at the same time?

It's possible to combine a breast reduction with an arm lift, or a breast reduction with a tummy tuck, or a tummy tuck with a breast reduction. There are significant benefits to having both surgeries at the same time

However you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got a little bit more support at home for the first few weeks post-surgery.

What effect might abdominoplasty have on my mental health?

Body contouring surgery can have a profound beneficial effect on your mental health, your well-being and body confidence. It could mean that you have more choice when you buy clothes, you could feel more confident with a partner or in general.

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) in Kent

We offer discreet treatment in a clean and calm environment in the heart of the Wealden countryside. You’ll be supported by our experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeons and clinical teams.

Book a consultation today by completing our online booking form or by calling our Private Patient Team on 01580 363158.

Published on 05 January 2022