Are you struggling with excess skin?

Have you undergone a weight loss procedure but still have difficulty with excess belly skin and/or fat that needs surgery? Going private for the procedure ensures that you get seen quicker and can complete your weight loss journey and feel confident to live life to the full once more.

How much does private abdominoplasty surgery cost?

  • Mini tummy tuck: guide price from £6,850
  • Standard tummy tuck: guide price from £8,348
  • Fleur De Lys tummy tuck: guide price from £9,250

Spread the cost of your abdominoplasty surgery

Take advantage of payment plans through our trusted partner, Chrysalis, and spread the cost of your treatment. Fit your repayments into your monthly budget rather than having to find the full cost at the time of your treatment.

I have a question about abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery

What is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?

The aim of an abdominoplasty operation (commonly known as a tummy tuck) is to remove extra skin, scars, stretch marks and fat from the tummy to improve the appearance and shape of the abdomen.

In some cases, it can also tighten the tummy muscles by re-joining the muscles of the abdominal wall if they’ve been pulled apart in the middle (known as the ‘divarification of the recti’). Stretch marks can sometimes be cut away or tightened to make them less obvious.

An abdominoplasty may be further enhanced with additional procedures, such as liposuction targeted to specific areas.

Why have a tummy tuck?

You might have this type of surgery to remove the extra skin and fat, or to get a flatter tummy, after pregnancy or gaining and losing weight. 

People who have had an abdominoplasty feel more confident about their shape and often comment on how they are able to wear clothes that they would not have even considered previously. Their previous self-consciousness about their abdomen disappears and this is usually reflected by a renewed vigour and energy.

Who can have a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck isn’t suitable if you’re overweight, nor is it carried out in order to lose weight. Your weight should be normal before the surgery. 

What should I think about prior to my abdominoplasty consultation?

Before seeing one of our Consultant Plastic Surgeons, you should think about what you’re hoping to achieve from an abdominoplasty. You might consider:

Is my weight steady or am I continuing to lose weight as part of a diet or weight loss programme?

If so, it’s better to postpone surgery until your weight has plateaued for around six months. This is especially important if you’ve had bariatric surgery (a gastric band or a bypass operation), in which case a longer period of being at a steady weight is recommended (12 months) and you should also consult a dietician.

Why am I thinking of having an abdominoplasty at this time in my life?

You shouldn’t consider having cosmetic surgery if you’re experiencing any instability in your personal circumstances, as you’ll need time and space to recover afterwards.

How would I like to look after my abdominoplasty?

If you’ve not finished your family and are considering trying to become pregnant in the near future, an abdominoplasty is best postponed until your family is complete.

What are the limitations of abdominoplasty?

The outcome of your operation will be partly determined by the shape of your abdomen and the quality of your skin and tissues before surgery:

  • If you’re very slim and have thin tissues, but an abdominal bulge (typically after multiple pregnancies), there is a chance you may be able to feel some of the internal stitches underneath your skin
  • The scar of an abdominoplasty is designed to lie low, so it will be hidden behind underwear and bikinis in the future. However, the scar may be slightly asymmetrical and may not be perfectly even - if this is a problem for you, you may not wish to proceed with surgery
  • If you have a petite frame with very little space between your ribcage and hip bones, the results of an abdominoplasty will not be as good as if you have a larger gap, as there will be less of a possibility of creating a distinct wait
  • We’re all asymmetric to a degree - the left and right halves of our bodies are not identical. Following abdominoplasty, certain asymmetries you may not have been aware of prior to surgery may become apparent
  • If you’re having surgery having lost a great deal of weight, it may be more appropriate to have an alternative operation such as a belt lipectomy or a lower body lift (surgery, and consequently the scar, go all the way around the body) as an abdominoplasty alone may not be sufficient to address all the areas of redundant tissue. Another option that may be considered is a flankectomy in addition to an abdominoplasty

How long does abdominoplasty surgery take?

The operation itself takes around two to three hours, however, you will be away from your hospital room for longer than this as additional time is spent on the general anaesthetic, preparation in theatres for your operation and for you to wake up comfortably.

Will abdominoplasty surgery be painful?

Most patients describe a feeling of being “very tight” and uncomfortable in the initial post-operative period, but this rapidly improves. A feeling of tightness may remain to some degree for one to two weeks after surgery.

We’ll give you painkillers to take after the operation. Most people find them helpful to take for around two weeks following surgery. If you’ve had liposuction, there may be a dull ache and bruising in the areas of treatment.

What else can I expect after abdominoplasty surgery?

Normally you’ll stay in bed until the morning after your surgery, and the bed will be bent in the middle, so your hips are flexed to take the tension off the wound.

The next day you’ll be helped out of bed and can take short walks to the bathroom and back. You’ll probably walk ‘bent over’ as your abdomen will feel tight; it’s important not to try to straighten up as this may put undue tension on the wound. Your posture will improve over the first week or two after surgery as your body adapts to its new shape.

You may also have pneumatic calf compression pumps fitted after surgery that will stay on until you get out of bed the next day. We’ll give you injections of blood-thinning medication once a day during your hospital stay to reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs while you’re less mobile immediately after surgery.

During your recovery in hospital, our caring nurses will ensure that your post-operative garment fits properly and you’re comfortable taking it off and putting it back on by yourself, in preparation for discharge from hospital. If you are having difficulty in getting to the bathroom after your operation, it may be necessary to insert a temporary catheter, so you do not have to get out of bed to pass urine (for 24 hours for example).

Another point to be aware of is that your abdomen has been tightened significantly, so your tummy will not be able to expand outwards after meals. You may feel more bloated than usual after eating, as your stomach will only be able to expand inwards. This may result in you needing to have smaller meals than usual, whilst your body adjusts to its new shape. It’s often a good idea to take some mild laxatives for a few days after surgery to soften your stools - this will prevent the need to strain and put further pressure on your abdominal wall.

What should I do when I get home after abdominoplasty surgery?

Once you get home, you’ll need to achieve a balance between resting, but not lying down and doing nothing, as this may increase the risk of certain complications, such as blood clots in the legs (deep venous thrombosis or DVT). You should take short gentle walks and make sure you drink plenty of fluids to further reduce the risks of developing DVTs.

Your wounds will have been dressed with surgical tapes, which are shower proof. You can shower every day but ensure the shower hose isn’t directed towards the main wound (as this may encourage the tapes to come off too early). The easiest thing is to face away from the shower for most of your showering.

The belly button is a common site of mild inflammation and therefore it is advisable to remove any dressing prior to showering and gently shower into the belly button itself every day. This will help reduce the risk of infection developing in this area. All wounds/tapes may be dried by gently patting with a clean towel or kitchen towel, or alternatively a hair dryer may be used on a cold setting.

Does a tummy tuck get rid of stretch marks?

A tummy tuck removes the skin from the belly button down, so any stretch marks in this area would also be removed.

Any stretch marks outside of this section of the belly will remain and may be more noticeable as the skin is stretched.

Does a tummy tuck get rid of love handles?

Not necessarily. An extended abdominoplasty removes skin, tissue, and fat from the area beyond the hips, so this will usually help with love handles. However, liposuction might be needed to reduce them further.

What happens to my belly button after a tummy tuck?

The belly button is left on the “stalk” and is re-sited, along with its blood flow, through the new skin to its new position.

Is it safe to fly after tummy tuck surgery?

We’d recommend that you don’t fly for four to six weeks after your tummy tuck.

Will there be any swelling after my tummy tuck?

Yes. As with any surgery, there will be post-operative swelling which will subside over time.

What’s the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

A tummy tuck physically removes skin, fat and tissue, reducing an overhanging belly and making the stomach skin tighter.

Liposuction removes fat under the skin through small incisions. The skin remains and any folds, overhang or loose skin remain. This means that the belly can become looser after liposuction as we have removed the ‘stuffing’.

Are there any tummy tuck risks?

As with any surgery, abdominoplasty involves risks. Your Consultant will discuss these with you in detail at your consultation.

What is the recovery period from abdominoplasty surgery?

You should be able to return to sedentary activity (i.e. an office job or light duties) at two to three weeks, depending upon how you feel. Heavier duties, or physical exercise should be postponed for at least six weeks after surgery, to allow the abdominal wall to heal properly.

It’s not uncommon to have small areas of delayed wound healing, often where a dissolvable stitch hasn’t dissolved quite as quickly as it should. These stitches may “spit” out of the wound (much in the same way as a splinter may start to work its way out of your finger after it has been there for a few days). This can be dealt with easily.

Will surgery leave a tummy tuck scar?

You should expect to have a scar after your abdominoplasty. The typical abdominoplasty scar is horizontal and ranges in size depending on how much excess skin needs removing. Occasionally if there is not quite enough skin, you can have a very short vertical scar. A fleur-de-lys abdominoplasty has both a horizontal and a long vertical scar.

What is abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) surgery?

Abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat after weight loss or pregnancy for a flatter, tighter tummy. Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Chris Macdonald discusses this self-pay cosmetic surgery procedure.

Our Consultant Plastic Surgeons

Mr Christopher Macdonald, Consultant Plastic Surgeon

Christopher Macdonald

Consultant Plastic Surgeon

Mr Macdonald's clinical interests include breast reduction surgery, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, body contouring, brachioplasty or arm lift.

Mr Simon P Mackey, Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon at Benenden Hospital

Simon P Mackey

Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon

Mr Mackey's clinical interests include breast reduction surgery, mastopexy or breast uplift, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, brachioplasty or arm lift.

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