Cosmetic Beauty: The Lowdown
Tummy tuck aka: abdominoplasty
What is it? A dream come true for anyone with a spare tyre, the tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic plastic surgery operation which aims to get rid of loose skin, fat and stretch marks, tighten stomach muscles, lift upper thighs and pubic region – creating a sculptured waistline and tight, flat abdomen.
What to expect? A tummy tuck is a 1-1.5 hour procedure carried out under general anaesthetic. The surgeon makes an incision across the stomach and removes skin and fat. Abdominal muscles may also be stitched closer together. The skin above the belly button is pulled down and a little hole is cut for the belly button. Mini tummy tucks, which just remove excess skin, are becoming increasingly popular. After the full shebang you’ll need to stay at hospital for around two days and have roughly two weeks off work. It will be up to 12 months before the swelling goes completely and you see the full results of your bikini body.
Cost? Around £5,000 (or around £3,000 for a mini tummy tuck).
Risks and side effects? There is a risk of clotting in the veins and chest infection. Tips on minimising risks after surgery include surgical stockings, clot-reducing drugs, post op checks, chest exercises, mobility as soon as possible after the operation, massaging any lumps (dependant on sensitivity to pain) and medication. Successful wound healing is hampered by smoking, which must be stopped two-four weeks before surgery.
Expert Opinion Mr Azhar Aslam, Consultant plastic surgeon, The Linia Clinic “Ask your surgeon what they mean by tummy tuck. Some surgeons may not perform the tightening of the muscles, or may not combine the surgery with liposuction of removing the fat around the waist and hips. The key question is to understand if the surgeon is going to perform the procedure that will address all your concerns and take into consideration the reasons why you are having the surgery.”