Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

A tummy tuck procedure is an operation undertaken by both men and women who have excess abdominal skin and fat. This procedure can also concentrate on the abdomen whilst benefiting those who have experienced substantial weight loss where the abdominal skin has become flaccid. Abdominoplasty can also tighten muscles that have been separated and weakened by pregnancy. The procedure may somewhat improve the appearance of stretch marks, especially those located below the navel region.

There are several different tummy tuck techniques, and the choice of such will be discussed during a patient's consultation. In the full tummy tuck, an incision is made across the lower abdomen region. Another incision is made around the belly button to loosen the surrounding skin, whilst all the skin is separated from the abdominal wall. Following this the surgeon tightens the free muscles from the both sides and then sutures them together. This has the desired result of tightening the muscles to create a stronger abdominal wall and a smaller waistline.

After this excess skin is removed, a new opening for the belly button is formed and a new opening is made for the belly button created at the right position. The incisions are closed with stitches whilst gauze is placed over the wounds and an elastic supportgarment is fitted.

Preparation

Before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure consideration and preparation are vital elements. Those who are considering the procedure should clearly outline their targets, and openly discuss this with their consultant. Those who are considering the procedure should be aware of the risks and complications that can arise, as well as the practical changes that are needed prior to surgery. Patients are required to stop taking medication which alters blood viscosity; including aspirin, birth control and hormone correction. In preparation of surgery it is also highly recommended that patients avoid smoking, to enhance recovery and aid wound healing.

After the operation

Following a tummy tuck procedure the patient will experience swelling for two to six weeks, whilst numbness could last for over six months. Those patients who are considering returning to work should avoid this for a period of at least two weeks.

Strenuous activities such as lifting and exercise should be avoided for around two months following surgery. Although scarring is permanent it may take over six months to heal completely and the scars will begin to fade. Bathing is not allowed for two weeks following the operation, whilst showering is acceptable.

A vital element in the recovery process is avoiding the potential of a blood clot. Walking around every thirty minutes will be recommended by your surgeon in an attempt to avoid this.

Recovering from tummy tuck surgery

  • Patients will experience moderate discomfort as a result of pain.
  • Patients will required to take pain medication for two weeks
  • A numb sensation may be experienced by the patient for over six months.
  • Six weeks before swelling subsides
  • Patients should not smoke for two weeks following the operation
  • The incisions will remain bandaged for two weeks, ensuring proper healing
  • Consultants will advise patients to walk around every hour or so and flexing feet to prevent blood clots in the calf veins.
  • Bathing should be avoided for a period of two weeks following surgery.
  • Patients should avoid smoking for four weeks to speed the healing process.

For the large majority of adults who under go a tummy tuck, results will be a success with no negative consequences. Despite this, the capacity for risks and complications remain, as is the case for almost all surgical procedures.

Risks and complications

  • Patients who have had liposuction surgery also run the risk of permanent scarring.
  • A Haematoma could result, however this is best avoided through following the pre-surgery preparation.
  • Patients shall have incision wounds however some may experience major or intrusive permanent scarring.
  • Seromas or fluid collections are potential risk and complication associated with a tummy tuck procedure
  • Patients may contract infection as a result of surgery which can delay healing.

By nature, all medical procedures carry an element of risk. While the majority of patients do not experience any complication during ourTummy Tuck procedures, before embarking on any medical procedure, it is advisable to consult fully with the McLean Academy so that our qualified staff can suitably discuss any risk or concerns that your procedure may pose.

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Contact Information

The McLean Academy

Neil R. McLean ( MD FRCS )

Telephone: 0191 284 3719

Email: reception@mcleanacademy.com

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