Abdominoplasty (abdominal reduction)

What is an abdominoplasty?

This is an operation designed to remove excess fat and skin from the abdominal wall, thereby flattening, smoothing and tightening this part of your body.

At the same time the layer over the muscles can be strengthened.

Who would benefit from this operation?

Those most frequently treated are women who have had several children. Both men and women who are overweight and have a large tummy may be suitable. Ideally, some people should be prepared to reduce their weight before the operation.

Women of childbearing age must remember that skin and muscles will stretch again if they become pregnant following surgery so this is really only a suitable procedure for those who have completed their families.

Abdominoplasty

Before (left) and after (right).

What are the alternatives?

Sometimes liposuction alone may be adequate to correct the problem.

What happens?

You are admitted to hospital for at least one night and the operation is done through one incision which is discussed with you beforehand. The skin and fat are removed and the deeper layer of tissue on the muscles is tightened as necessary, The wound is usually closed with absorbable sutures and you must wear a firm support garment for 3 weeks after the operation.

How long will it take?

The operation lasts about 2 to 3 hours and most people are able to leave hospital after 2 days.

Will I need an anaesthetic?

Yes. A general anaesthetic is used to keep you asleep for the whole operation.

What about pain?

Most patients feel some pain after the operation but this varies from person to person. It is usually more uncomfortable when you cough or move but there is often very little discomfort when you rest in bed. Pain killers are available to help and by the end of about a week most people are largely pain free.

Is there a scar?

As in all operations where the skin is cut or incised there is a scar. It runs across the tummy just above the hair line and is thus usually hidden by a bikini.

What is the aftercare?

You can gradually increase your activity and at the end of one week most patients are walking and moving normally. As mentioned you must wear an elastic support for the tummy for 3 weeks but this will be supplied by the hospital. We like you to return for a check-up 7 days after the procedure.

When can I return to work?

As a rule most patients are able to go back to work between 7 and 10 days after the operation. Heavy lifting and strenuous sport should be avoided for at least 3 weeks.

How much will it cost?

The exact fee will be quoted at your consultation and will include the hospital charge, the fees of the surgeon, anaethsetist and all standard extras such as the support garment. There are no hidden extras.

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