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Overview

An abdominoplasty, or tummytuck, is often a slightly invasive cosmetic procedure and may:

  • Be reconstructive in that it attempts to correct abdominal abnormalities caused by pregnancy, obesity, doing exercises,or experiencing weight loss.
  • Correct weaknesses in the underlying abdominal muscles and therefore improve their function.
  • Create a more normal and natural appearance of the abdomen.
  • Repair any abdominal hernia that may be present.
  • Remove any large apron of fat (also called a pannus) that may cause dermatitis, skin infection, back pain, difficulty in walking and difficulty with hygiene.

The operation involves a long incision being made to excise the lower half of the abdominal skin and fat. There is an incision around the naval (tummy button, umbilicus) as it needs to be moved to a normal position after the lower abdominal skin and fat has been treated and removed. The underlying stretched abdominal muscles are surgically tightened with stitches. The skin is stitched together with dissolving sutures under the skin. Drains will then be placed and these remain for a period of usually one to two days. Please note that it should NOT be considered a weight loss procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of anaesthetic is used?

    Mr Banwell recommends the surgery be performed under a general anaesthetic undertaken by a specialist anaesthetist for the best results.

  • What are the risks?

    There are both general and specific risks to this operation and Mr Banwell will talk to you in detail regarding these possible complications. General risks include bruising and swelling, pain, scarring, bleeding, wound infection, deep infection, delayed healing, problems with general anaesthetics, abnormal scarring and keloid scarring. Specific risks include asymmetry of scars and umbilicus (belly button), uneven skin contours, the build up of fat necrosis (dead fat), skin loss/necrosis at the umbilicus (belly button/naval), wound breakdown, severe infection (necrotizing fasciitis), intra-abdominal organ injury, fluid accumulation (seroma) under skin flaps, as well as experiencing a possible permanent numbness of lower abdominal skin and/ or lateral thighs and ‘dog-ears’. Please note that smoking and obesity (and BMI >30) significantly increase the risks of post-operative complications.

    Subsequent alterations in body contour may occur as the result of ageing, weight loss, weight gain, pregnancy, gravity or other circumstances not related to abdominoplasty. Chronic pain may also rarely occur due to nerves becoming trapped in scar tissue.

  • What happens after the surgery?

    It will be necessary for you to stay at least one night in hospital and be watched over by the doctors and nursing staff. You will have two drains fitted. The drains are usually removed when the drainage is minimal and you will have dressings over your abdomen for at least one week. You will need to possibly wear a compression support garment (abdominal binder) around your abdomen for six weeks. Further postoperative visits will be scheduled. Mr Banwell recommends post-operative massage to aid outcome.

  • What costs are involved?
    • Surgical fees
    • Abdominal binders
    • Hospital fees
    • Specialist anaesthetist fee 
    • Post-operative massage therapy

Please contact Mr Banwell's office on 01342 330302 or email help@paulebanwell.com for further information.

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Skin Care

At a Glance

SURGERY TIME
2-3 hours

HOSPITAL STAY
1-2 nights

ANAESTHETIC ASSESSMENT
Possibly

PRE ADMISSION TESTS
Yes

REASONABLY MOBILE
4-5 days

WASHING
Shower after 1 day

DRIVING
2 weeks

SPORT & EXERCISE
6 weeks contact sport 8 weeks

SEXUAL ACTIVITY
6 weeks

FULL RECOVERY
4-6 weeks

TIME OFF WORK
2-3 weeks

GARMENTS
Binder day and night one month, then night for further month

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