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Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty), Cheshire

Sometimes simply dieting and exercising are not enough to take care of waistline problems which can be caused by pregnancy and weight loss. In such cases, a patient may wish to consider a tummy tuck operation (or abdominoplasty).

A tummy tuck is the surgical removal of excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdomen, along with the tightening of abdominal muscles to produce a flatter abdominal wall. Surgery is best carried out after completing a family and when you are close to your ideal weight.

Reasons for Considering an Abdominoplasty:

  • Inability of dieting and exercise to improve the abdomen area.
  • Excessive accumulation of skin following weight loss or pregnancy.
  • Loss of skin elasticity or loose abdomen muscles.

General Procedure

Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen, along with tightening of any laxity in the abdominal wall muscles. It leaves a scar which can extend from the hip, down the groin crease and across the pubic area.

The laxer the skin, the more will be removed and the longer the scar will be. Very lax tissues may require the scar being extended backwards. All scars made by tummy tuck surgery are placed carefully to try and hide them in underwear but their final quality is down to the way you heal.

Recovery Process

Tummy tuck surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic. With the tissues being freed up to the rib margin there is a space behind the skin and fat layer and drains are used to help close this space.

These are usually taken out on the second post-operative day and so most patients will stay in hospital for 2 nights. Tapes are used to help support the wounds and an abdominal support corset is applied.

The tapes normally stay on for 10-12 days but the support garment should be worn for 4-6 weeks, to minimise any swelling of the lower abdomen whilst things settle. If the muscles are repaired, then these should be protected for 4 weeks after surgery with patients getting out of bed by rolling sideways.

Normal day to day activities can not be resumed for 4-6 weeks and impact exercise introduced gradually two weeks later.

The tummy skin will be numb for some months after surgery and care must be taken with hot objects.

Limitations and Complications

As with all cosmetic operations complications are unusual. Because the tissues are pulled tight, there is a small risk of wound breakdown when the support tapes are removed. If this occurs, usually, only simple dressings are needed; to protect your clothes whilst the wound heals. Infection and haematomas, (collections of blood), are uncommon.

Fluid can collect after the drains have been taken out, (seroma). If uncomfortable these can be aspirated, but most will settle on their own. Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus, whilst described, are rare.

Secondary adjustments of the scar may be required, particularly if there has been some wound breakdown or the prominent fold points at the end of the scar, (dog ears), do not settle.

Any fatty bulges present in the upper part of the abdomen, pre-operatively, are brought down into the lower part, with surgery. Should this create a bulge, then liposuction may be required to improve the contour.

This is something that cannot be done at the initial operation. Patients who have had previous surgery with scars on their tummy may require modifications to minimise the problems of wound healing. This may limit the final result and will be discussed pre-operatively.

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