A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty is an effective procedure which aims to tauten loose skin caused by weight loss and often pregnancy. The repeated pressure placed on the skin through periods of weight loss and weight gain, over stretches the skin and much like a rubber band which has lost its ‘snap’, the skin on the tummy loses its elasticity. Tummy tuck surgery can also correct stomach muscle weakness and remove the fold of skin which often develops above the scar left by a c-section.
Am I a suitable candidate for a mini tummy tuck or full tummy tuck?
Generally speaking, if you only have loose skin below the belly button then you are suitable for a mini tummy tuck. However, a mini tummy tuck will not address loose tissue above the belly button line. Therefore, a candidate for a full tummy tuck will present skin laxity both above and below the belly button.
It is essential to be as close to your ideal weight as possible before treatment as any further weight loss post surgery will potentially undo your surgeons work by loosening the skin tone.
– The ‘Pinch’ Test
A quick way to get a general idea of what type of tummy tuck you are most suitable for is the ‘Pinch’ test. If you lean forward slightly, pinch the skin around your belly button and are able to pull it down to the top of the pubic area you could be suitable for a fully tummy tuck. If you can’t extend your skin down this far, it is likely that you are better suited for a mini tummy tuck.
What happens during tummy tuck surgery?
During a traditional, or full tummy tuck an incision is created from hip to hip, the surplus skin removed, the stomach muscles tightened and a new belly button created.
A mini tummy tuck utilises similar techniques but instead of addressing the tissue above the belly button will only remove skin from below the belly button. Stomach muscles can also be tightened below the navel if necessary.
What should I expect after having tummy tuck surgery?
It is recommended that you take around three weeks off work following surgery, however the period of recovery needed will largely depend on the extent of your surgery. This will be fully mapped out in your aftercare programme with your consultant. Resting fully and avoiding over exertion will compliment your long term recovery, whereas any strenuous activity in the early stages will hamper your recovery later on. In most cases exercise can be resumed at around six weeks post surgery.
How long do the effects of surgery last?
The results of tummy tuck surgery can be permanent and maintained long into the future if you regulate your weight through diet and exercise. If you gain weight post surgery, your body including treated areas will respond to this in the usual way so it is very important to maintain your ideal weight if you want long lasting results.
If you have more children post surgery you could need a further tummy tuck to address the skin laxity and weakened muscles created by pregnancy. It is generally advised that you wait until you have completed your family before having surgery.
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MR SIMON MACKEY
01342 887 540