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Snapshot

Tummy Tuck, more formally known as Abdominoplasty, removes fat and excess loose skin and tightens the abdominal muscles to create a flatter appearance to the stomach. It is often sought post pregnancy or by those who have experienced weight loss.

COST: £4,500-£8,500
TREATMENT TIME: 1-5 HOURS
LONGEVITY: PERMANENT
RECOVERY TIME: AROUND 4-6 WEEKS
POPULARITY: 0.8 MILLION GLOBAL PROCEDURES IN 2017
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Everything you need to know about Tummy Tuck

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck, more formally known as Abdominoplasty, removes fat and excess loose skin and tightens the abdominal muscles to create a flatter appearance to the stomach. It is often sought post pregnancy or by those who have experienced weight loss.

Why do people have a Tummy Tuck?

There are many reasons people choose to have tummy tuck: to remove flab, stretch marks or excess skin in the abdomen that does not improve with diet or exercise, to reshape abdomen affected by pregnancy or massive weight loss, or to regain self-confidence marred by stomach contour.

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How much does it cost?

This procedure cost between £4,500-8,500 plus the cost of any consultations or follow-up care that may not be included in the price. 

If you need to find prices near you, please click here.

Because Tummy Tuck is an elective cosmetic surgery, you may not be able to get the surgery with NHS. We can help you find financing plans to make the procedure more affordable. 

However, in some circumstances, such as patients who have achieved massive weight loss, or have extensive abdominal scars and associated hernias, it may be covered by NHS and you should check with your plastic surgeon about this possibility.

The starting point is for you to have an appointment with your General Practitioner (GP) who will undertake a full clinical assessment and advise whether you can have surgery at the NHS. 

What are the key drivers for the cost of a Tummy Tuck?

Tummy Tuck costs can widely vary depending on the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used, anaesthesia, the geographic location and operating room facilities.

Generally, higher surgeon experience and location in an area with a high cost of living, would generally mean higher costs. At the same time, higher experience may translate into lesser risks for you.

The cost of the surgery also varies depending on the type of surgery. Full abdominoplasty costs more than mini abdominoplasty.

Am I a good candidate?

If ageing, heredity, pregnancy, prior surgery or weight fluctuations have left you with extra skin on your abdomen and/ or abdominal muscle weakness, then you may want to consider tummy tuck.

However, it is very important that you are in good health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, before undergoing this procedure. For example, you should not be obese and your weight should be stable.

Another important consideration is family planning. If you are planning to have a baby in the near term, pregnancy may affect the results of tummy tuck. It is important to discuss this with your surgeon during the consultation.

What are my options?

In this surgical procedure, your surgeon will remove your loose abdominal skin and tighten up your abdominal muscles with sutures. You’re consultation with your surgeon will determine the best option for you. Here are the different approaches:

Mini Abdominoplasty: A single incision is made in the pubic area. Through this incision, your surgeon will remove excess skin, tighten slack muscles and possibly use liposuction to further refine the area.

Full Abdominoplasty: In addition to the incision across the lower abdomen, a traditional tummy tuck involves an incision around the navel. Excess skin is removed, muscles are tightened and liposuction may be used to contour the abdomen. This surgery removes skin from above the navel down to the pubic area that has been compromised by pregnancies, genetic laxity or obesity.

How long does the surgery take?

The surgery usually takes 1-5 hours depending on the procedure type and surgical technique used.

Tummy Tuck is usually performed on an outpatient basis, but an overnight stay may be required depending on your medical situation and the length of your surgery.

Is a Tummy Tuck painful?

Tummy Tuck surgery is not painful as it is performed under anesthesia (commonly general and occasionally under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation). You may experience some pain once the anesthetic wears off after your surgery. The first week will be the worst, and you will still feel like you are recovering for about 2-3 weeks after your surgery.

Are there any risks I should look out for?

All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Significant complications from tummy tucks are infrequent. Some risks specific to tummy tuck are outlined below:

  • Reaction to anaesthesia
  • Hair loss
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Impaired breastfeeding

How do I find a surgeon I can trust for my Tummy Tuck?

Choosing your surgeon is a hugely important step. This is the person who is going to help you achieve the change you want and trusting in their abilities is key. Here are the three top things to consider when making your selection:

Qualifications

Tummy tuck should be done by a Plastic Surgeon who has a FRCS (Plast) or FRCS qualification and should be on the Uk’s General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register for plastic surgery. This ascertains that your cosmetic surgeon has received six years of training in plastic surgery on top of their general medical training.

Experience

Make sure your surgeon is experienced in breast augmentation. The field of cosmetic medical treatments is rapidly advancing, whether it is the latest treatment techniques, products or services, an experienced surgeon is the best way to ensure comfort, safety, and satisfaction.

Connection

You are putting your trust in another individual and that means you need to find a practitioner that makes you feel in safe hands. Personality and respect is key, make sure you have a strong connection with your practitioner and that they listen to you and give honest, open advice in good measure.

We can help you find a surgeon you can trust. Click here to get started.

What does the initial consultation entail?

After finding a surgeon who is experienced in performing liposuction, you will need to make an appointment for your consultation.

During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your goals and medical condition, and evaluate you as a candidate for liposuction. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate the elasticity of your skin and discuss your ideal weight and your future pregnancy plans. You surgeon may also take photographs of the areas to be treated for your medical record. Please go prepared and ask all your questions.

The session generally lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and at the end of the session your surgeon may recommendation a treatment plan and you may be able to book the surgery.

Make sure that the consultation you attend is with the Plastic Surgeon. This is to be distinguished with free consultations offered by many places with Nurses or Patient Advisors/ Coordinators whose consultations are actually a pre-consultation before you see a Plastic Surgeon. Generally, because of the in-depth nature of the consultation with a surgeon, there is a cost associated with this initial appointment.

What is a Tummy Tuck Cooling off period?

Tummy Tuck surgery is an important decision. It is essential that you are making the appropriate choice and understand all the implications of the surgery. If you are not offered a cooling-off period of around 2 weeks, or you are put under pressure to proceed, you should walk away and look elsewhere.

Would I be required to do anything prior to the surgery?

In advance of your procedure, your surgeon will ask you to:

  • Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing cosmetic surgery to better promote healing.
  • Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs that can increase bleeding.
  • Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after surgery for safe recovery.

What is the recovery like?

Your surgeon will give you detailed care instructions, including normal symptoms you will experience, potential signs of complication, and the level and type of activity that is safe. The amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals, but the below gives a broad idea:

The first week

Most tummy tuck patients require several days of bed rest, even if they return home the same day as their surgery. Your incision site will be covered with a dressing to keep the area clean and protected. Try to walk as soon as possible, although slowly, to avoid any swelling. You will likely go back for follow-up with your surgeon within five days. During this visit, your doctor can remove the drains. 

Two to six weeks

You will be required to wear a wide elastic compression garment to reduce swelling and provide support to the skin as it tightens. You should be able to return to work after about two weeks, depending on the physical demands of your job. Swelling should subside within five weeks. 

Long term

You should expect to wait at least several months to get an accurate picture of the results of your surgery. The small incisions used for access will fade over a number of months usually becoming barely visible. Recovery from a tummy tuck procedure occurs over a period of six months or more. It is important to see your doctor as scheduled. Follow-up visits will continue for several weeks and then after several months at prescribed intervals.

How long do the results last?

Your results should be permanent, although it will get a little looser as you age, but not much. However, if you gain and then lose a large amount of weight after a tummy tuck, the abdominal skin could stretch out again, negatively impacting the overall contour. Likewise, if you become pregnant your abdomen will loosen again. For this reason, it is best to wait until after you finish having children to undergo a tummy tuck. If you’re planning to lose weight, do it before the surgery.