Excess skin around the tummy area, that does not improve with exercise, is a common problem. This can be treated with a tummy tuck which can be a mini orfull. Our Chief Surgeon will explain the best option for you to improve your body contour. The results that you can expect are a slimmer and flatter tummy that will improve your confidence and allow you to wear more figure hugging clothes again.
Although different techniques may be used, they essentially involve removal of excess skin and fat and tightening of the abdominal muscles. A ‘mini’ tummy tuck may be appropriate for some or a full abdominoplasty may be required. Many people choose to combine tummy tuck surgery with other procedures such as liposuction for the best results. Mr Uppal may suggest combining a tummy tuck with Lipo Sculpture or Liposuction to the same area. You may also like to explore having liposuction in other areas such as the thighs and sides to give the body an overall slimmer effect.
Women may have excess skin around the tummy after pregnancy or after weight loss. Men are similarly affected by weight loss. Stretch marks can also be removed during surgery.
A standard tummy tuck results in a scar in the knicker line and another around the belly button. The hospital stay is usually a one to two night stay in the comfortable surroundings of your chosen private hospital in London or Windsor. Full recovery takes around four weeks, we advise patients to avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks.
Who benefits from a tummy tuck?
The best candidates for abdominoplasty are men or women who are in relatively good shape but are bothered by a large fat deposit or loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise. The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through many pregnancies, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point where they can return to normal. No matter how much weight is lost the excess skin may remain. Loss of skin elasticity in older patients, which frequently occurs with slight obesity, can also be improved.
Mr Uppal recommends that patients who intend to lose a lot of weight may benefit from postponing the surgery. Also, women who plan future pregnancies should wait, as vertical muscles in the abdomen that are tightened during surgery can separate again during pregnancy. If you have scarring from previous abdominal surgery, your doctor may recommend against abdominoplasty or may caution you that scars could be unusually prominent.
Abdominoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your whole life, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Mr Uppal.
What are the risks of a tummy tuck?
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk. Thousands of abdominoplasties are performed successfully each year. When done by a qualified plastic surgeon such as Mr Uppal who is trained in body contouring, the results are generally quite positive. Nevertheless, there are always risks associated with surgery and specific complications associated with this procedure.
Post-operative complications such as infection and blood clots are rare, but can occur. Infection can be treated with drainage and antibiotics, but will prolong your hospital stay. You can minimize the risk of blood clots by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible.
Poor healing, which results in visible scars, or skin growth over time may require a second operation. Smokers should stop, as smoking will increase all the risks of complications and delayed healing.
You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following your surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery, especially with regard to when and how you should resume physical activity. Wearing the corset for 6-8 weeks is essential to reduce swelling and allow skin tightening. Some patients have excess skin that grows at the end of each scar and does not improve with massage. These so called ‘dog ears’ can be trimmed with a simple procedure in the clinic while you are awake with some local anaesthetic to numb the area.
What should I ask Mr Uppal about my tummy?
In your initial consultation, Mr Uppal will evaluate your health, determine the extent of fat deposits in your abdominal region, and carefully assess your skin tone. Be sure to tell Me Uppal if you smoke, and if you’re taking any medications, vitamins, or other medication.
Be open and honest in discussing your expectations with your surgeon. Mr Uppal will be equally frank with you, describing your alternatives and the risks and limitations of each.
If, for example, your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini-tummy tuck, which can often be performed on an outpatient basis. You may, on the other hand, need a Full abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips, for a better body contour. Or maybe liposuction alone would create the best result.
In any case, your surgeon should work with you to recommend the procedure that is right for you and will come closest to producing the desired body contour.
During the consultation, Mr Uppal will explain the anaesthesia he will use and the risks and benefits of surgery. where the surgery will be performed. His secretary, Sharon, will explain all the costs involved and how to book surgery.
How is the surgery performed?
Complete abdominoplasty usually takes about two hours, depending on the extent of work required. A mini Abdominoplasty may take an hour or so.
Most commonly, Mr Uppal will make a long incision from hipbone to hipbone ,just above the pubic area. This is marked on the morning of surgery so you can see exactly where the scar will be. A second incision is made to free the belly button from surrounding tissue. With partial abdominoplasty, the incision is much shorter and the navel may not have a scar, although it may be pulled as the skin is tightened and stitched.
During the procedure, Mr Uppal separates the skin from the abdominal wall all the way up to your ribs and lifts a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened if needed by pulling them close together and stitching them into their new position. This provides a firmer abdominal wall and narrows the waistline.
Mr Uppal specialises in quilting the tummy on the inside so you get a leaner appearance.
The skin flap is then stretched down and the extra skin is removed. A new hole is cut for your navel, which is then stitched in place. The method of cutting the hole will greatly affect the appearance of your belly button. Mr Uppal takes great care to create as natural looking a belly button as possible. Finally, the incisions will be stitched with dissolving stitches, dressings will be applied and a temporary drain tube will be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site. This is gently removed the next day and you can go home if you feel up to it. You are welcome to stay another day if needed.
In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess is removed, and the flap is stitched back into place.
What is my recovery after surgery?
For the first few days, your tummy will probably be swollen and you’re likely to feel some pain and discomfort which can be controlled easily with paracetamol. Most people go home the day after surgery.
You can shower the next day as the bandages are waterproof. You do not need to change your dressings till you come for a check up a week later.
You may not be able to stand up totally straight at first but you should start walking as soon as possible.
All stitches are dissolving so there are no stitches to take out. You must wear the corset at all times except to shower.
It may take you weeks or months to feel like your old self again. If you start out in top physical condition with strong abdominal muscles, recovery from abdominoplasty will be much faster. Some people return to work after two weeks, while others take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate.
Gentle exercise after 2 weeks is allowed including running and stepper machines but only if the corset is worn. Even people who have never exercised before should begin an exercise program to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided for 6 weeks.
What are the long terms results?
The skin and fat removed from the tummy will never come back. However a heathy diet and exercise program is essential in maintaining a flat tummy. Plastic surgery is not magic and should not be seen as the lazy option. Your scars and tummy swelling may actually appear to worsen during the first three to six months as they heal, but this is normal. Expect it to take nine months to a year before your scars and tummy flatten out and lighten in color. While the scars will never disappear completely, abdominal scars will not show under most clothing, even under bathing suits.
Do you specialise in massive weight loss surgery and treating Bariatric patients?
Yes. Mr Uppal has experience in the full set of procedures after massive weight loss. This can be achieved after a change in lifestyle or after Bariatric surgery. Mr Uppal removes the excess skin that results after losing a lot of weight. This can make a huge difference in helping to get back to a more normal life such as wearing normal clothes and being able to go swimming. Lots of loose skin around the tummy, arms, breasts and thighs can make people feel depressed and lose confidence. Removing all the excess skin does result in scars but can significantly help to improve appearance and self esteem. Please contact us for details.
Do you perform Belly Button correction or umbilicoplasty?
Yes. Mr Uppal will assess you to see if you are a suitable patient to have removal of extra skin from the belly button to make it look better. Some of our patients are embarrassed to go swimming or let their partner see their tummy, due to the poor shape of their belly button or umbilicus. This umbilicoplasty procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic and you can go home the same day.