Let’s not beat around the bush, there are few women who wouldn’t like a flatter stomach and as well as enjoying a good diet and exercise, surgery is one way to achieve this. Our team receives hundreds of enquiries from women wanting information on our range of cosmetic surgery services and here Mr Omar Ahmed, a consultant with Spire Washington Hospital explains all about abdominoplasty – also known as the common tummy tuck.
“As a way to remove excess skin and stretch marks, it’s not surprising that abdominoplasty is a sought-after procedure, but it may surprise you to learn that at Spire Washington Hospital we turn away around 10% of people enquiring about it because we don’t believe it’s right for them.
“Although the term ‘tummy tuck’ sounds trivial, it is actually a significant operation performed under general anaesthetic that lasts on average around 3 hours. The aim is to flatten the stomach by tightening the abdominal muscles and to do this incisions are made across the lower abdomen and around the tummy button. Excess skin and fat is removed and stretched, or torn muscles pulled together and stitched in place. The remaining skin is then pulled down and a new hole made for the tummy button.
“With this is mind, abdominoplasty is actually only appropriate in particular circumstances. Those suitable for the treatment have been left with folds of skin, perhaps after losing weight or pregnancy; others may have a saggy tummy as a result of the ageing process.
“Our advice is that ladies undergoing the surgery should have completed their families. This is because your stomach should remain flat if you retain the same figure after surgery, but with pregnancy the skin stretches again, as you’d expect.
“What abdominoplasty is not, is an effective weight loss solution or suitable for anyone – in fact, tummy tucks work best for people who are otherwise slim, in good health and have the right body mass index. All these things are important for securing the best and most sustainable aesthetic result and to have the strongest chance of avoiding adverse complications.
“One thing that I’m often asked is whether I can perform liposuction at the same time as a tummy tuck. The short answer is no, at least where the stomach is concerned. Liposuction can be performed to the hip and saddle bag areas but to attempt it on the stomach during abdominoplasty would adversely affect the outcome and increase the element of risk involved.
“Ultimately, our advice is to always think carefully about what you want to achieve through surgery and why. Spire Washington Hospital has a large team on hand to discuss all the options and provide as much advice and information as possible. With the right candidate, the results can make a huge difference and considering it requires just one or two nights in hospital followed by approximately 2-3 weeks of recuperation time at home, abdominoplasty can be well worth the investment.”
As you can see from Mr Ahmed’s advice, we are committed to ensuring patients are given all the information they need to make an informed decision about cosmetic surgery. Whichever procedure they decide on, our patients can be confident of receiving safe and appropriate treatment from a highly experienced and friendly team, in a hospital with exceptional healthcare standards.