Tummy Tuck

What is a Tummy Tuck?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a Tummy Tuck, is a plastic surgical procedure that aims to improve the contour and appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat and tightening the abdominal wall muscles, whilst also creating a smaller waistline. A tummy tuck is the procedure of choice for anyone with an abdomen that is either saggy or protruding due to overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin as a result of pregnancy or weight fluctuations. These are issues that are difficult to address through diet and exercise alone, and thus a tummy tuck procedure is a common, highly effective procedure that can give you a flatter, smoother and more shapely abdomen.

Fast Facts:

Length of procedure: 2 – 3 hours.
Type of anaesthesia: General anaesthetic.
Length of stay: 2 nights.
What to expect post-op: Your tummy will feel tight and you will have to walk slightly bent over initially after surgery but will be able to straighten up within the first few days, and you will need to wear a supportive post-surgical garment for 6 weeks post-surgery.
Recovery time: You should be able to drive after ten days and return to work after approximately 1- 2 weeks. Avoid strenuous activity for 1 month
Results: Permanent, unless you experience significant variations in weight. Final results are usually visible at 12 months.

Who Might Benefit from a Tummy Tuck Procedure?

Anyone with an abdomen that is either saggy or protruding due to overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin as a result of pregnancy or weight fluctuations, may benefit from a tummy tuck procedure. Your consultation with Dr do Vale will determine whether a tummy tuck is a suitable procedure for you.

Often times, patients wish to combine their tummy tuck procedure with other complementary procedures to cut down on overall cost and recovery time. These may include breast surgery (Mommy Makeover), liposuction or a brachioplasty. You can discuss your goals and wishes with Dr do Vale, and she will tell you if a combination of procedures is possible.

What does a Tummy Tuck Procedure Involve?

Undergoing a tummy tuck procedure/abdominoplasty is a major decision. During your consultation, Dr do Vale will discuss and answer the questions you may have regarding a tummy tuck, all options available to you, the risks involved, and the expected benefits and results so that together you can come to a personalised decision about your tummy tuck procedure.

A tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that typically lasts around 2 hours and is performed under general anaesthesia. A full tummy tuck procedure involves a horizontal incision which is hidden in the underwear area and runs right above the pubic region, from one pelvic bone to the other. Surgical markings are measured and made before going into theatre. During the tummy tuck procedure, excess skin and fat are removed. The lax abdominal muscles may also need to be stitched together (plication) to achieve a tighter, flatter abdominal wall. The navel may also need to be repositioned. In some instances, the tummy tuck procedure may be combined with liposuction.

Some individuals who have minimal muscle separation and who only have excess skin below the navel may only require a partial (mini) tummy tuck. A mini tummy tuck involves less dissection and has a smaller incision/scar. As a plastic surgeon, Dr do Vale's goal is to give you a smoother, flatter, firmer abdomen and a naturally contoured waistline. Dr do Vale will apply her skill and appreciation of shape and scale to optimise your body contour and shape.

Recovery after a Tummy Tuck Procedure:

You will stay in hospital overnight. Initially, after the tummy tuck procedure, your tummy will feel tight, and you will have to walk slightly bent over, but you will be able to straighten up within the first few days. You may have drains (2 soft silicone pipes) coming out to drain any excess fluid. You will need to wear a supportive post-surgical garment continuously for 6 weeks, which will control swelling and provide additional support and comfort during the healing process. Most patients will take about two weeks to recover before returning to work. It may take a few weeks for the incisions to fully heal. No strenuous activity should be done during this time (approximately four to six weeks). Once the incisions have fully healed, you can resume your normal exercise routine. Dr do Vale will advise you on the most suitable scar management regimen to minimise the visibility of the scars.

It is important to remember that a tummy tuck procedure cannot replace a healthy, active lifestyle, nor is it an alternative to weight loss. As such, it is recommended that your weight be stable before undergoing a tummy tuck procedure.

For more information on Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty or to find out if it’s the right procedure for you, request a consultation below or call 0109003999 to schedule your detailed consultation with Dr do Vale for abdominoplasty in Johannesburg.