Added by Klaudia Grabowska on 22.04.2021

Tummy tuck- what is abdominoplasty surgery?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as a tummy tuck, is a plastic surgery which improves the look of the tummy. What is a tummy tuck exactly, and how does it affect the tummy area? It removes the loose skin of the abdomen, tightens the muscles, and, to some degree, it also removes excessive fat. Tummy tuck surgery makes the tummy flat and compact. It is recommended especially after pregnancy or significant weight loss when the skin is so stretched that it cannot be tightened by non-surgical methods. Tummy tuck surgery UK is recommended to people who struggle with excessive skin, not fat. For fat removal, liposuction is performed. Sometimes, it is difficult to say whether the unattractive, sagging tummy is caused by excessive skin or fat, but a plastic surgeon is able to determine which surgery would solve the problem. Plastic surgery tummy tuck gives excellent effects for patients who need skin removal and muscle tightening – tummy tuck pictures available on the Internet show the scale of the results that are achieved. Below, we present all the important aspects of tummy tuck surgery. 

Tummy Tuck surgery- types

tummy

Abdominoplasty also called tummy tuck improves the look of the tummy and removes excess skin

Tummy tuck operation is a general term for skin removal surgery. However, patients should realize that there are several types of tummy tuck procedures. Different types of tummy tuck involve also different types of tummy tuck incisions and results. The most popular types of tummy tuck surgery are: full tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, reverse tummy tuck, Fleur de lis tummy tuck and laser tummy tuck

Full tummy tuck

Full tummy tuck, called full abdominoplasty, removes the skin from the whole abdomen wall. The incision is made across the lower tummy and around the navel. The skin is removed mainly from the area below the navel down to the pubic area. Also, the muscles are tightened in this area. The majority of before-after photos are the full tummy tuck pictures showing what results can be achieved after this surgery. This procedure is recommended to people who have big deposits of excessive skin.

Mini tummy tuck

before and after the surgery

There are different types of tummy tuck surgery

Mini abdominoplasty (mini tummy tuck) involves the incision in the pubic area – its size depends on the scope of the surgery and may vary from a few centimetres to the whole abdomen span. Mini-abdominoplasty is recommended to patients who have excessive skin accumulated in the lower parts of the abdomen. Mini tummy tuck before and after photos are not so spectacular as in the full tummy tuck – this surgery aims at removing smaller skin deposits than full tummy tuck. 

Mini tummy tuck vs full tummy tuck

Patients may find it difficult whether they need tummy tuck mini or full – however, a plastic surgeon should advise on the recommended type. The general difference between mini tummy tuck and full tummy tuck is the surgery scope. Mini tummy tuck (partial tummy tuck) addresses the area below the navel while the full tummy tuck (complete tummy tuck) addresses the area below and above the navel.

The most important similarities and differences between mini vs full tummy tuck are as follows:

 

Mini tummy tuck

Full tummy tuck

Duration of the surgery

1-3 hours2-5 hours

The navel

remains intactis reconstructed and relocated

Scarring

the scar is visible, but is relatively shortthe scar is visible and is relatively long

Area involved

below the navel (from hips to the navel)below and above the navel (from hips to ribs)

Anaesthesia

usually general anaesthesiaalways general anaesthesia

Muscles

lower abdomen muscles may be tightenedare always tightened

Fat removal

may be combined with liposuctionmay be combined with liposuction

Recovery

2 weeks2-4 weeks

Candidates

people with minor skin sagging and minimal protrusionpeople with significant skin sagging

Reverse tummy tuck

Reverse abdominoplasty is a type of tummy tuck which addresses only the upper abdomen. The excessive skin is removed from the area above the navel. The incisions in this surgery are made at the breast fold or crease beneath the breast line. The reverse tummy tuck scar is usually well-hidden in the breast crease where a bra is worn. What’s interesting, reverse abdominoplasty is rarely performed just because usually people struggle with loose skin below the navel not above it, or both below and above the navel – which requires a full tummy tuck. 

Fleur de lis tummy tuck

girl looking

Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck is an extended tummy tuck and very often performed on bariatric patients

Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck (fdl tummy tuck) is an extended tummy tuck. Fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty is recommended to people with extremely big deposits of sagging skin in the tummy area – it is particularly frequent among bariatric surgery patients who have lost dozens or even hundreds of additional kilograms. The extended abdominoplasty involves the incision along the lower tummy and navel as in the standard tummy tuck as well as an incision across the middle abdomen. Such incisions allow for removing huge skin deposits. Fleur de lis abdominoplasty is a very demanding surgery which is performed only for well-founded medical and cosmetic reasons.

Laser tummy tuck

Laser tummy tuck is an alternative to surgical abdominoplasty. Laser tummy tuck procedure is recommended to patients who want to avoid scarring and the risk connected with general anaesthesia and surgery and whose loose skin is not very extensive. The tummy tuck laser is performed by certified plastic surgeons, it is not very popular as the results are visible, yet not spectacular. What is more, it is a revolutionary and new procedure which can be performed only in chosen places. To get more information about laser tummy tuck cost and outcomes, we suggest watching available laser tummy tuck video films and take a look at laser tummy tuck before and after photos. 

Liposuction and tummy tuck

Girl in black underwear with skin

The main difference between liposuction and tummy tuck is that lipo’s aim is to remove fat and tummy tuck’s – the excess skin

Lipo and tummy tuck are two different plastic surgeries. Regarding the tummy area, tummy tuck removes the excessive skin from the abdomen while liposuction removes the excessive fat from this body part. So, both tummy tuck and lipo aim at improving the look of the tummy by making it firm and flat. When a person has both fat and skin storages, a plastic surgeon may suggest combining tummy tuck with lipo. In fact,having tummy tuck and liposuction is one of the most frequent combinations of plastic surgeries. An experienced plastic surgeon should describe in detail what effects can give only lipo, only tummy tuck or both liposuction and tummy tuck UK so that a patient can make an individual decision about the scale of the procedure. Tummy tuck may be also combined with liposuction of other body parts or even other plastic surgeries e.g. breast lift. Yet, any considerations about combining tummy tuck with other surgeries must be discussed with a plastic surgeon. 

Tummy tuck vs lipo

Whether to have liposuction or tummy tuck depends mainly on the problem – excessive skin requires different procedures than excessive fat. In fact, tummy tuck vs lipo are often compared and juxtaposed, but they are two different surgeries. They may just concern the same body part. So, what is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

The table below presents the main areas of difference between liposuction and tummy tuck:

 

Tummy liposuction

Tummy tuck

Aim

removing fat deposits, reshaping and recontouring tummy, making it more slimtightening the muscles in the abdomen, removing skin deposits

Candidates

patients with healthy BMI with fat accumulated in tummy area
patients after pregnancy or dramatic weight loss who are left with sagging skin and loosened muscles

Non-surgical alternatives

availableavailable

Anaesthesia

local or general anaesthesiageneral anaesthesia

Length

about 2 hours2-5 hours

Recovery

2 weeks4-6 weeks

Scarring

minimal, usually invisiblevisible, long incisions are made

Complexity

rather simple, safe proceduresophisticated, demanding procedure

Types

SAL, UAL, WAL, LAL, PAL, NIL, tumescent lipofull tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

Tummy tuck revision

Tummy tuck belongs to the most spectacular plastic surgeries. It gives amazing effects and highly improves self-esteem and attractiveness. However, it is possible that patients feel disappointed with the results or the body looks worse than it should. Then, tummy tuck revision is an option. It is important that a decision regarding tummy tuck revision surgery is made by a certified surgeon who analyzes the outcomes of a primary surgery. Also, patients should know that the final results of tummy tuck may come even after a year, so the decision about revision tummy tuck surgery should never be made within the 1st year after the surgery. Only after that time, can we determine whether the effects are satisfying or not.

The most common reasons for tummy tuck revision surgery include:

  • bad surgery results (e.g. inadequate removal of the excessive skin or tissue, fatty bulges, remaining fat deposits)
  • disfiguring scarring
  • weight gain
  • pregnancy (women having had tummy tuck in the past may need a secondary surgery when they get pregnant in the meantime because the primary effects may get disturbed)
  • the navel distortion
  • infections.

Regarding a revision tummy tuck, it is necessary to make sure whether the bad results are a surgeon’s fault or they are associated with patients’ expectations. If a surgeon’s malpractice is evident, patients may get a revision surgery as a compensation policy of the hospital, but when patients just want further changes, they will fully pay for the revision surgery. 

Tummy tuck candidate

lady in orange backgound

To be qualified for the surgery the patient should have loose skin in the abdomen area and good health condition, but also realistic expectations toward the procedure

Patients wondering “am I a good candidate for a tummy tuck” should know a few aspects which may qualify or disqualify them from the surgery. Generally, the main indications for a mini tummy tuck candidate and full tummy tuck candidate are the same. Below, we present the criteria determining who is a good candidate for a mini tummy tuck, full tummy tuck, and reverse tummy tuck:

  • having loose skin in the abdomen area (lower, middle or/and upper part of the tummy)
  • good health condition (e.g. people having heart problems, lung diseases, diabetes, tissue disorders or any autoimmune disorders may get disqualified from the surgery)
  • having realistic expectations and realizing that the surgery results are permanent only when patients maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • sagging skin resulting from pregnancy or massive weight loss makes a person a good candidate for tummy tuck
  • women should decide to have tummy tuck only when they do not plan to get pregnant anymore
  • the final weight should be already stabilized and all the unwanted fat should have been lost already
  • some medical conditions, e.g. SUI (Stress urinary incontinence), ventral hernia or back pain may be treated by tummy tuck
  • being a heavy smoker usually disqualifies people from the surgery.

Tummy tuck after pregnancy

Post pregnancy tummy tuck is a popular surgery among women whose tummy skin has stretched during pregnancy. Many women find it difficult to restore the shape and condition of the tummy and muscles with a diet and exercises. About 30% of women experience diastasis recti after pregnancy. It is a condition where the right and left abdominal muscles are stretched and spread apart – it may develop during pregnancy or after giving birth. Tummy tuck after pregnancy tightens the muscles, contours the abdomen and removes the sagging skin. Tummy tuck after baby should never be an ad-hoc decision. Women should wait at least 6 months before they get the surgery, also their weight should already be stabilized. In some cases, it may also turn out that a healthy diet and exercising is enough and mummy tummy tuck is not necessary at all. Finally, when women are breastfeeding, they should wait with a tummy tuck for loose skin after pregnancy until they stop it because the anaesthesia that is applied may affect a baby also. 

Tummy tuck after c section

pregnancy

A post-pregnancy tummy tuck is a popular surgery among women.  The way of giving birth is not so important and it can be done after c-section

Tummy tuck after c-section is possible and totally safe. In fact, the way of giving birth is not so important for tummy tuck. The only recommendation is that it is at least a year between c section and tummy tuck. The woman’s body needs this time to fully recover from the c-section surgery and pregnancy. Many women wonder whether it is possible to get a tummy tuck NHS after c section, however, the c-section is not an indicator for NHS tummy tuck, so usually, women need to fully pay for the surgery when they want to remove sagging skin. There is also a surgery called cesarean tummy tuck where a c-section and tummy tuck is performed at the same time. Yet, we do not recommend this solution. Cesarean section is surgery of giving birth to a baby, and it should not be disturbed by any other surgeries, also a woman’s body changes greatly after giving birth, so having tummy tuck before the natural changes take place may be just ineffective. 

Tummy tuck after weight loss

excess skin 3

Tummy tuck for loose skin is recommended to people who have had weight-loss surgery and lost dozens of kilograms

A massive weight loss is a great achievement which improves the physical and mental health. However, when people lose many kilograms in a short time, their skin remains stretched and loose, which does not look attractive. Thus, tummy tuck after weight loss is so popular. Tummy tuck, by removing excessive skin, makes people can finally enjoy the effects of weight loss and are happy with their bodies. Tummy tuck for loose skin is also recommended to people who have had a weight loss surgery. Bariatric procedures trigger a very fast weight loss and tummy tuck after weight loss surgery is often inevitable also for medical reasons. Anyone wondering ‘will i need a tummy tuck after weight loss’ should know that it all depends on the speed of losing weight, the skin condition and elasticity, lifestyle and genetics. 

Plus size tummy tuck

Plus size tummy tuck is a surgery dedicated to overweight people. Usually, tummy tuck is recommended to healthy individuals who just struggle with the sagging skin, however they are not the only group which may get this surgery. The main criteria for plus size tummy tuck UK include having BMI below 40, being healthy and committed to a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to have realistic expectations and be aware that patients may need further weight loss after tummy tuck to improve their shape. Deciding for a tummy tuck weight loss combination may be a great starting point for all plus size people who wish to look better and be healthier.

Tummy tuck for stretch marks

Many women opt for tummy tuck to remove stretch marks on the tummy. But will a tummy tuck remove stretch marks? Fortunately, this surgery may help. The surgery itself is not addressed to stretch marks removal, however along with skin removal, most of the stretch marks disappear or their visibility is decreased. Tummy tuck stretch marks are removed or alleviated mainly from the area between the navel and bikini line. In full or mini tummy tuck for stretch marks, the remaining skin is stretched down, so even if the stretch marks exist, they are moved lower and are not so visible. To have an idea of the results of the surgery in terms of stretch marks, we advise to take a look at tummy tuck for stretch marks before and after photos that are widely available on the Internet. 

Male tummy tuck

man thinking

Tummy tuck among men is as popular as among women

Generally, tummy tuck for men is exactly the same surgery as tummy tuck for women. The most common reason for tummy tuck male procedure is an excessive weight loss resulting mostly from a bariatric surgery. There are cases when men tummy tuck is performed after losing as much as 200 kilograms, so these are dozens of kilograms of removed skin. What is also characteristic of male tummy tuck UK, it focuses on removing the excessive skin in such a way that the abdominal muscles are exposed. Having a highlighted and well-contoured six-pack is often one of men’s expectations towards mens tummy tuck.

Who should not have a tummy tuck?

Unfortunately, there are some factors that may disqualify people from having tummy tuck and their surgery should be postponed for the future. The contradictions include:

  • Obesity when people’s BMI is over 40, they are advised to lose weight and instead of tummy tuck, they should consider a weight loss surgery. Being obese means that people struggle with excessive fat, not the skin, so firstly, they should focus on losing that fat and only the can they see whether tummy tuck will be necessary as well. 
  • Plans to have children – when is the best time to get a tummy tuck for women? Well, women are advised to have tummy tuck only when they do not plan to have children in the future. The reason for that is simple – further pregnancies will probably make the skin stretched and loose again, so the money spent on the surgery would be just wasted.
  • thinking lady

    The patient should remember that tummy tuck surgery is not a cure for obesity

    Skin is not a problem – many people are not able to determine whether they have excessive skin or fat in the abdominal area. When the fat is a problem, the surgeon would recommend liposuction instead of tummy tuck. There are also people with small amounts of excessive skin which can be tightened by exercising and regular training, and although a surgery is less demanding option for them, they should try natural methods of improving skin condition.

  • Being on a diet – tummy tuck can be done only when a weight is stabilized. When patients have tummy tuck, after which they lose much weight, the problem of loose skin will appear again. 
  • Health problems – we need to remember that tummy tuck is a surgical procedure, so when the health condition makes the surgery risky, surgeons may suggest some other treatments first, e.g. patients may be prescribed some meds lowering blood pressure, asked to quit smoking, or referred to other specialists to solve health problems.

Tummy tuck procedure

Before tummy tuck procedure, patients should do the medical tests which usually are: blood group, PT/INR, APTT, electrolytes (K, Na), CBC, glucose, urinalysis, chest x-ray, creatinine, electrocardiogram, and anti-HCV and anti-HIV antibodies. It is also important that patients follow pe-op instructions which influence the course and outcome of the surgery.

Such instructions include:

  • stop taking hormonal contraception or HRT 4 weeks before the surgery
  • stop taking meds affecting blood coagulation (e.g. Aspirin, garlic, polopiryna, some herbs) 2 weeks before the surgery
  • stop taking pain medications (e.g. paracetamol, pyralgin, naproxen) 3 days before the surgery
  • stop smoking at least 3 weeks before the surgery
  • do not eat or drink for 6 hours before the surgery.

How long does a tummy tuck take? It depends on the surgery scope – partial tummy tuck is usually performed in less than 2 hours while full tummy tuck may take even 5 hours. Below, we describe what is involved in a tummy tuck procedure. Of course, to know exactly how does a tummy tuck work, patients should ask the surgeon because it greatly depends on the surgery type. In mini tummy tuck procedure, the course of the operation is slightly different than in full tummy tuck. So, how is a tummy tuck done?

Tummy tuck procedure step by step is as follows:

  • Step 1: patients are taken to the operating room where they get intravenous (IV) line put; sometimes, the urinary catheter is also placed. Then, the general anaesthesia is applied.
  • Step 2: a surgeon makes incisions – their size and number depends on the surgery type, for full tummy tuck a surgeon makes two incisions – one along the pubic area from hip to hip and second incision around the navel, for partial tummy tuck, only one incision is enough. 
  • Step 3: a surgeon separates the skin from abdominal muscles. Then, the fat is removed and the muscles are pulled together.
  • Step 4: after dealing with the muscles and fat, a surgeon moves to skin removal. The excessive, sagging skin is separated and removed. The remaining skin is stretched over the tummy area and becomes tight and firm. Also, if need be, a surgeon relocates the navel so that it looks natural. 
  • Step 5: a surgeon puts drains to collect fluids and closes the incisions with sutures. Then, patients are taken to a post-op room where they rest for the next few hours.

Tummy tuck belly button

Many people wonder what happens to the belly button after tummy tuck ? Well, in fact it should not be any concern. The partial surgery (e.g. mini tummy tuck) does not affect belly button post tummy tuck. In full tummy tuck, the incisions are made around the navel, but when the skin is removed, the natural navel may look very unnatural or no belly button after tummy tuck may be visible. Then, a surgeon usually creates a new place for the belly button so that it looks totally natural. Tummy tuck and belly button relocation are done to make patients look attractive and aesthetic, so they can be sure that everything done during the surgery is done to meet patients’ expectations. We also advise to ask a surgeon about belly button tummy tuck before the surgery and the surgeon should explain whether the navel will be relocated and what it will entail. 

Can tummy tuck be combined with other procedures?

Tummy tuck is a complex surgery itself, yet it is often combined with other cosmetic surgeries. The usual combinations are:

Surgeons performing operation in operation theater

A tummy tuck can be combined with other procedures, but the surgeon needs to make the final decision based on the patient’s health condition

The procedures above are commonly known as mummy makeover. It is a combination of surgeries performed for women who would like to improve their body look which has changed after pregnancy. All patients who consider having combination surgeries must consider the following factors:

  • the recovery is relatively long – the body needs more time to heal after combination surgeries, patients should spend more time on resting and they should refrain from tiring activities for a longer period of time, so they must take it into consideration before making the final decision;
  • patients should be healthy – the more surgeries they have, the longer is the operation time, it means that patients are under general anaesthesia for quite long and the surgery risks increase; thus, it important to do thorough medical tests and tell the surgeon about any medical conditions or diseases;
  • the price is high – usually, the price for combined surgeries (e.g. tummy tuck and breast augmentation cost or tummy tuck and breast lift cost UK) is lower than patients would pay for getting the surgeries individually, yet it is still high cost that needs to be paid at once, so not everyone is able to afford it;
  • a plastic surgeon should have an experience in such surgeries – patients should look for such a surgeon who does not agree to perform every single surgery that patients want, but rather explains the risks and recommends the procedures that would improve their look and be minimally risky at the same time, e.g. combining tummy tuck and BBL is theoretically possible, but certified surgeons rather refuse to do it because the further recovery of a patient is extremely difficult or sometimes, when patients have huge fat deposits, a surgeon may recommend to split the lipo and tummy tuck surgeries to achieve the best results. 

Finally, every patient who wants to get tummy tuck combined with any other procedure should contact a plastic surgeon and ask whether it may be possible in this particular case because theoretically, there are dozens of combination surgeries, but practically, it is so individual that it requires a deep examination and discussion with a patient. 

Tummy tuck recovery

Portrait thoughtful beautiful young woman looking up

The recovery from tummy tuck lasts for a few weeks, but this depends on the type of surgery

The recovery after tummy tuck is an important aspect and stage of getting a new tummy look. Each patient has their own pace of abdominoplasty recovery and it is important to give the body as much time as it needs to fully heal. A plastic surgeon should give patients all the directions for tummy tuck post op aftercare and recovery before they leave a hospital. Generally, the recovery from tummy tuck lasts for a few weeks and greatly depends on the type of surgery. Full tummy tuck recovery time is usually longer than mini tummy tuck recovery UK and the recovery from abdominoplasty combined with other surgeries is longer and more exhaustive than after only tummy tuck. Before we present the details about the recovery steps, we advise readers to check the tummy tuck recovery stories of patients to have a real image of what to expect. 

How long to recover from tummy tuck ?

How long is recovery after tummy tuck? Well, it is not easy to answer this question. Yet, the average recovery time for tummy tuck is 4-8 weeks. In partial tummy tuck, this time may be shorter. The main factors that influence the tummy tuck healing time include: age, type and scope of the surgery, a patient’s health condition and post-op care. The abdominoplasty recovery time line is presented below.

Tummy tuck recovery day by day

The tummy tuck recovery stages include:

  • Day 1 – it is a day following the surgery. Patients usually spend 1 night in the hospital after the surgery and once they wake up, they are suggested to take a short walk. Driving after tummy tuck is not allowed, so patients need to organise transport from the clinic or ask someone to drive them home. Also, patients may feel weak and tired after waking up, and these may be a few hours until the anaesthesia fully eases off. The tummy tuck drains that are put during the surgery should be removed not sooner than in a few days. 
  • Day 2-7 – patients should rest at home – they are recommended to take time off work to heal properly. In the meantime, they may have a follow up visit in the hospital, during which a surgeon removes drains and checks whether the wounds heal properly. Patients must wear a compression garment all the time for this week – it reduces swelling and prevents any bulges. Patients usually feel tired, uncomfortable and in pain, yet the surgeon should prescribe or suggest some meds that can help. Also, the operated area is swollen and bruised, but over time, all the inconveniences should alleviate.
  • Day 8-14 – patients feel much better, they find it easier to move and walk, they can slowly go back to daily duties. Usually, by the end of tummy tuck 2 weeks post op, patients feel ready to return to work. Of course, when patients work physically, they should extend the recovery time.  
  • girl thinking

    Recovery time after mini tummy tuck is slightly shorter than after full tummy tuck

    Day 15-21 – prescribed pain meds are no longer needed – if patients still feel pain, they can take over-the-counter painkillers. Patients should still wear compression clothing to maximize the final effects. Most people return to their normal family and work life.

  • From 4 weeks post op tummy tuck – the swelling and bruising is significantly reduced and patients can see the first surgery effects clearly. Patients may return to the regular exercises, but their duration and intensity should be low at the beginning. The abdominal exercises can be done no sooner than in 6-8th week. Also the scars begin to fade and become less prominent.

Tummy tuck recovery week by week may vary depending on a patient. Yet the information above should give everyone a rough idea of what to expect towards the surgery and recovery. What is also worth mentioning, tummy tuck involves a relatively long incision which is not so easy to hide as in other plastic surgeries, so it is important to take proper care of the wounds to fasten healing and fading of the scars. If patients are not sure whether the scar looks normal at a specific stage, they may check tummy tuck recovery timeline photos on the Internet and compare the current look of the tummy with others at the specific stage of recovery. 

Mini tummy tuck recovery

Mini tummy tuck recovery time is shorter than after full tummy tuck. The surgery itself lasts up to 2 hours only and usually enables patients to leave the hospital on the same day. The usual recovery time for a mini tummy tuck is 2 weeks. Then, patients may return to their daily activities and mild exercises. Regarding work, most patients feel ready to return to work even a week after the surgery. The only thing that doesn’t change is wearing a compression garment – mini tummy tuck recovery period of wearing it is 6 weeks, also the long, strenuous exercises should be avoided for 4-6 weeks. As for the pain, swelling, and discomfort in the recovery mini tummy tuck, patients experience it on a smaller intensity and a shorter period of time. 

Tummy tuck pain during recovery

jeans and white sweter

During the first week after the surgery pain is usually the most intense

Pain from tummy tuck is a normal experience after the surgery. However, it is short-time and when patients know what to do to alleviate it, it is not as bothering as it seems. The tummy tuck recovery pain appears as soon as the anaesthesia stops working and the numbness disappears. Patients usually feel tenderness, discomfort, and tightness in the affected area and in the muscles. The tummy tuck pain recovery is the most intense is in the first week after the surgery. A surgeon usually prescribes strong medications which manage it, so they need to be taken as recommended. Day by day, patients feel less and less tummy tuck pain and recovery becomes more comfortable. The pain should totally disappear in the 2nd week for mini tummy tuck patients, and it should be much less severe for full tummy tuck patients. Usually, regular painkillers are enough at this stage. Regarding the pain areas, these are usually incision sites, affected muscles and tummy tuck drains pain that patients find troublesome.

The pain may be less intense when patients follows the following instructions:

  • avoiding tiring activities and lifting heavy objects
  • resting for at least 1-2 weeks
  • following a healthy diet with as little salt as possible
  • engaging in moderate activities, e.g. walking
  • avoiding sex for the first weeks
  • taking C, D, and group B vitamins
  • ceasing smoking.

Swelling after tummy tuck

Tummy tuck swelling is considered as normal during the recovery. It’s intensity depends on the healing pace and immune system. Patients should be informed how to control it because when swelling is long-lasting, it may be the symptom of some serious side effects, but when controlled, it should alleviate over time. The abdominal swelling after tummy tuck appears near the incisions site – it is a normal body reaction to the injury (e.g. swelling above belly button after tummy tuck is natural after full tummy tuck). To reduce after tummy tuck swelling, patients should wear compression garments. The other methods of reducing it include keeping the wounds clean and staying hydrated. The most important thing in controlling swelling is a compression garment. This clothing should be worn all the time for a few weeks and it is always a surgeon who decides when and for how long patients may take it off. Lastly, it may take even 2 months for swelling to alleviate, there are also patients who feel minor swelling a year after the surgery, so it is very individual and patients should be patient in this regard.

How to reduce swelling after tummy tuck surgery

The following suggestions may help reducing swelling after tummy tuck:

  • wear compression garment as recommended by a surgeon – such a clothing not only reduces swelling but also fastens the healing time; patients should not be surprised when they are asked to wear it all the time for several weeks, it is also a normal recovery stage;
  • remain mobile – of course patients are recommended to rest as mucha s possible, yet they cannot lay down all the time; relaxing walks improve blood circulation and reduce the complications risk; patients should ask a surgeon about the activities that can be done during the recovery and practise them, of course in a balanced and safe way;
  • follow a balanced diet – it is a very valuable suggestion that enhances healing; regarding tummy tuck recovery, it is extremely important to avoid salt because, as commonly known, salty food triggers bloating, swelling and water retention, so naturally when patients avoid salt in food, the swelling will be less intense. 

Tummy tuck compression garment

after surgery corset

Wearing a compression garment after tummy tuck is very important aspect after the surgery

Wearing compression garment tummy tuck (called tummy tuck garment or tummy tuck corset) is very important and in fact, it maximizes the final effects and guarantees a shaped look of the tummy. The compression garment after tummy tuck should be worn for several weeks and patients must always stick to the surgeon’s recommendations to get the satisfying surgery results. The 2 main functions of the compression garment after tummy tuck surgery are swelling reduction and prevention of fluid buildup. Regarding the product itself, some clinics offer the post-op clothing in their price, then patients can be sure that the quality of this garment is ok. Yet, when patients should buy a corset tummy tuck themselves, they may be flooded with various offers. The main consideration is how tight should compression garment be after tummy tuck. We advise patients to ask a surgeon or pharmacist about it before the surgery, they would be suggested the best compression garment after tummy tuck which they should obtain before the surgery. At the same time, patients should not get tempted to buy a doubtful quality product advertised as the best tummy tuck compression garment on the Internet – there are many types of modelling underwear available, but the compression garment should be a professional clothing designed for plastic surgery patients and certified as a medically recommended product. 

How long to wear a compression garment after tummy tuck?

How long to wear compression garment after tummy tuck? On average, patients must wear such clothing for 6-8 weeks. Most surgeons recommend that it is worn during the day as well as night. Others give strict instructions of the time when it is worn all the time and when it is worn only during the day or night. Each patient is given these instructions before leaving the clinic. It is just important to follow them and do not stop wearing it too soon. The garment must be perfectly fitted because wearing uncomfortable clothing for a few weeks may be too uncomfortable and irritating for patients. So, the fact how long do you wear compression garment after tummy tuck depends greatly on the surgeon and the surgery scope. 

Tummy tuck recovery tips

Below, we present the tummy tuck tips recovery (being also mini tummy tuck recovery tips) which every tummy tuck patient may find useful. Such tummy tuck recovery tips and hints refer to recovery after each type of tummy tuck, they include:

  • choose an experienced, top-quality surgeon – it significantly reduces the risk of side effects or complications, so naturally, the recovery is smooth and relatively quick;
  • realize what recovery is – tummy tuck results are not visible immediately because of bruising and swelling, so patients should not expect immediate effects or have unrealistic expectations towards their look shortly after the surgery;
  • find a balance of physical activity – both too tiring exercises and too long sitting are not recommended;
  • keep the daily hygiene – keeping the incision sites clean prevents infections;
  • stay hydrated and avoid salty food;
  • take necessary vitamins – they should include vitamins A, C, and D as well as antioxidants and probiotic supplements;
  • eat food reducing inflammation and bloat, e.g. papaya or pineapple.

Tummy tuck results

lady plus size

The patient should know that the results after the surgery are usually spectacular

Results after tummy tuck are really spectacular – this surgery guarantees one of the most dramatic changes to the patients’ appearance out of all plastic surgeries. The recovery from the surgery is not comfortable or easy, also the scar that is left is quite long, but the final effects compensate for it. The first results are visible when the swelling disappears, which is a few weeks after the surgery. The vast majority of patients can enjoy the tummy tuck results after 6 months, but patients should realize that sometimes they may see the tummy tuck results after 1 year, which is also normal. It is just important that patients realize that they need to wait for the final results and after the surgery, they should focus on the recovery because it greatly influences the results. To get an idea of what to expect, patients may ask a surgeon for sharing some tummy tuck images – such tummy tuck results before and after photos will show the scale of changes that may be expected from full and mini tummy tuck results. So, regarding the tummy tuck results UK, the main changes include:

  • removing the sagging loose skin from the abdomen
  • removing the small deposits of fat from the abdomen
  • tightening the abdominal muscles and abdominal wall
  • contouring the tummy.

The results of tummy tuck are designed to last permanently, however, it is up to a patient how long they will maintain. When patients follow a healthy diet, stay active and work on abdominal muscles, they can enjoy the surgery effects for years. However, when patients gain weight or lose weight, get pregnant or neglect strength training, the skin may stretch and become loose again. Also, the ageing can make the skin lose elasticity and get more and more sagging. Nonetheless, patients who just follow a surgeon’s instructions and take care of their body can keep the results forever. 

excercise

To maintain the effects patients should follow a healthy diet, stay active and work on abdominal muscles, then they can enjoy the surgery effects for years

Before and after tummy tuck

Patients considering tummy tuck should take a look at the tummy tuck results pictures. There are hundreds of such photos available on the Internet – they show real patients and real results they get. What we also advise, patients who have already chosen the clinic and surgeon should ask them for tummy tuck before after photos. Usually, before tummy tuck pictures are performed a few days before the surgery and then, patients take tummy tuck pictures after 6 weeks and after 6 months. Such photos are the best to see the progress and changes that take place. 

Tummy tuck after care

Each patient is given the tummy tuck after care instructions by a surgeon. It is usually a list of do’s and don’ts and tips how to maintain tummy tuck after care. The important aspects of tummy tuck post op care include:

Incisions

The incisions hygiene is a very important part of tummy tuck care after surgery. Patients who have the incisions striped should keep it for a week or until it falls out. When a surgeon recommends changing the tape, the patients will be given such information. The incision sites should be washed every day with warm water and soap, afterwards, they should be dried with a pat. Patients cannot use any cosmetics containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If patients feel discomfort in the incision areas when clothing is worn, they should cover the wounds with a bandage. Sometimes, patients have drains put. Drains collect fluids and prevent bulges. Patients can return home having them – however, the drains should also be taken care of and the fluids should be regularly removed from them. Regarding belly button care after tummy tuck, it should be cleaned every day with water.  Any specific information about wound care after a tummy tuck will be given by a surgeon or nurse before leaving a hospital. 

Showering/bathing

tummy orange clothes

Following aftercare, instruction is really important in the healing and recovery process

When patients have drains, they are suggested to wait with bathing until they are removed. Instead, they are advised to take showers and use a sponge for drains and incisions sites. For showering, patients should take off the compression garment, but the bandages, tape or gaze that cover the incisions should remain in place. After the shower, the coverings should be dried. Usually, patients should avoid showering for only 24 hours after the surgery. Still water (e.g. in a bath, swimming pool, or lake) should be avoided for at least 2 weeks when the wounds are fresh and still heal.

Weight control

The tummy tuck results are permanent. Yet it is up to a patient whether they will keep the surgery effects or not. The main problem is weight gain after a tummy tuck – when patients do not follow a healthy balanced diet and lead a sedentary lifestyle, they are likely to lose the tummy tuck effects. So, it is necessary that patients watch their diet and activity for the rest of their lives – it will not only keep the surgery results but also prevent any health problems.

Activity

Patients are advised to rest, however laying down in a bed is not a good idea. Patients are advised to take short walks, even at home, from the very beginning. The length and pace of the walk should be increased day by day. Such a form of activity enhances healing by boosting blood flow, and preventing constipation or pneumonia. In addition, in the first week after the surgery, patients should not stand upright, they should gradually achieve the upright position within the first 2 weeks. Any other activities than walking should be ceased for a few weeks.

Exercise after tummy tuck

excercise nice background

Exercises after the surgery are important, but patients need to be careful within the first weeks after the surgery

When can I exercise after tummy tuck? Patients often hear that exercising after tummy tuck is extremely important, but at the beginning it may cause many complications, so it is vital that patients know how and when to start to exercise after a tummy tuck. One of the best tummy tuck recovery tips exercise says that patients must listen to their body. Simple as it is, it is the body which should determine whether the activity that we do is too tiring at the given recovery stage. The general guidelines for tummy tuck exercise routine are as follows:

  • 2 weeks after the surgery – patients should walk starting with short walks around the room and increase the intensity and length of walking every day;
  • 2-4 weeks after the surgery – walking upward and recumbent cycling is recommended – however at this stage, these activities should not be too tiring;
  • 4-6 weeks after the surgery – patients can implement cardio training, aerobics or fitness, they should still avoid regular weight lifting, but they may start training with really light weight and see how their body reacts to it. Of course, when there is any pain or discomfort in the incision sites, the training should be stopped;
  • 6-8 weeks – the tummy muscles should heal in 90% by this time, yet it is still to early to start doing crunches or other exercises engaging abdominal muscles; the strength training of other muscles e.g. legs or arms is allowed, patients can return to swimming or jogging;
  • after 8 weeks – all the activities except those engaging abdominal muscles are allowed;
  • after 4-6 months – patients may slowly start engaging abdominal muscles and gradually increase the intensity of the abdominal exercise after tummy tuck; if they feel any discomfort or pain, they should stop the training and wait for some more time before implementing these exercises. Exercise after tummy tuck muscle repair is very important for keeping the results, but doing it too fast may be much more dangerous for a patient. 

Tummy tuck scars

skin

Depends on the type of tummy tuck surgery the scar may be located in a few areas

A tummy tuck scar is a main drawback of the surgery. Usually, plastic surgeries include such incisions that are easy to hide, but in tummy tuck the incision is long and hard to hide, but the results are worth it of course. The abdominoplasty scar may be located in a few areas, usually, the incision is made along the lower abdomen between the navel and the pubis. It can also be made around the belly button. Regarding the direction, the incisions can run horizontally or vertically depending on the surgery type. A scar after tummy tuck is permanent, but it naturally fades over time. The scar visibility and healing depends on the skin type, surgical technique, and aftercare. When patients take proper care of the wounds and scars, the scar will be likely to become much less prominent in a few months. What is more, when a surgery is done by an experienced surgeon, the incision is located as low as possible in the line of the pubic area so that it can be easily hidden by bikini or in tummy tuck scars men – by pants. Scar care after tummy tuck involves also refraining from smoking, using recommended cosmetics and making healthy food choices. For patients who would like to make the scar even less visible, there are some cosmetic procedures dedicated to scar healing. Such procedures can be done only after the full recovery – which is after at least one year and are dedicated to patients whose scar is prominent and clearly visible. The examples of the treatments making tummy tuck scars healed are laser procedures, steroid injections, IPL treatment or DermaPen. Finally, everyone considering tummy tuck should see the tummy tuck scars pictures so that they know what to expect and can decide whether the surgery is worth the risk. 

Mini tummy tuck scar

Mini tummy tuck scars are rather the same as in the full tummy tuck. Mini tummy tuck involves a horizontal incision made from hip to hip along the lower abdomen. Of course, the important period is recovery – when patients care for the incisions as suggested by a surgeon, the scars will become hardly visible later on. Also, the primary visibility of a scar in mini tummy tuck is lower than after full tummy tuck, so the starting point for scar care is much better for mini tummy tuck patients. 

Tummy tuck scar removal

There are several tummy tuck scar revision procedures offered in plastic surgery clinics or beauty studios. If patients feel their scar does not heal properly or is too prominent, they may ask a specialist whether such a procedure may help. Patients should just realize that tummy tuck scars after a year may not be fully healed and their tummy tuck scars after 2 years are much less visible. Scars need time to heal, which is natural, and we cannot force it. So, we suggest that patients consider scar removal after tummy tuck not sooner than 2 years after the surgery to be sure that the healing process finished.

The procedures for scar treatment include:

  • shave excision – it is used for raised scars; a surgeon uses a surgical shaver to smooth the surface of the scar;
  • scar removal – tummy tuck scar removal surgery involves making an incision around the scar, removing the scar, and closing the wound with sutures;
  • scar modification – when a tummy tuck incision has not been closed properly, it may be enough to open the wound again and close it properly so that the scar can heal properly;
  • chemical peels – there are professional chemical peels, which are really strong, as well as less-strong peels that can be used at home – this method uses lactic acids to remove the damaged skin layers, as a result the healing is much easier and the scar surface is smoothened;
  • injectables – if a scar is depressed rather than raised, injecting dermal fillers containing collagen may help smoothen the skin surface;
  • tummy tuck scar removal with laser – it addresses the damaged skin and scar blood vessels and reduces the scar redness and discoloration; it also triggers the production and growth of new skin cells; nowadays laser scar removal after tummy tuck is the most popular and effective procedure among plastic surgery patients;
  • skin bleaching – this procedure is performed when a scar is visibly darker than the skin – bleaching the scar makes it almost indistinguishable from the healthy skin;
  • dermabrasion – it is usually associated with facial procedures, yet it is also effective in removing a tummy tuck scar;
  • tummy tuck scar removal cream – there are many cosmetics for scar reduction available on the market, they may be really effective if a scar is not very prominent and has healed properly; we advise to ask a specialist (e.g. a beautician or pharmacist) for advice in choosing the best product.

Tummy tuck tattoo

Holding an idea board

Some patients do tummy tuck tattoos to cover the scar

Tummy tuck scar tattoo is an alternative to scar revision procedures. It is a regular tatoo which is made along a scar and hides it to such an extent that the scar is totally invisible. Tummy tuck tattoos should not be done within the first year after the surgery. Most doctors suggest that patients wait at least 1 year, and preferably 2 years, before deciding to have tummy tuck scar tattoos. The reason for that is simple, the scar tends to fade over time, and even if it seems to be very prominent at the beginning, in a year it may be hardly visible. A tummy tuck scar cover tattoo may have various forms and in fact these tatoos may be real masterpieces. After making sure that the scar has healed, patients may go to a tattoo artist and ask for advice, inspiration or suggestions as for tummy tuck tattoo cover up. We also suggest that patients find a tattooist who specialises, or at least is experienced, in doing stomach tattoos to cover tummy tuck scar.

Tummy tuck gone wrong - possible side effects

Sad lady

Every patient should be aware that tummy tuck risks and side effects may occur like in the case of every other major surgery

There are various tummy tuck stories presenting its ineffectiveness or failure and showing instances where plastic surgery gone wrong tummy tuck. Yet, patients should first and foremost get to know any tummy tuck risks and side effects that they may face. Some of the common side effects are totally normal and are a natural body response to surgical trauma. Other side effects are not dangerous once they are diagnosed and treated shortly. In fact, the serious complications happen extremely rarely, and tummy tuck is a safe surgery. However, below we present a list of possible side effects that may be experienced after tummy tuck. 

Tummy tuck side effects

As already mentioned, tummy tuck complications are very rare, and they can be even more minimized when surgery is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. Side effects of tummy tuck surgery are always described and explained by a surgeon before the procedure, also patients need to sign a document that they fully understand the risk, so if any point in the complication list is not clear, patients should not hesitate to ask for further explanation.

So, side effects tummy tuck include:

  • risks connected with general anesthesia
  • bleeding
  • tummy asymmetry
  • fat necrosis
  • cardiac or pulmonary complications, deep vein thrombosis
  • infection of the incision sites
  • seroma (fluid accumulation)
  • skin numbness
  • skin discoloration
  • persistent pain or swelling
  • poor healing of the wounds
  • dissatisfying results
  • unaesthetic scarring.

Infected belly button after tummy tuck

belly button

The infected belly button is one of the problems that may occur after the surgery

Shortly after the surgery, many patients worry about having their belly button infected after tummy tuck. Yet, patients should realize that the belly button needs months before it fully heals, so surgeons usually recommend to wait 6 months before examining whether the belly button has healed correctly or not. To enable proper healing, patients should follow all the post-op instructions. For the belly button, tiring exercises or heavy lifting done too fast may be really dangerous, so it is important not to go through the recovery too quickly. Just after the surgery, the belly button is swollen and crusted, but it should look much better after a few weeks.

The symptoms that patients should not ignore include:

  • belly button looks really constricted
  • it seems to be too open
  • the scar around the navel looks more and more prominent over time
  • the belly button is distorted
  • the pas or blood is coating the navel.

Noticing these symptoms, patients should contact a doctor and check whether the belly button heals correctly. Also, if the belly button looks differently than expected after 6 months, patients are advised to visit a GP and ask whether everything is ok. 

Tummy tuck pros and cons

Knowing pros and cons of getting a tummy tuck helps patients make a decision regarding the surgery and weigh their needs and risks. We often hear about benefits of tummy tuck, but there is also the other side of the coin, which are surgery side effects and drawbacks. Below, we present the key pros and cons of tummy tuck procedure.

Benefits of tummy tuck surgery

Drawbacks of tummy tuck surgery

- a flat, firm, and tight stomach
- no sagging skin or excessive fat in the abdomen area
- a youthful-looking body
- reduced or eliminated stretch marks
- increased self confidence and attractiveness
- muscles are repaired and tightened
- the hysterectomy or c-section scar is improved
- improved health (e.g. urinary incontinence or back pain)
- a permanent scar in the lower abdomen
- effects can be cushioned by future pregnancy or weight gain/loss
- infections
complications and side effects may occur
- long recovery and exercises restrictions
final results appear after some time
- it is a costly surgery

When patients know all the pros and cons of a tummy tuck, they find it easier to make a decision whether they are ready to get tummy tuck surgery. In most cases, the sagging skin is so problematic that patients undoubtedly put the surgery benefits above the possible side effects. Nonetheless, knowing both sides of tummy tuck helps in making a mature and reasonable decision about the surgery.

Is tummy tuck safe?

girl on stairs

A tummy tuck is safe and the risks involved are minimal, but it needs to performed by qualified surgeon

Is a tummy tuck dangerous or is a tummy tuck safe are the main questions of people considering the surgery. We can say that tummy tuck, as other plastic surgeries, is a very successful procedure. Compared to other surgeries, e.g. cardiac or endocrine surgeries, tummy tuck is really safe and the risks involved are minimal. What is more, a good plastic surgeon can make the surgery even safer. But who is a good surgeon? Well, patients should look for an experienced, skilled, well-rated plastic surgeon specialising in tummy tucks – then, the post-op side effects are less likely to happen. Regarding tummy tuck risks of death, the general anaesthesia that is applied has a death rate of 0,001%, which is extremely low. So anyone wondering “Is a tummy tuck worth it?” should know that it is, definitely.

Pregnancy after tummy tuck

pregnant belly

A tummy tuck is usually recommended to women who do not plan to get pregnant anymore, but there aren’t any contradictions to pregnancy after some time post surgery

Generally, women are asked about the plans to have children before the surgery because tummy tuck is recommended to women who do not plan to get pregnant any more. However, pregnancy after a tummy tuck occurs and usually, nothing bad happens. In fact, getting pregnant after the surgery is safe both for a baby and a woman. The complications risks for before and after tummy tuck pregnancy are exactly the same. What is interesting, the tummy of pregnant women after the surgery tends to be smaller than usual, however, it does not influence a baby. One of the main pregnancy after tummy tuck complications is a need for revision surgery. When a woman’s tummy skin and muscles stretch significantly, and they are left with sagging skin after delivery, the revision tummy tuck may be inevitable – and it is the main reason why tummy tuck before pregnancy is not advised. 

Non surgical tummy tuck - tummy tuck alternative

A non-surgical tummy tuck is a great alternative to tummy tuck for people who have sagging skin that cannot be tightened by exercise and diet, yet the loose skin deposits are not very big. A nonsurgical tummy tuck (non invasive tummy tuck) makes it possible to tighten the skin without surgery general anaesthesia, incisions, scars or long recovery. It works best when people have moderate skin sagging in the tummy area.

The advantages of non surgical tummy tuck UK include:

  • very low risk of side effects or complications
  • short time of the procedure, no pre-op preparations needed
  • no incisions or injections are made
  • general anaesthesia is not needed
  • the fat and skin are effectively removed
  • no scarring afterwards
  • tummy tuck alternative procedures are usually painless
  • non surgical tummy tuck cost is much lower than surgical tummy tuck cost.

Non surgical tummy tuck alternatives can be really effective – it is just important to find a certified surgeon who is experienced in doing such procedures. The fact that non-surgical tummy tuck is an aesthetic procedure gives even beauticians a chance to offer it, so it is important to find a certified office which meets all the health care standards and guarantees a high-quality treatment. 

Cool sculpting

Cool sculpting is one of the non-surgical alternatives after tummy tuck

The non-surgical tummy tuck procedures may include:

  • ThermiThight – a thermal energy is applied to the abdomen, which heats the tissues; then, the abdomen area is bandaged. As a result, the skin is tightened and the effects are visible even after the first procedure.
  • Cool Sculpting – it is a procedure which removes fat cells, yet it is still recommended as a tummy tuck alternative. Thanks to freezing and killing fat cells, it makes the tummy more firm and contoured and strengthens the abdominal muscles.
  • Body Forma – it uses radiofrequency energy which stimulates the production collagen and improves skin elasticity.
  • Emsculpt – this procedure helps in muscle building and fat burning – it uses electromagnetic pulses inducing muscle contractions.

These are only examples of non-surgical procedures improving the skin condition. In fact, there are dozens of procedures which can help in loose skin removal, muscle tightening, fat reduction and general tummy look improvement. Patients should just verify whether the considered procedures are effective and accredited. 

Tummy tuck belt

Non surgical tummy tuck belt is widely advertised on the Internet. It is said to be a great tummy tuck alternative which makes the tummy firm and contoured. There are tummy tuck belt for mens and women, they have various sizes and forms. Yet, patients must be aware of such products and even if they read great tummy tuck belt reviews, their real effectiveness is doubtful. Usually, when people decide to buy and wear tummy tuck belt UK, they also change their lifestyle and start to watch their diet and get engaged in physical activity, so in fact, it is hard to say whether it is the effect of a belt or lifestyle changes. For now, there are no studies proving the effectiveness of such belts, so if patients look for an effective solution, we advise trying other methods. 

Tummy tuck pants and clothing

cream

There are many cosmetics on the market dedicated to areas with excessive fat or skin

Tummy tuck clothing includes tummy tuck pants, tummy tuck underwear, or even tummy-tuck jeans. Regarding tummy tuck pants women and men must wear them after tummy tuck surgery. Such clothing is an indispensable part of the recovery – it’s role is to prevent side effects, guarantee an even and symmetrical body shaping and maximizing the surgery effects. However, the market offers also the best tummy tuck pants independently of the surgery. And here, as with tummy tuck belts, the effectiveness of clothing is doubtful and hasn’t been proven. It is much more popular to wear such underwear to hide the excessive skin just for a specific occasion, and take it off after a few hours. It makes people look slimmer and flats the tummy. However, it is ineffective in getting rid of excessive skin. 

Tummy tuck cream

People can buy various creams dedicated to areas with excessive fat or skin. We recommend that before obtaining specific products, people read tummy tuck cream reviews or ask specialists for advice. Such creams cannot fix the problem of excessive skin and cannot be regarded as a tummy tuck alternative, however they are very effective in enhancing the results when combined with other procedures or they are great in making slight body improvements. The common ingredients which can be effective in improving tummy look are caffeine, glaucine, Coenzyme A, andiroba, ginkgo biloba or bitter orange extract. 

Tummy tuck cost

How much does a tummy tuck cost? This question is really important to people looking for surgery, yet it is extremely difficult to answer. Tummy tuck prices vary depending on many factors. The surgical aspects which have a significant influence on cost of tummy tuck include:

  • the scope of the procedure (mini abdominoplasty cost is the most affordable, full tummy tuck is a standard surgery, and extended tummy tuck is the most costly);
  • complexity of the surgery (some patients need just skin tightening, while others must have fat removal, skin removal, skin lift, and muscle repairing and tightening);
  • the fat deposits (if a patient have big fat deposits below sagging skin, the surgeon may need to remove it also – tummy tuck and lipo cost increases the average cost of tummy tuck);
  • anaesthesia (surgeries performed under local anaesthesia are usually much cheaper than surgeries performed under general anesthesia);
  • number of procedures (when tummy tuck is combined with liposuction, breast lift, fat transfer or any other procedure, the price of a tummy tuck naturally goes up).
piggy bank

Tummy tuck price depends on many factors

The surgical factors are not the only elements influencing the average price of a tummy tuck. The price depends also on a surgeon’s experience. When we ask an experienced acclaimed surgeon how much is a tummy tuck, we are likely to hear a price higher than the average, but when we ask the same question to a plastic surgeon who has just started to perform the surgeries individually, the price may be lower than average. What’s more, the geographic location plays a role too. There are countries where the costs of living are really low and really high, which influences the surgeons fee and surgery costs, e.g. tummy tuck prices UK are much higher than in Turkey. Finally, we would like to stress that patients pay attention to the price components – they should check whether the offered price includes anaesthesia, medical tests, hospitalization, post-op clothing, and medications, because sometimes these extra costs can make the surgery much more expensive than somewhere else. In the following subsections, we will try to give a detailed answer to a question “how much does tummy tuck cost”. 

How much is a tummy tuck UK?

The abdominoplasty UK is a very popular procedure, no wonder so many people look for tummy tuck cost UK. Generally, the tummy tuck London prices are believed to be the highest among all costs of tummy tuck UK. The average tummy tuck UK price is:

  • tummy tuck London – 6600 GBP
  • tummy tuck Glasgow – 5900 GBP
  • tummy tuck Belfast – 5700 GBP.

Tummy tuck is usually performed in private clinics and each place can set their own price for the surgery. Also, the tummy tuck UK cost is individual and may vary from the price put on the pricelist. So, to know the abdominoplasty prices in considered clinics, patients should contact them and ask for their cost of a tummy tuck UK and the elements constituting the price. In general, the cost of full tummy tuck in the UK may exceed people’s budget because it is a quite expensive plastic surgery. So, it is very easy to set the price as a main factor of choosing the clinic, which people often do subconsciously. However, we would like to notice that it is not the price that should determine the place, but rather quality and standard. And if the price is still too high, there are some more affordable alternatives which will be mentioned below. 

Mini tummy tuck cost

excess skin 2

Usually, the cost for a mini tummy tuck is lower than for a full tummy tuck

Mini tummy tuck is a second most popular abdominoplasty surgery after full tummy tuck. The good news is that mini tummy tuck cost UK is always lower than full or extended tummy tuck. Yet, it should always be a surgeon’s decision whether patients are qualified for full or mini tummy tuck, and even if mini-tummy tuck cost is lower, the surgery might be totally ineffective for people with big sagging skin deposits. So, how much does a mini tummy tuck cost? The average mini tummy tuck cost uk is 3900 GBP, but usually patients can expect that mini abdominoplasty cost will make up about 60-70% of the full tummy tuck cost in a given clinic.

Tummy tuck finance uk

Patients who cannot afford tummy tuck can search for clinics offering tummy tuck on finance. It’s become a popular trend that people get the surgeries which they pay for monthly and many clinics offer this option. There are many plans available here – the number of installments, their amount and other conditions depend on the clinic, but we are quite sure that patients can find the optimal option for getting the tummy tuck on finance UK

Tummy tuck NHS

Can I get a tummy tuck on the NHS? Tummy tuck on NHS is a widely requested surgery, however getting NHS tummy tuck is hardly possible. Tummy tuck on the NHS is possible under strict circumstances such as serious disfigurement or disease. It is also important that tummy tuck is classified as cosmetic surgery, not plastic surgery. So, in a nutshell:

  • Can you get a tummy tuck on NHS for purely aesthetic reasons? No, the NHS does not fund it.
  • Can you get a tummy tuck on the NHS for medical and cosmetic reasons? Yes, the NHS does fund it. 
tummy

Tummy tuck on NHS is available, but the patient needs to meet some criteria

The most common is tummy tuck on NHS after weight loss. It should be a massive weight loss (e.g. caused by bariatric surgery), where the remaining sagging skin causes not only aesthetic but also medical problems such as pain ache or chronic rush. Also, women who have problems with the abdominal muscles caused by pregnancy and giving birth can get tummy tuck on NHS after c section (the main group qualified for such a surgery are women having had 3 c sections free tummy tuck). People who want to check whether they can get a free tummy tuck should visit a GP first. The doctor should be able to determine whether a patient can apply for tummy tuck on the NHS or not. If there is such a chance, patients are referred to a local NHS CCG (clinical commissioning group). There, the final decision regarding qualification is made. When patients are qualified, they are put on the waiting list – usually, tummy tuck is not a priority as for NHS surgeries, which means that the waiting time is quite long here.

Tummy tuck NHS criteria

How to get a tummy tuck on the NHS? A patient must meet the NHS tummy tuck criteria. They are really strict because tummy tuck, as an elective plastic surgery, is available on the NHS only exceptionally. Improving the body look and aesthetic reasons are never taken into consideration by the NHS. What matters here is:

  • a dramatic weight loss (going down by at least two BMI levels, e.g. from morbidly obese to overweight), patients should also have their BMi stabilized for 1-2 years
  • medical conditions, e.g. urological or ambulatory restrictions, infections caused by sagging skin.

Generally, the most important aspect in tummy tuck on the NHS is proving that the surgery can improve medical conditions and the quality of life. Once patients are able to prove it, they are likely to get the tummy tuck on the NHS.

Free tummy tuck uk

A free tummy tuck is possible thanks to NHS funding. There is also another possible option, namely insurance coverage. Patients who want to get free tummy tuck UK should check whether their insurance covers surgeries which are medically proven. If yes, they have a chance to get tummy tuck fully or at least partially covered. 

Tummy tuck abroad

Airport

If the price for tummy tuck UK is too high and the patient can not be qualified on the NHS, tummy tuck abroad may be a good option

What people usually look for is “tummy tuck near me”. However, the closest clinic is not necessarily the best one. Having the surgery done by the best tummy tuck surgeon UK is often out of a price range for people. However, it does not mean that they are doomed to get a surgery by a doubtful surgeon or in a doubtful place. Tummy tuck is a complex surgery which causes a major change to the tummy look and leaves a scar along the tummy, so here the surgeon’s experience plays a key role, and we strongly advise patients to treat the surgeon and clinic standard, not the price, as main criteria for getting the surgery. So, when they find it too hard to detect a satisfying clinic within the budget, patients should consider having the tummy tuck abroad. Medical tourism is really developed and plastic surgeries are the most frequently chosen procedures among all treatments abroad. Patients report that when they have a tummy tuck abroad, they are able to save much money as the surgery is 2-3 times cheaper than in their home country.

The popular directions are:

  • Poland, Turkey, Czech Republic, Lithuania for Europeans
  • India, Thailand, Turkey for Asians
  • Mexico, Brazil for Americans.

The price discrepancy between the countries stems from the different costs of living and currency rate. This gives a chance of getting a very affordable surgery in a high-standard clinic.

Best country for tummy tuck

Airplane

Medical tourism is so popular nowadays that there are many great options for tummy tuck abroad

The best place for tummy tuck abroad is the one where patients find the best tummy tuck surgeon. Regarding Europe, Poland is a country with the best abdominoplasty surgeon offer. Polish surgeons are claimed to be highly-skilled, well-trained and educated, professional, and passionate, and in fact, many medical tourists choose Poland not only because of the competitive prices but also, and most importantly, because there are so skilled plastic surgeons. However, the best place to have a tummy tuck abroad may be different to each patient. It is important to determine the important factors – which may be a price, location, surgeon’s experience, flight connection, etc. These criteria will help patients find the country which will satisfy them in terms of the price and quality of the surgery. 

Cheap tummy tuck abroad – prices

Whether people look for the cheapest tummy tuck or just the cheap tummy tuck, they have a variety of countries offering very affordable tummy tuck abroad prices. Since it is really hard to find cheap tummy tuck UK, USA or Germany, more and more people travel to get low tummy tuck cost abroad. Where can people find cheap tummy tuck abroad? The chart below presents the most common trends in terms of tummy tuck.

Average price for tummy tuck in EUR

Tummy tuck Poland

Tummy tuck in Poland is one of the top destinations for medical tourists. This country offers a great combination of cheap price and highly-skilled surgeons. The other advantages are:

  • plenty of places and landmarks attractive for tourists
  • a valuable historical heritage
  • beautiful nature and diversified lie of the land
  • affordable prices and low living costs
  • very developed flight connections
  • a high standard of healthcare.

What is also important for medical tourists, the private clinics which treat international patients hire only English-speaking staff and surgeons, so patients should not worry about any language barrier. Medical tourism in Poland has become a professional business recently, so foreign patients get a complex overall service, not only the surgery itself. There are many packages with accommodation, transfers, and other facilities and organising such a surgery abroad is as easy as doing it in a home country. 

Tummy tuck Turkey

Turkey girl looking at the air balloons

Turkey is a very popular destination for patients from all over the World

Tummy tuck in Turkey is chosen by thousands of tourists from Europe, Asia, and North America. The main advantage of having a tummy tuck in Turkey is the fact that patients can combine a medical procedure with holidays in a luxurious hotel located in a breathtaking scenery. Turkey is a very touristic country and one of the most popular summer holidays resorts in the world. Tummy tuck Turkey cost and generally living costs are very low for people from Western European and North American countries, so they can enjoy the highest standard of the chosen clinics and hotels at the amazingly low price. It may seem difficult to find a reliable clinic in Turkey, but it is only an old-fashioned stereotype. The vast majority of clinics which advertise themselves on an international market offer a high standard medical care, the most advanced solutions and technology, as well as a patient-friendly policy of possible revision surgery. 

Other locations to get tummy tuck abroad

Apart from Poland and Turkey, the popular destinations are: tummy tuck Prague, tummy tuck India, tummy tuck Thailand, or tummy tuck in Belgium. Regardless of the place, patients should pay attention to the clinic standards and a surgeon’s experience. We recommend that before making the decision, patients do the research, e.g. on the Internet and take a look at the reviews of the surgeon and the clinic – they may be very helpful and will give a real image of what to expect from the surgery and offered service. Finally, we need to stress that there have become many medical tourists agencies and facilitators who offer free help in finding the best clinic or surgeon. So, anyone who does not feel objective enough to find the best treatment offer may benefit from such an agency and be sure that their final decision about the location and surgeon is the best for their health, comfort and budget. 

Tummy tuck reviews

Reviews are a very important factor in making decisions about the tummy tuck surgery clinic. it is not restricted to tummy tuck abroad reviews, but patients looking for the best clinic in the UK are also encouraged to read tummy tuck reviews UK. Such reviews can resolve the doubts, answer important questions about the surgery, pre-op and post-op reality and clinic’s standards. Also they are invaluable in choosing the right surgeon. 

Tummy tuck before and after

Tummy tuck before and after photos are a showcase of a surgeon. Reviewing such abdominoplasty before and after pictures can give much knowledge about the surgeon, his/her skills and experience. When a surgeon shares the tummy tuck before and after UK photos, we know that he/she is proud of the surgeries results. If such photos are not available on the clinic’s or surgeon’s website, patients should contact them and ask whether they can share tummy tuck UK before and after pictures.

Summary

Tummy tuck is a plastic surgery which is quite demanding. On the one hand, it requires making a long incision which leaves a scar, but on the other hand, the tummy tuck results are one of the most spectacular out of all plastic surgeries. It is dedicated to people who struggle with huge amounts of sagging skin in the abdomen area. People have a few options of getting tummy tuck: doing it in a private clinic in their home country, applying for NHS funding, getting insurance coverage, or having it done abroad. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages. Having the surgery in a home country is costly, but patients have a clinic close to their homeplace. The surgery abroad is affordable, yet it entails travelling. Getting the surgery covered by NHS or insurance is not always possible, but when it does, these may be months or even years of waiting for the procedure. So, each patient should consider all the options and choose the one they feel is the best. Anyone who wants to know more information about tummy tuck abroad may contact Clinic Hunter and find out more details about medical travel and getting plastic surgery in a foreign country. 

Young woman with eyes closed hugging self at beach

Sources

Cronkleton, Emily. “Tummy Tuck Recovery: What to Expect.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 June 2018, www.healthline.com/health/tummy-tuck-recovery#tips.

Justyna Zastapilo. “Beauty Poland / Clinic Hunter.” Plastic Surgery Poland and Cosmetic Surgery Abroad – Beauty Poland, beautypoland.com/procedures/tummy-tuck/.

“Liposuction vs Tummy Tuck.” Diffen, www.diffen.com/difference/Liposuction_vs_Tummy_Tuck.

Millicent Odunze, MD. “Learn About the Frequently Asked Questions of a Reverse Tummy Tuck.” Verywell Health, www.verywellhealth.com/faqs-about-a-reverse-tummy-tuck-2709730.

Regan, John-Paul. “Abdominoplasty.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 31 July 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK431058/.

Staff, Our. “How Does a Laser Tummy Tuck Work? How Does a Laser Tummy Tuck Work?” Beverly Hills, CA Plastic Surgery, J. Timothy Katzen, M.D. Beverly Hills, 23 Apr. 2018, beverlyhills.timothykatzenmd.com/blog/how-does-a-laser-tummy-tuck-work.

“Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Overview: Cost, Recovery, Before & After: AEDIT.” Aedit.com | Aesthetic Edit, aedit.com/procedure/tummy-tuck-abdominoplasty.

“Tummy Tuck Recovery: Duration, Tips, and More.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/tummy-tuck-recovery#recovery-tips.

“WhatClinic • Healthcare & Beauty • Check Reviews & Prices.” WhatClinic.com, www.whatclinic.com/.

“What’s the Difference between a Mini Tummy Tuck vs Tummy Tuck?” Cosmos Clinic, 7 Nov. 2020, www.cosmosclinic.com.au/blog/whats-difference-mini-tummy-tuck-vs-tummy-tuck/. 

Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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