The surgery is performed at The Bristol Nuffield Hospital as an inpatient procedure. You will be in hospital for two nights after the surgery.
We perform this type of surgery under general anaesthesia, so you will be asleep throughout. Adequate pain control follows.
Abdominoplasties usually take around three hours, depending on the extent of work required. In a full abdominiplasty, I will make a long incision from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. I will make a second incision around the navel, to free it from the surrounding tissue. In a mini abdominoplasty, the incision is shorter and no cut is made around the navel.
Next, I separate the skin from the abdominal muscles all the way up to the bottom of your sternum and lift a large skin flap to reveal the vertical muscles (“six-pack”) in your abdomen. These muscles are tightened by approximating them and stitching them closer together thus closing the divarication (muscle split). This provides a firmer abdominal wall, like a corset, and narrows the waistline. (This improves the core stability and posture, and also the bowel movements).
The skin flap is then pulled downwards and the extra skin is removed. A new “peep hole” is cut for your navel. A beautiful belly button is the signature of a good tummy tuck. It should not bear any stitch marks that show it has been operated. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied.
In partial abdominoplasty, the skin is separated only between the incision line, above the pubic area and the navel. The navel is not disturbed.