Body Surgery


Why have an Abdominoplasty?

People seek an Abdominoplasty for various reasons, some want to look as young and attractive as they feel, other people wish to correct a perceived imperfection.

Following pregnancy or extreme weight loss, your tummy may have lost it muscle tone and elasticity resulting in a flabby, saggy abdomen. Abdominoplasty or a 'tummy tuck' as it is commonly referred, improves the waistline to the lower abdomen.

What is involved?

This operation involves incisions which are carefully positioned to allow the removal of surplus skin and fat deposits. Sometimes, when the abdominal muscle is weak, an improvement can be made surgically to tighten loose areas. Abdominoplasty is one of the more extensive cosmetic procedures and requires a two night stay in hospital. However, the end result can be dramatic with an overall improvement in your body contours.

After an Abdominoplasty you will probably need to convalesce for at least 14 days. If your job is quite strenuous involving lifting, the Surgeon may advise a longer period.

Therefore it is important to remember that an abdominoplasty is not a procedure to loose weight, it just addresses the abdominal area. Diet and exercise are the best means of removing unwanted fat.

An incision is generally made from one hip to the other along the bikini line, which could later be camouflaged by underwear. The scar for an abdominoplasty is usually placed across the lower abdomen. It can stretch from one side to the other depending on the size of the stomach. All surgery results in some sort of scar and all scars take time to soften and fade. You will not see the final appearance of your scar for up to a year after surgery.

Abdominoplasty Aftercare

After surgery

After surgery is completed, you will have small tubes (drains) positioned at either side of the incision (these are necessary to expel excess fluid and will be taken out before you go home). A dressing is then placed over the incision. Drink plenty of water in the first 24hrs to replace fluid lost during the procedure. An Abdominoplasty requires a two-night stay at the hospital so your immediate recovery can be closely monitored by members of our medical team.

Your recovery

Recovery depends greatly on the extent of the procedure. Expect to feel sore and swollen for several weeks. You will need to wear a pressure garment for 6 weeks.

Strenuous activity should be avoided for 4-6 weeks, but you must keep active to ensure good circulation. Although most of the bruising and swelling usually disappears within three months, some patients may experience swelling longer.

This procedure will leave scars that can be hidden by underwear.

Post-op appointments

Post-operative follow-up is of paramount importance. Each patient undergoing Abdominoplasty surgery will be given post operative appointments for wound management and suture removal. Post-operative instructions are vital and we consider it very important that you adhere to them. Failing to follow these guidelines and attend your appointments can adversely affect the outcome of surgery and put your safety at risk. Following an Abdominoplasty the patient is asked to return on specified appointments as required. Occasionally it may be necessary to return more regularly than those stated.

Abdominoplasty Risks & Conditions


Smoking increases the risk of complications, and slows down the healing process. It has been shown that a smoking patient has ten times more complications than a non - smoking patient. More than 10% of smoking patients experience problems when have an abdominoplasty.

Smoking reduces the blood supply to the wound and can impede the healing process. Each cigarette further constricts acutely the blood vessels. It is highly recommended to stop smoking completely 4 weeks prior to surgery and 4 weeks after; no nicotine patches or chewing gum are allowed. The risk of infection and complications in general slowly decreases if the patient stops smoking, but still remains higher compared to a non-smoker.


The quality of the scar depends on the skin of the patient. For a few months it will be quite visible, but the tendency is to fade. Occasionally patients produce excessive scar tissue, it may be prominent (hypertrophic scar, keloid). This scarring is rare in Caucasian (white) patients, but slightly more common in non-caucasian patients. The scars can be tender and painful, especially during the recovery period, and may even become permanent.The patient may be bent over for the first few weeks - this is normal.A minority of patients may require scar revision under local anaesthetic several months following surgery.

Haematoma (bleeding)

A haematoma is a collection of blood. The risk is higher during the first 24 hours following any surgical procedure, but it can still occur at a later stage. In case of a major collection of blood it may be necessary for patients to return to theatre for a second operation to remove this collection, although extremely rare, excessive bleeding may lead to a blood transfusionand can be potentially a life threatening complication. The risk of bleeding slowly fades in 3-4 weeks as the healing continues. We recommend that you refrain from any heavy lifting and strenuous activity during this period.

Itching, burning sensation

These symptoms are caused by nerve damage and will usually subside.

Swelling and bruising

Some swelling and bruising will be present after surgery. Usually this subsides, but can last some months post-operatively. Swelling is extreme in the pubic hairline this subsides over the first month. The surgeon can never guarantee size shape or symmetry.


All surgery carries the risk of infection. In order to reduce it, patients are given antibiotics intravenously during the operation.


Most patients will experience pain following surgery, this certainly depends on the pain threshold of the patient. Painkillers are given after the surgery to control the discomfort, a further supply is dispensed at the time of your discharge. It has been reported that pain may appear during this period and can become permanent, although this is a rare occurrence.


In a very small number of patients, fluid builds up. Additional returns to the clinic or surgery may be needed to remove this fluid.

Necrosis of umbilicus

A lack of blood causes the skin in this area to die. This may require future surgery.

Necrosis of the skin

A lack of blood causes the skin in this area to die. This may require future surgery.