Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

Frequently Asked Questions

Body Procedures FAQs

Abdominoplasty

What are the main differences I will see after a tummy-tuck?

You will see a much flatter tummy with tightening of the muscles and skin. If you have stretch marks, all or most of those below the belly button will get removed.

Is a tummy-tuck a dangerous operation?

No. Done carefully tummy-tuck surgery is very safe. However, it is not a minor operation and does have the highest risk of cosmetic operations of rare but serious complications like blood clots to the legs and lungs. It is for this reason you need to be fit, not smoking, off the pill or HRT and we take some extra precautions with surgery.

Can I become pregnant after a tummy-tuck?

You can and indeed I have had a few patients who have done this. However, this is not recommended as it will to a degree spoil the results and it is very difficult to then improve it.

How long will it take me to recover?

A full tummy-tuck takes 2-4 weeks to recover from and up to 8 weeks for full exercise. You can get back to most activities by 2 weeks including work providing the job is not too strenuous when you may need up to 4 weeks off.

What is the difference with a full and mini tummy-tuck?

The mini tummy-tuck is aimed at patients with some laxity and some extra fat in the lower tummy. This is often treated by some liposuction and skin removal using a shorter scar as with a caesarian section. It does not usually tighten the tummy muscles. The full tummy-tuck does produce a scar from hip to hip but takes away all the loose skin or overhang below the belly button. It also routinely tightens the tummy muscles. It can therefore create much greater changes for patients with a lot of laxity, bulging or loose skin.

Liposuction

Is liposuction safe?

Yes it is and usually with a quick recovery. However, it should be done by an experienced Plastic Surgeon to ensure there are no mistakes.

Will the removed fat stay away for ever?

Fat removed will always stay away. The problem is there is no limit to the size of a fat cell and therefore if you gain weight you will simply return to your former self. That is why liposuction is excellent to remove localized areas of fat for people with a stable weight.

I am 55 years of age. My tummy protrudes and I am unhappy about it. Can I have liposuction to treat this?

Liposuction is good at removing excess fat. For a good result it relies on the skin shrinking back and tightening. When liposuction is used for the tummy it is excellent for localized fatty areas with good skin. If the skin is already loose or hanging, liposuction will leave more loose skin, albeit with less bulk. At 55 years of age the bulging of the tummy may be due to muscle weakness. This can only be corrected with either exercise or a tummy tuck and not liposuction.

Answers provided by Mr Stephen McCulley and his expert team. You can see further helpful information in our Resource Centre or in our Ask Our Specialist Nurse section.

Stephen McCulley offers a wide range of body procedures including lipsuction, tummy tucks, brachioplasty, labial surgery and more!

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