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Tummy tuck

What is a tummy tuck?

Depending on age and weight, both men and women eventually develop sagging belly. In people who have suffered from being overweight, or whose skin has become limp and stretched due to pregnancy, a so-called fat apron can occur. With the help of a tummy tuck we can correct that.

The doctor will look with you – in front of the mirror – what you can expect after such an operation. The skin quality does not change after this procedure, but the contours do. If there is no excess skin, but local fat deposits, liposuction can be a solution.

If you are considering a tummy tuck, we think it is important that you know that you will get a somewhat flashy scar in exchange for a tighter belly. The scar runs across the lower abdomen from one hip to the outside of the other hip.

In general, the darker the skin, the longer it takes for the scar to become smoother, thinner and less visible. The navel is usually re-attached, which also creates a scar around the navel. Of course our experienced plastic surgeons do their utmost to keep the scars as much as possible within the ‘bikini line’.

A tummy tuck can give you a considerably flatter tummy. But this intervention is not a solution against obesity. If you are overweight, it is wise to lose weight before the operation. The result of the operation will then be significantly better. If you are a woman, it is wise to have you operated on after the last pregnancy.

* The doctor determines whether the treatment is medically necessary. This treatment falls under health care care exempt from Sales tax within art. 11-1-g Sales Tax Act 1968.

What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?

  • A tight and flat stomach again

  • Beautiful contours

  • The best aftercare for full recovery.

When am I suitable for a tummy tuck?

You are eligible for a tummy tuck (or abdominal wall correction) if you have fat deposits in the abdominal area that are difficult or impossible to remove with the help of diet or exercise. The procedure is also suitable if you have loose skin due to great weight loss. Or if the elasticity of the skin has decreased due to age. Even women who are unable to tighten their abdominal muscles after a few pregnancies, or who have had a skin surplus, can use a tummy tuck to restore their abdomen to its original state.

If the excess skin is only below the navel, then we can suffice with a mini-tummy tuck. If the abdominal wall as a whole is sagging, including the skin and muscles above the navel, a total tummy tuck is the best solution. With this procedure, the excess skin is removed and the navel is moved upwards. A tummy tuck is a major procedure. You usually have to stay one night in our clinic.

Operation techniques

Mini-tummy tuck

With a mini-tummy tuck, the skin of the lower abdomen is tightened without the navel being displaced. A mini-tummy tuck is suitable for people whose excess skin is below the navel. For example, a maximum of ten centimeters of skin can be removed during the procedure from directly under the navel to the pubic bone. A mini tummy tuck also causes scars, but our plastic surgeons try to discuss these within the bikini-line.

Although it does not sound that way right away, a mini-tummy tuck is a major procedure in which the skin is tensed, as it were. You are only eligible for a mini-tummy tuck when the excess skin is under the navel. A maximum of ten centimeters of excess skin under the navel is then removed.

The plastic surgeon makes a slightly curved horizontal incision over your pubic hill. As a result, the scars fall under your underwear and are the least visible.

Then the surgeon detaches your skin from the underlying muscle and fat layers. The excess skin is cut away and the surgeon sucks away the fat, if so discussed. The mini tummy tuck takes about one to two hours.

Tummy tuck Fleur-de-lis

With this surgical technique, tissue of the abdomen is pulled from top to bottom and from the flanks to the middle. The tissue is detached from the abdomen over the abdominal muscles, after which the excess skin is cut away. In addition, the doctor makes an extra vertical incision from the pubic bone to the breastbone. You can see the French lily again in the form of these two incisions. For this reason, the procedure is also called Fleur-de-lis, or anchor-tummy tuck.

This surgical technique is for people who have lost a large amount of weight and do not get the desired result with another type of tummy tuck. Even people who have lost a lot of weight – for example due to a strict diet or stomach reduction – may be eligible for this procedure. The procedure is also suitable if the elasticity of the skin has decreased due to age. Also if the skin is limp and stretched after a few pregnancies. With a greatly enlarged abdominal circumference, this surgical technique offers a good solution. This “anchor” abdominal wall correction is only considered if you have a stable weight and diet.

Consultation

During the first consultation everything around the treatment is discussed. Also what bothers you most about your stomach and what you would like to change about this. Besides that, we also discuss which method is best for you, what result you can expect, what the possible risks are and what the aftercare entails. You will always receive honest advice and clear information about the treatment and the period that follows.

The plastic surgeon will then examine whether you are a suitable candidate for tummy tuck. The surgeon will ask about your health, your medical background and which medicines you may use. You must stop taking blood-thinning medicines at least a week before the treatment. The doctor will also ask what your wishes and expectations are. He can then indicate whether the procedure can meet those expectations. And also whether a combination with another treatment method is an option.

How does tummy tuck work?

Before the treatment, photos are made for your medical file. A tummy tuck is an extensive procedure. That is why you will be admitted and you have an overnight stay. This does not apply to the mini-tummy tuck.

During the night there is always a qualified nurse in the area in order for you to receive optimum aftercare and any questions you may have are answered immediately.

As discussed in the first consultation:

  • A tummy tuck is always performed under general anesthesia by an experienced plastic surgeon
  • The surgeon first makes a slightly curved horizontal cut above the pubic hill

  • If necessary, the surgeon brings the stretched abdominal muscles together to the normal place

  • The excess skin and excess fat are removed and the navel is attached to a new location

  • All stitches are subcutaneous and dissolve automatically. The only thing left is a thin line

  • Drains collect the excess wound fluid during the first 24 to 48 hours. The drains are removed before you go home

What can I expect after a tummy tuck?

When you recover from the anesthetic, you might feel weak and tired. After surgery, the abdominal skin is wrapped and you lie in bed with your hips bent. This is necessary to reduce the tension on the wound edges. In some cases, two tubes (drains) come out of your abdomen to drain any blood and / or wound fluid. These drains are usually removed the day after the operation.

When can I go home?

You may leave the clinic at the moment that your plastic surgeon and anesthesiologist think this is responsible. The consciousness, breathing and blood pressure must be stable. You also must eat and drink something before you leave.

You must be able to sit and walk and you must have peed. You can go home the next day, but you are not allowed to drive yourself. We advise you to get someone who can take you home. We do not recommend using public transportation.

Post-operative pain and recovery

After surgery, you probably do not have much pain, but if necessary, you will get pain killers. Because your abdominal muscles are reassembled, you may experience pain and discomfort after coughing, laughing and pressing. After the operation, the abdominal wall needs the first two weeks to heal. We advise:

  • Take rest the first two weeks and do not do any heavy physical work

  • An adult should stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery

  • Do not drive a vehicle in the first 48 hours after the operation, due to the effect of the anesthesia

  • After two weeks you can resume your daily activities

  • You can exercise again after 6 weeks

  • Do not swim or go to the sauna for the first 6 weeks

  • Smoking and alcohol have an adverse effect on healing and recovery – try to avoid this for a while.

The scars can be quite fiery in color during the first months. After this, they will take on the color of the skin more and more and become less visible. It is important not to expose the scars to the sun during the first year after surgery. Because of the sun they can ‘burn in’ and therefore they remain more visible. Keep the scars covered or smear them with a very high protection factor.