Abdominoplasty Explained

Abdominoplasty, or “Tummy tuck” is an operation designed to remove excess skin and to a lesser degree fat from the abdomen to restore shape and contour. Often it involves tightening of the abdominal musculature at the same time.

About The Procedure

Abdominoplasty is done for many reasons including for removal of excess skin following weight loss, aging or more specifically in women following pregnancy.

It is important to realise that this is a major operation that results in a scar from hip to hip.  Generally this can be concealed by regular underwear and clothing. There will also be a small scar around the umbilicus (belly button).

The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital and takes about 3 hours depending on the complexity of the issues being addressed.

Patients stay in hospital for 2-3 days to allow specialised nursing care of any drain tubes, dressings and for pain relief.


Recovery after discharge takes up to 6 weeks during which time heavy lifting, driving and strenuous exercise should be avoided. During this period of time, follow-up will be done in the rooms to change dressings and monitor progress.


As with all surgery, there is a risk of complications with abdominoplasty. These include bleeding, infections, wound healing problems, seroma (fluid collections), asymmetries and irregularities.

There is a risk of clots in the legs (DVT) and subsequently pulmonary emboli (PE) and whilst these are rare, they are potentially life threatening. As such, routine precautions including careful positioning, calf compressors and anticoagulant medication, are used to prevent them.


The results that can be achieved with abdominoplasty vary from person to person. It is important to realise that changes in your weight and the ongoing effects of aging will have an impact on the long-term result. Additionally, for women, further pregnancy will also detrimentally affect the result. This should be taken into account when considering your surgery.

Further Information

In making a decision to have an abdominoplasty, it is important to ensure that you see a qualified specialist plastic surgeon to discuss your options and suitability. We look forward to meeting you to do this and to answer any questions that you may have.