Is a 'Tummy Tuck' right for me?
We get this question a lot at The Westbourne Centre, so we’ve asked consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Hiroshi Nishikawa to address it.
Cultural and media pressures to have the “perfect belly” are on the rise, and with that we’ve seen an increase in the number of patients asking about the cosmetic correction of the abdomen.
Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is the surgical removal of sagging or damaged excess skin. This procedure is often performed after pregnancy or significant weight loss, and is safely done as a day case under local anaesthetic with sedation here at The Westbourne Centre.
It is a similar procedure for both men and women involving the evaluation of the amount of excess skin or redundancy, the location and the laxity (looseness) of the skin, which is done during an in-person consultation. Your consultant needs to clearly understand your goal: re-shaping and removal of fatty areas, removal of excess skin, treatment of damaged skin after pregnancy, or revision of scars following previous abdominal surgery, in order to determine the best technique.
A mini-tuck can often be carried out if the amount of excess skin is moderate and is predominately in the lower abdominal area. This situation is most common following pregnancy with or without caesarean section or as a secondary body-shaping procedure.
A full abdominoplasty may be needed if there is a large amount of excess skin to be removed and the abdominal muscles need to be tightened. The belly button often needs to be re-positioned and refashioned as part of the surgery.
In appropriate cases abdominoplasty can be carried out with liposuction to further refine the abdominal shape, but at this stage I must emphasise abdominoplasty and liposuction are not procedures for weight loss. Patients who are considered obese will need to lose weight and reduce their BMI (Body Mass Index) in order to be “fit” for surgery.
For abdominal surgery at The Westbourne Centre, we are happy to work with patients whose BMI is 30 or below. The equation used to calculate BMI is: BMI = Weight in Kilograms divided by your height in metres squared Kg/m2
So to answer your question about a tummy tuck being right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I have excess skin and small amounts of fatty excess around my abdominal area?
2. Am I clear on the outcome I’d like to achieve with the procedure?
3. Is my Body Mass Index 30 or below?
If you have answered YES to these three questions then definitely get in touch with us at The Westbourne Centre to schedule a consultation.