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Is Abdominoplasty Major Surgery?

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Abdominoplasty, the more formal name for a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic procedure that addresses a patient’s concerns with their mid and lower abdominal areas.

The procedure is very popular in the UK, whether on its own or as part of a Mummy Makeover whereby the patient has a breast augmentation as well as tummy tuck – the augmentation in part using grafted fat.

A common question though is whether abdominoplasty is major surgery, does the fact it is so commonplace imply it is a minor operation?

The Quick Answer

Abdominoplasty is major surgery, it involves general anaesthetic and then a procedure which typically takes several hours.

Recovery also takes some time, initially the patient is likely to have some pain and bruising, with the ongoing recovery then taking several months.

It is a procedure which can have clear, very visible benefits but it is not something to undertake lightly.

Why Abdominoplasty is Considered Major Surgery

Every aspect of abdominoplasty makes it major surgery – from the invasive nature of the procedure, to the length of time under anaesthetic to the recovery thereafter.

It is not a procedure with a high degree of risk – of course all surgery has some inherent risk – but any patient should not consider it under the mistaken impression it is a minor operation.

The tummy tuck sees the surgeon remove excess skin and fat and then tighten and close the wound. Depending on the extent of the surgery, it may be necessary to reposition the belly button to ensure a natural look.

Liposuction around the hips, flanks and pubic area can accompany the operation, this addressing the wider region.

There are essentially three different kinds of abdominoplasty – the traditional tummy tuck, partial (or mini) tummy tuck and extended abdominoplasty.

The traditional option is the most common – this suitable for people in good overall health but who have a considerable amount of loose skin around their abdomen. 

The partial option, as you would expect, is for those with smaller amounts of excess skin – typically this is for people who are within 10% of their ideal body weight and only want to address the part of the naval that is below the abdomen.

The extended abdominoplasty is for those with more excess skin and fat than those undergoing the traditional procedure. It makes a more fundamental change to the patient’s figure, also altering the hip and lower back regions.

However, any prospective patient does not need to know which option is right for them, that would be for discussion with a surgeon. They can advise as to the different options, the results achievable and why they believe one of the options to be the most suitable given the patient’s aspirations.

Whichever option is suitable, the procedure will involve a large cut across the lower tummy – potentially from hip to hip for a full abdominoplasty. Skin will be separated from the abdominal wall and excess skin and fat removed.

It may be necessary to realign abdominal muscles and cut a new hole for the belly button.

The remaining skin is then pulled together and stitched in place.

The operation itself will last at least two hours and often up to five or six and an overnight stay will be required – for more major surgery a stay of several nights can be required.

Recovery also takes time. There will be initial pain and swelling, the patient will be unable to drive initially and must stay home for a period of time. A period off work will have to be factored in, typically four to six weeks, while it will also be several weeks before exercise can be undertaken. 

Who is it suitable for?

Abdominoplasty may be major surgery, but it can also be truly life enhancing surgery for the right patients.

We are all prone to fat deposits in certain areas and for many of us, this is the stomach region. Once there, however hard we exercise, however well we control our diet, these stubborn pockets of fat remain.

This undesirable effect can come about as we get older, it can be because of metabolic changes, it is also common post-pregnancy. Whatever the cause, the solution is often abdominoplasty, a procedure that addresses a specific issue and rectifies it. 

Results last and are long term, if the patient maintains a sensible diet and exercises there is no reason for them not to be permanent.

It is not a procedure for those who are obese, it tackles a specific area on an otherwise healthy person rather than addressing overall health.

It Starts With A Consultation

As with all cosmetic surgery, the process begins with an initial detailed consultation. This consultation will address whether the surgery is suitable for the prospective surgery, ensure that achievable results are detailed and answer any concerns.

It will be at this stage that the surgeon can outline the different options and offer opinion as to which is the most suitable, for instance whether a traditional tummy tuck or partial option is more suitable.

In other cases it will be determined that this form of surgery is not suitable, whether that is because of the patient’s overall health, or because the results they desire are not realistically attainable. 

Patient satisfaction and care is the key consideration for all cosmetic surgeons, the consultation is a chance to ascertain whether surgery should be undertaken and if so which form. It is a partnership between patient and healthcare expert.

Next Steps

If you would like more information about abdominoplasty or are considering this form of surgery please contact us for an obligation-free consultation. 

Anca Breahna is a renowned female surgeon who has held prestigious Fellowships and been consultant surgeon at world-leading institutions.

If you would like to arrange a consultation, please use our Contact Form.

Further Reading about Body Procedures with Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna

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About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon

top UK cosmetic surgeon anca breahnaMs Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Anca performs a range of breast, body and face surgery and minor skin procedures.

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in her region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has been largely undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK to further extend her qualifications and training.

Anca’s NHS practice is now focused on Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Skin Cancer Surgery, Hand Surgery and soft tissue reconstruction. Over the last 15 years, through her pursuit of further training and education, Anca has developed a special interest and expert practical experience in a range of Aesthetic Breast and Body Surgery.

It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca will treat you in a straightforward manner, with respect, consideration and empathy to ensure you are comfortable with your choice.



Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • A Medical Referral from your Doctor before your consultation is not compulsory however  it is recommended.
  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is available on-site at all hospitals.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans or to request more information about the procedure, contact us.

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire on 0800 080 6026 or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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    Cheshire Cosmetic Surgery
    Chester Wellness Centre
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    Nuffield Health
    Wrexham Road
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    Practice Manager: Claire Bate – Phone 0800 080 6026

    Patient Coordinator: Joedy Williams – Phone 03332 244111

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