Cosmetic surgery has seen a rapid increase in demand in the UK over the last few decades, as access to treatments has become more equitable and medical developments have seen the widespread availability of new, non-surgical treatments.
There are some evergreen surgeries that remain popular, though; one of the most popular is the tummy tuck.
What is a tummy tuck?
A simple but major operation that removes loose skin and excess fat to help people achieve their dream physique. The overall aim is to remove skin on the tummy that cannot be removed through exercise- the main examples being excess skin caused by pregnancy or losing a significant amount of weight. A tummy tuck is not a quick fix for losing weight as its typically only recommended for those with a healthy body mass index (BMI). As it is classed as a cosmetic surgery it will not be available for free via the NHS. A tummy tuck can cost about £4,500- £6000 in the UK, plus there will be additional costs for any consultations and follow up care afterwards
But tummy tucks are an invasive procedure and should not be approached without forethought. Here are some key things you should consider before getting a tummy tuck.
Rest and Recovery
Surgical procedures of any kind are major undertakings, that require the ‘harm’ of the body in order to make the interventions necessary. As such, surgeries require a careful approach to rest and recovery, in order to give your body the necessary time and space to heal properly.
With specific regard to tummy tuck surgery, recovery is important to ensure you get the best results and avoid unnecessarily injuring yourself. Typically, you should give yourself up to six weeks of rest from physical or strenuous activity, to minimise the risk of breaking stitches or frustrating the healing process.
Even after six weeks, though, you may find you need to ramp back up to your prior level of activity in a slow and measured way. Healing fully from a tummy tuck operation can take up to a year, so you should be mindful of your own limitations in that time.
Tummy tuck surgery will invariably result in the creation of a scar on your stomach. The exact size and definition of this scar can vary from patient to patient and from surgeon to surgeon, but all scars created through tummy tuck surgery are permanent.
It is important to reckon with this well before continuing with your surgery plans, in order to make peace with the changes your body will experience besides the intended effects of the surgery. There is a number of ways in which you can directly address your surgery scarring, but none of them will completely remove your scar. You can expect natural fading over time, but with the right treatments you could further reduce the impact of the scar on your body.
Tummy tuck surgery requires preparation, just as with any other form of surgery. You may be advised to fast for 24 hours before your surgery, and to stop taking certain medications. Your surgeon will walk you through the various expectations for your surgery preparation, but there is one expectation you should start to work towards as soon as possible.
Tummy tucks are not weight loss surgery; rather, they ‘sculpt’ the abdomen into a preferred shape for the patient – whether removing small amounts of fat or removing skin to tighten and tone your stomach. As such, you should endeavour to reach the vicinity of your goal weight before you enter surgery. This will improve your post-surgery results.