Project Description

Body Contouring Surgery

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty,  is an extremely popular and satisfying procedure in my practice. I enjoy seeing the transformation patients undergo after a tummy tuck due to the fact that they can again wear figure hugging clothes with confidence.

As we mature, our stomach area stretches, particularly in women who’ve had children or started to gain weight around the abdomen due to menopause. So, if you are in the position where you have been on endless diets to lose the fat around your abdomen or have been exercising daily to tighten your abdominal muscles with minimal results then you are possibly requiring a tummy tuck.

Abdominoplasty procedure targets your middle abdomen  area. It tightens overly stretched abdominal muscles and skin in an effort to achieve a smoother, flatter appearing tummy area. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen although it is associated with a long scar that can extend from hip to hip.

Additionally, tummy tuck costs are more than worth it when you take into account the boost in self confidence you receive.

Not everyone is suited to receive a tummy tuck. However, Through years of experience, I have found that the ideal candidates are:

  • Those in good health – I believe that the best candidates for abdominoplasty are those who are in good physical, mental, and emotional health. If you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, but are struggling to lose that last little bit of belly fat. The same can be said for those who have experienced weight loss. Often dramatic weight loss results in loose, excess skin. If you wish to lose weight through eating more healthily or exercise I recommend you do so before opting for an abdominoplasty. My staff can assist you in losing the last 10 -20 kg, because we offer the “Slender Wonder” weight  loss program to our patients.
  • Women who’ve had children – The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through pregnancy, have stretched their abdominal muscles and skin beyond the point of returning to normal without surgical assistance. Those who no longer wish to have more or any children are ideal candidates for a tummy tuck. It’s easier to undergo the procedure after you’ve made the decision not to have any more kids. This is because if you do fall pregnant after your surgery, the likelihood of undoing what has been done through a tummy tuck increases.
Once you’ve undergone a tummy tuck and you’ve made a full recovery, the results are successful in most cases. Patients report experiencing heightened self esteem. And this is the reason why I am in the industry of plastic surgery. Everyone deserves to love every aspect of themselves, and undergoing cosmetic surgery is one way of achieving this.

“I expect that when they are grown, my children will split the bill for Mommy’s tummy tuck, They owe me!”

As with anything, there is a certain amount of risk involved when undergoing abdominoplasty. However, thousands of tummy tucks are performed in South Africa every year to massive success. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of any complications that can occur.

The main things you need to look out for post-op include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding

Infection is easily treated through drainage and a course of antibiotics. Though you should note that, if infection occurs, your stay in hospital will be prolonged. It’s also possible that if you are a smoker your scars won’t heal as well as they should. The same can be said for those who are prone to forming keloid type scars. Smokers are advised to stop smoking before having a tummy tuck as smoking may increase the risk of complications and delay healing.

In extreme cases it’s also possible for smoking to cause loss of the navel as well as abdominal skin due to poor blood circulation.This may require skin grafting or another surgical procedure.

Areas of the abdomen may have altered sensation after the operation. This is often temporary but may be permanent and should be considered and discussed with me if it’s a concern.

Patients with high risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis ( DVT) should also be careful when considering a tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck

The Procedure

It’s incredibly important for you to be honest when discussing your expectations. During your first consultation, I  will examine your abdominal region for fat deposits and excess skin or laxity. I  also assesses the tightness of the underlying muscles to determine the extent of the separation.

I will  use this time to put your mind at ease if you have any concerns. We will discuss the different options available to you and the risks and limitations of each. For example, if your fat deposits are limited to the area below the navel, you may require a less complex procedure called a mini abdominoplasty. This option can often be performed on an outpatient basis.

It’s also possible that you may benefit more from partial or complete abdominoplasty done in conjunction with liposuction to remove fat deposits from the hips. Ultimately, this option results in a better body contour overall.  In most of my patients, I try to achieve an overall improvement in the shape of the abdominal area and therefore I need to treat the area as a full unit , therefore most patients will have some form of liposuction in conjunction with their tummy tuck.

By the end of your first consultation, I will have discussed all of your options at length, answering all your questions about each one.I will also have asked you for information about yourself including information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments, current medication, and previous surgeries. This will ensure that I can determine which option is best suited for you, and whether any special precautions should be taken.

I also always advise patients to stop smoking well in advance of surgery if you are a smoker. You will also be advised to avoid certain medications which can increase bleeding prior to surgery. The clinic staff will provide you with any additional pre-op instructions specific for your case. Also remember that enjoying a healthy eating and exercise regime before and after surgery will result in optimum results.

If you are traveling from abroad,  DVT prevention is important ( See travel guide).

An abdominoplasty is performed at the Renaissance Surgical clinic while you’re under conscious sedation. Rest assured that you won’t be aware of the procedure at all, and you won’t feel any pain until you’ve woken in recovery. The advantage is however that you will wake up feeling refreshed without the side effects of a general anaesthesia. Occasionally I may use a general anaesthesia, but in all cases a certified anaesthetist will be responsible for your well being. The pain will be managed with the help of my anaesthetist and my  team. A tummy tuck takes 2-3 hours , however in combination with body sculpting / liposuction the time could extend to 4 hours.

The process for having a tummy tuck performed involves two steps:

  • Incisions – As each patient is different, the incisions made may differ. But in most cases, a horizontal cut is made along the pubic region. It’s positioned in the bikini line to hide any scarring that may occur. The length of the incision differs for each patient and is dependant on the amount of skin that needs to be trimmed.
  • Trimming and Tightening – The skin and fat is dissected off of the abdominal muscles all the way up to the bottom of the rib cage. The belly button is then separated from the skin. The skin and fat below the belly button is removed. In most cases, sutures are placed on the muscles of the abdominal wall to tighten one side of the abdomen to the other. This can flatten the abdomen remarkably well. The skin above the belly button is drawn down to the pubis and sutured into position. A new hole is placed in the skin and the belly button is positioned in about the same spot as it was in before surgery. The new tummy is then sutured into position. It’s also during this stage that any liposuction you may have discussed is performed drains are placed under the skin exiting below the incision on the pubis.
After undergoing a full abdominoplasty, you’re admitted to our post-operative care facility for two nights. Thereafter, your recovery can last up to two weeks. Bruising and swelling can sometimes only subsides after several months, when you will see the full result of the  surgery.

It’s vital to know that abdominoplasty is a slow-healing procedure as it is invasive and your body needs time to fully recover. While the drains are still inserted, you’ll require a lot of bed rest, with limited walking. And, during your stay in post operative care, the nursing staff give you instructions for showering and changing your dressings when you’re back home.

At first, after your tummy tuck, standing up straight may prove to be difficult, and this is completely normal. But, it’s important for you to start walking around as soon as possible to avoid the formation of blood clots.

After certain periods of time, you can expect to reach the following milestones in your recovery:

  • 3-5 days –  The dressings and drainage pipes are removed and you’re required to wear a soft support garment. You’ll need to wear this constantly over a layer of surgical tape for a period of 4-6 weeks.
  • 11 days – After the first 10 days have passed, your stitches will be removed.

It may take several weeks, or even months, for you to feel like you’re in peak physical condition again. However, if your abdominal muscles are strong, your recovery after your tummy tuck will move along much faster. You may even be able to return to work after two weeks. But, in some cases, it can take three or four weeks to rest and recuperate before you can resume normal activity. It’s important to keep this in mind.

I recommend light exercise as a way in which you can speed up the recovery process. Even people who have never exercised before should begin a programme to reduce swelling, lower the chance of blood clots, and tone muscles. Vigorous exercise, however, should be avoided until you can do it comfortably. Be sure to treat your body gently, and inform your personal trainer that you’re recovering from surgery.

For detailed information on what you can expect during your recovery, as well as what you can do to ensure everything goes smoothly, follow my general recovery guide.

If you’re considering undergoing a tummy tuck in South Africa, I am one of the foremost female plastic surgeons. With 18 years of experience, I have extensive perspective into the cosmetic surgery industry, worldwide. Additionally, I understand the unique needs of each of my patients.

Contact the practice today to find out more information about a tummy tuck performed by me.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am with the results of my tummy tuck , and to think I am still swollen! When I first saw my new waist I felt like years and years of emotional (and physical) baggage had been removed. I hadn’t realized just how insecure I have been my entire life about my tummy, and how negatively it has affected my confidence. You and the rest of the doctors are truly miracle workers.”
Z.B, Tummy Tuck
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