Many men and women struggle to tone their abdominal areas with exercise and diet, only to find that tummy tuck is the best solution. Tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin from the midsection and tightens the abdominal muscles for a flatter, firmer tummy.
You may be a candidate for tummy tuck if you are in good health, at a stable weight and have realistic expectations of surgery. If you plan to get pregnant or fluctuate in weight, tummy tuck is not recommended. Also, if you have only excess fat in your midsection but no excess skin, Liposuction may be a more suitable solution.
Time and costs
Abdominoplasty is an outpatient procedure that takes only a few hours in theater. We can arrange for you to arrive in South Africa during the week end, attend consultation with the surgeon on Monday and have surgery performed on a Wednesday.
After surgery it is normal to experience some discomfort and soreness in the first few days, during which you will be accommodated in a recovery facility and followed 24/7 by our nurses.
Week 2 of your stay you will be available to travel and enjoy some of the country best scenery while you recover. We recommend to recover for at least two weeks before you can be dismissed back to your normal routine by the surgeon.
The cost of the procedure may vary significantly, according to your choice of procedure and materials used, but you can have some very good liposuction done for as little as USD 7,000.
Preparing for Tummy Tuck
The first step toward preparing for surgery is to schedule a surgical consultation with the surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeons will determine whether you are a suitable candidate for tummy tuck based on a medical evaluation, review of your medical history and discussion of your personal goals. They will also explain the procedure in detail, covering your options, what to expect on the day of surgery, the exact costs and potential risks of the procedure. Once you have scheduled your plastic surgery, you will receive further instructions on how to prepare.
These instructions may include: stop smoking for a certain amount of time prior to your surgery; avoid taking particular medications like aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs, which can increase the chance of bleeding; and have some testing done at a lab.
The Day of Surgery
Tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure that takes several hours. An anesthesiologist will first administer medication to help you sleep comfortably as the surgeon works.
The plastic surgeon starts by making a horizontal incision right above the pubic hairline. The length of this incision depends on the amount of skin that you need to have removed. A second incision may be needed around the belly button. Through the incision, the surgeon will tighten the weakened abdominal muscles, stitching them into place. The belly button may be repositioned. Excess fat and skin are then removed and the remaining skin is stretched tightly and sutured together.
After recovering at the surgical facility for a few hours, you will be discharged to reach the recovery facility. A qualified nurse will be following you for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
Recovering from surgery
After tummy tuck surgery, you will need to rest for a period of time before returning to your normal routine. You will be sore and swollen, but this will go away over time. Your bandages and surgical dressings will need to remain in place until one of the surgeons removes them during a follow-up appointment.
Typically, full tummy tuck recovery takes several weeks, but you will be able to regain a certain level of physical fitness before that.
You should not undergo tummy tuck surgery if you think you may become pregnant in the future; pregnancy can reverse the effects of tummy tuck.
The type of tummy tuck that you have depends on the current condition of your abdomen. Candidates with only a little bit of excess skin and fat underneath the belly button can opt for a "mini" tummy tuck with Liposuction.
Candidates with large amounts of excess skin may need to explore a different procedure called a panniculectomy.