Dr. Dirk Lazarus

Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon

MBChB (UCT), FCS (SA) Plast & Recon Surg

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

If your tummy (abdomen) has excess skin, too much fat or lax muscles then you will be suitable for some form of abdominoplasty. An abdominoplasty can improve your shape and contour and allow you to fit into clothes better.

There are a number of different tummy tuck procedures (and there may be variations of these too):

  1. Classic (traditional or full) tummy tuck
  2. Classic tummy tuck with liposuction
  3. Mini tummy tuck with liposuction
  4. Fleur d’lis (FDL) tummy tuck

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The classic (full) abdominoplasty operation involves removing the skin and fat below the belly button. The tissue is then dissected up to the rib cage to allow the tummy muscles to be tightened and the skin flap from above to be pulled down. This leaves a scar which runs in the bikini line from hip to hip. The belly button is brought out through a new hole created in the correct position in that flap. This operation is suitable for women who have completed their families. A classic abdominoplasty is frequently combined with liposuction of the love handles and perhaps also of the upper tummy.

Mini tummy tuck: Younger women who have excess tummy and love handle fat will benefit more from liposuction. Other areas can be liposuctioned at the same time, such as the thighs.

Before, 9 months after and 18 months after mini tummy tuck

Before, 9 months after and 18 months after mini tummy tuck

The surgery is doneĀ as day case surgery (in and out the same day) in my own, private facility. TheĀ anaesthetist will administer your sedation and regional spinal anaesthetic (similar to an epidural). This will be supplemented with local anaesthesia. You will be asleep, pain-free and unaware at the time of surgery and you will have a quick recovery. Tummy tuck takes about 3 hours although liposuction is frequently added which may take additional time.

At the end of surgery, the wounds are closed with dissolving sutures, tape is placed over the cuts and a dressing is applied. I usually use drains for classic tummy tucks. Depending on the drainage, these are removed 5-7 days after surgery. An abdominal binder will be given to you to wear for 3 weeks after surgery.

Painkillers will be prescribed for post-operative pain. Bruising and swelling will last about 2-3 weeks and you can resume your normal activities after 4-6 weeks. It takes a few months for the shape to settle and about a year for the scar to mature, but the improvement in shape and contour is rapid and the effect of abdominoplasty long lasting.

Dr. Dirk Lazarus

Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon

MBChB (UCT), FCS (SA) Plast & Recon Surg