Dr Cotrufo performs abdominoplasty under general anaesthesia. His patients are usually invited to stay in hospital for one or two nights for safety and comfort. Technical refinements such as deep-fascia suturing and use of dissolvable stitches allow him to achieve excellent results with very fine scars over the groin and around the “new belly button”. There are several techniques to perform a Tummy Tuck and Dr Cotrufo will advise you on the safest and best procedure to achieve your ideal shape.
If your abdomen has been affected by a cycle of weight gain and loss, impacted by pregnancy, ageing or loss of skin laxity, abdominoplasty surgery (tummy tuck) may be an option.
A tummy tuck reduces the appearance of your abdomen through removal of excess skin and fat. The possibility to tighten the anterior abdominal muscles (recti abdominis muscles) and repair divarication of the muscles typically after multiple pregnancies makes the tummy tuck one of the most common procedures for women. We estimate that Dr Cotrufo performed 90% of his tummy tuck procedures on female patients after one or multiple pregnancies, while the remaining 10% comes following massive weight loss on both sexes. Our patients often find that Dr Cotrufo’s body contouring procedure helps them to feel more content, giving them the self-confidence to wear the clothes they always wanted to wear. The most amazing consequence of body contouring surgery is that patients feel so comfortable again to start taking good care of themselves and reach a much better lever of fitness by exercising and dieting.
WHAT CAN ABDOMINOPLASTY ACHIEVE?
Restore tummy tone after weight gain and weight loss
Remove stubborn excess skin or fatty deposits from the abdominal wall
Shape and tone the belly after pregnancy
Can help ease lower back pain and improve posture
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY?
If your fat deposits and areas of loose skin are largely below the navel, you may select to undergo a less complex procedure called a partial abdominoplasty or mini-tummy tuck.
Few young patients resistant to weight gain often need minor skin reduction along with repair of muscle divarication (diastasis of the recti) and with minimal skin reduction: they are also excellent candidates for a mini tummy tuck.
Umbilical hernias are common problems after pregnancy and they certainly represent contraindications for liposuction. A complete or mini tummy tuck procedure allows repair of the hernia, along with diastasis of the recti muscles with minimal skin reduction and repositioning of the belly button exactly where it is supposed to be.
Another option is to have abdominoplasty alongside liposuction for improved body contouring or to undergo liposuction on its own. From your first consultation, Dr Cotrufo will be very careful while taking you through all the possible options best suited to your goals.
BEFORE YOUR ABDOMINOPLASTY CONSULTATION
Clear communication between yourself and your cosmetic surgery team are vital for a relaxed and comfortable surgery experience. You need to feel sure about safety well before your surgery.
Dr Cotrufo always invites his patients for at least two consultations before any surgical procedure to make sure everything is clear. The targets are agreed in writing and patients are fully aware of the possible risks and complications associated with this tummy tuck.
DURING YOUR CONSULTATION, YOU WILL:
Be able to discuss your circumstances
Be given time to ask advice and pose questions to Dr Cotrufo
Undergo a health evaluation
Have a full assessment of your skin tone and the fat deposits and/or loose skin in the abdomen area
Discuss the options that are open to you, including costs and timescales
Ask about risks, benefits and alternatives to abdominoplasty
Learn more about the tummy tuck procedure
In the run-up to your procedure and in the days immediately before surgery, you may be asked to make small changes to your lifestyle and to avoid certain medications or activities.
This may include:
Taking a blood test or other medical tests
Refraining from drinking alcohol
Adjusting or stop taking certain medications
Avoiding aspirin, herbal supplements and anti-inflammatory drugs
Avoiding overexposure in the sun, particularly to the abdomen
Committing not to make stringent dietary changes
If you need a general anaesthetic for your procedure you will be given instructions on how to fast before your surgery.
THE ABDOMINOPLASTY/TUMMY TUCK PROCEDURE
Depending on the complexity of your personal procedure, a tummy tuck will commonly last between 2 and 3 hours
The steps of the surgical procedure will vary if you are also undergoing other treatments such as liposuction.
To do this, your surgeon will make incisions from hipbone to hipbone and to free the navel from surrounding tissue.
Incisions are usually made at the level of the underwear line in order to conceal any possible scarring.
Your abdominal muscles may also be tightened during the procedure.
Once the incision(s) is stitched, dressings are applied and temporary tubes is inserted to drain excess fluid away. They are usually left in place for about 3 to 7 days.
THE PARTIAL ABDOMINOPLASTY/MINY TUMMY TUCK PROCEDURE
A mini tummy tuck procedure will generally last between 1 and 2.5 hours
During a mini tummy tuck, a shorter incision is made and the navel usually remains in place, though it may be reshaped when the skin is tightened and stitched
If no muscle repair is needed above the navel, the skin is separated only between the incision line and the navel. This skin flap is stretched down, the excess removed and the flap is stitched back into place
If diastasis of the recti needs to be repaired above the belly button, the options are either to mobilise the belly button along with the abdominal skin flap (with no extra scars) and possibly lowering the belly button OR to leave the navel in its original position and create a new “opening” around it (with a new scar). This last option of “repositioning of the belly button” is obviously more complex to understand and Dr Cotrufo recommends discussing this carefully at consultation more than once until things are completely understood.
AFTER YOUR TUMMY TUCK
Once your procedure is complete, you are likely to feel bruised, swollen and sore, and you may find you have a drip in your arm to maintain hydration. You should be up and about in 24 to 48 hours. We advise to have a friend or relative to drive you home to help you after your tummy tuck for at least one week. Most patients are up and about within 2-4 days, but the statistics show that some patients take up to 7-10 days to be completely autonomous. This is completely unpredictable and this is why Dr Cotrufo recommends having assistance for at least 7 days after your tummy tuck.
You will be able to remove the small drainage tubes inserted during surgery once fluid production reduces. Usually 3-7 days.
Moderate pain and discomfort is likely for 3 to 5 days.
You should be able go in shower with warm water after the drains are removed. Until then, you can use wipes to clean your skin.
During the healing process, you will need to dress your wound as instructed by the clinic team.
You will be able to return to normal activities after 2-4 weeks but should continue to avoid strenuous exercise of all types for up to 6 weeks.
Most of the swelling should subside within 4 to 6 weeks, though it may take up to 3-6 months for the area to return to its final texture.
A series of aftercare appointments will be scheduled for you to attend, usually at week 1, 3 and 6, and 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Dr Cotrufo will also be available to discuss your progress via telephone.
DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT ABDOMINOPLASTY?
There are a number of differences between a mini tummy tuck and a full abdominoplasty, if you would like to learn more about these variances or what type of procedure is most suited to your personal circumstances and goals, Dr Cotrufo will be able to guide you through this decision-making process. Should you have any further questions about tummy tuck, you can book a consultation by calling our clinic on 0207 873 2330.