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  • An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen flatter and firmer
  • Excess fat and skin are removed to tighten the muscles and tissues of the abdominal area
  • Renowned Plastic Surgeons based in the UK
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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer for The Private Clinic of Harley Street, London.
Last Reviewed November 17th 2023

Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty

Flabby skin on the belly is usually the result of weight-loss, yo-yo dieting or pregnancy. It might just be lax and wrinkled skin that has lost its elasticity, but in more extreme cases the muscles are stretched and there can be unattractive, overhanging folds of skin that won’t spring back into shape.

What can an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck achieve?

Pregnancy, weight loss and the natural ageing process can leave behind excess, sagging skin around the stomach(abdomen) area. This excess skin can’t be removed through exercise or non-invasive treatments. The solution is an abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck (mini tummy tuck), which will give you a flatter, firmer abdomen.

What is an Abdominoplasty?

An abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery procedure used to make the abdomen flatter and firmer. Excess fat and skin are removed from the abdomen area in order to tighten the muscles and tissues of the abdominal area. Diastasis recti can also be corrected via a tummy tuck procedure where the seperated abdominal wall is sewed back together.

At The Private Clinic we understand that deciding what you require can be confusing. We are here to help guide you to the best tummy choice so you feel confident. Consultations are available at our clinics in London Harley Street, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Northampton.

At your consultation we can discuss the various body contouring options that will be right for you. Age and skin elasticity can often be a deciding factor, let the experts guide you on our extensive range of tummy options.

What is a Brazillian Tummy Tuck?

Mr William Van Nierkerk discusses the differences between a tummy tuck and a brazillian tummy tuck.

Tummy Tuck at a glance

Procedure Time
2 hours

Anaesthetic Type
General Anaesthetic

Hospital Stay

1 week

2 – 3 weeks

Up & Mobile
4 – 5 days

Sexual Activity
4 – 6 weeks

Back to Work
2 – 3 weeks

6 – 8 weeks

6 weeks

Full Recovery Time
8 weeks

Final Results
6 – 12 months

Support Garments
Compression garment for 6-8 weeks

Sleeping elevated 45º pillow underneath leg

What type of tummy tuck is best for me?

Full Abdominoplasty

Best for patients who have a large amount of excess skin. A full tummy tuck is known as the standard tummy tuck and it is designed to remove fat, repair any torn muscles and removes excess skin.

Extended Abdominoplasty

Best for patients who have excess fat and skin in the flanks, upper hip, and lower back regions. An extended tummy tuck will remove skin and fat from all of these areas as well as repairing any torn muscles if required.

Mini Abdominoplasty

Best for patients who only have a small amount of tissue between the area above your pubic region to the tummy button, your stomach may have a crinkly appearance but doesn’t necessarily over-hang. A mini tummy tuck can also repair the muscles as well as removing excess skin and tightening up the lower part of the tummy.

Do I need a full or mini tummy tuck? – Find out more here.

Fleur de Lis Abdominoplasty

Designed to target excess skin from both the upper and lower abdomen in a vertical direction. The skin is pulled downward and inwards towards the centre of your abdomen resulting in a smooth and tummy.

Brazilian Tummy Tuck

A combination of liposuction with a tummy tuck, best for patients with more excess skin than fat. Liposuction is used to remove fat from the flanks and waist as well as the abdomen to give you a more sculpted appearance. By incorporating liposuction it allows the skin to heal quicker and the procedure can be performed as a day case with less risk of complications associated with a full abdominoplasty. Mr William Van Nierkerk is able to offer Brazilian tummy tucks in London.

I had a Brazilian abdominoplasty done with The Private Clinic in Harley street. I have to say the operation went very well and the care and the team was fantastic. Most of all the surgeon Mr William Van Niekerk was brilliant. I never had any pain after the op and I highly recommend The Private Clinic. My review is a bit delayed as I had this a year ago but am still over the moon with the results. And it has totally changed my life! I am so much happier now.

– Michelle, Brazillian Tummy Tuck patient.

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Tummy Tuck Before & After Photos

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape. Take a look at some of the Abdominoplasty results below.

What to Expect

The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of patients placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.

The Consultation

Your tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure journey will start with a consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons.

Your surgeon will be able to discuss in detail the different types of tummy tuck procedure techniques that are available including:

  • Mini Tummy Tuck (Mini Abdominoplasty)
  • Full Tummy Tuck(Abdominoplasty)
  • Brazilian Tummy Tuck
  • Fleur de lis Tummy Tuck
  • Extended Tummy Tuck

Your surgeon will also:

  • Review your medical history
  • Assess your suitability for tummy tuck surgery
  • Check for diastasis recti if appropriate
  • Discuss which technique is most suitable
  • Discuss your expectations
  • Detail the risks and complications of abdominoplasty surgery
  • Go through the aftercare and recovery process

Following your consultation, you will be introduced to one of our knowledgeable patient coordinators who will be your point of contact should you wish to go ahead with surgery.

Consultation Image 1

Pre-Operative Appointment

In the interests of patient safety all our patients are assessed against our patient selection criteria. Following your tummy tuck consultation your medical history will be reviewed our pre-operative nurse will advise on pre-operative tests. Most tummy tuck pre-operative assessments include a blood test, MRSA swabs, urine test and a blood pressure test.

They will also advise you of any precautions you need to take in the days or weeks leading up to your tummy tuck procedure and advise on any medication that you should stop taking ahead of your procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Tummy Tuck Surgery

We usually ask patients to arrive at the hospital an hour before their scheduled surgery time. Tummy tuck procedures are carried out under general anaesthetic and depending on the type of procedure being performed, usually take around 2-3 hours.

On arrival:

  • The nursing team will record your blood pressure and prep you for surgery.
  • You will meet with the surgeon who will go through the procedure again and answer any questions.
  • Pre-operative photos will be taken.
  • Your stomach will be marked up ready for surgery.

The Procedure
A full tummy tuck involves:

  • General anaesthetic will be administered by the anaesthesiologist.
  • Making a large incision across the lower tummy, from hip to hip, just above the pubic area.
  • Making a second incision to free the belly button from the tissue that surrounds it.
  • Separating the skin from the abdominal wall.
  • In most cases realigning the abdominal muscles.
  • Removing excess fat and skin.
  • Repairing the seperated abdominal wall in cases of diastasis recti.
  • Cutting a new hole for the belly button and stitching this back in place.
  • Drawing together the remaining skin and stitching it in place with absorbable stitches and applying wound dressings.
  • An abdominal support garment will be placed on you which you will be required to wear during your recovery process for the time stated by your surgeon.

A partial/mini tummy tuck involves:

  • General anaesthetic will be administered by the anaesthesiologist.
  • Making a large incision (cut) across the lower tummy.
  • Separating the skin from the abdominal wall below the tummy button.
  • Removing excess fat.
  • Cutting away excess skin.
  • Drawing together the remaining skin and stitching it in place with absorbable stitches and applying wound dressings.
  • An abdominal support garment will be placed on you which you will be required to wear during your recovery process for the time stated by your surgeon.

Once the surgery is complete, You will then be taken back to your room where you may be required to stay overnight for observation.
Once the surgeon and nursing team are happy that you are safe to return home, you will be discharged and allowed to leave accompanied by a family member or friend.

Consultation Image 1

After your tummy tuck procedure

A member of our nursing team will call you usually the day following your procedure to ensure you are well following your procedure. You will have information on how to contact your clinic or on-call nursing team should you have any worries or concerns at any point 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during your recovery time.

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be provided with aftercare information from your surgeon to follow and any medication that you will be required to take during your recovery.

We recommend that you take 2-3 weeks off work and avoid strenuous activities and exercise for at least 6 weeks. You should arrange for someone to help you around the house and to help with childcare if necessary, for the first week.

An appointment will be made for an incision and wound check usually 4-12 days following your tummy tuck procedure. A 6-week follow-up appointment will then also be arranged with your surgeon. At this stage you should be ready to return to your everyday activities, but your surgeon will be able to advise you on anything that you are unsure of.

Consultation Image 1

Watch Mr William Van Niekerk Answer Tummy Tuck FAQ’s

The Private Clinic have collaborated with Chrysalis Finance to offer 0% finance for our patients.*

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Am I suitable for a tummy tuck procedure?
A tummy tuck / abdominoplasty procedure is best performed on patients who have excess skin from pregnancy or weight loss and need it to be removed and tightened. Although fat can be removed during a tummy tuck procedure, it is not a quick fix for losing weight.
Am I too old for a tummy tuck?

We only perform cosmetic procedures on patients over the age of 18. As long as you are fit and well then there is no upper age limit on tummy tuck surgery.

When is the best time to have a tummy tuck procedure?

We recommend that you are at your ideal weight before having tummy tuck surgery. If you lose or gain a significant amount of weight after having the procedure you may find yourself having to have additional surgery to correct the results. Although it is not a medical requirement, we also recommend that you do not have a tummy tuck procedure if you are planning on getting pregnant in the future. Pregnancy can cause your skin to stretch which again, may result in revision surgery being required at a later date.

Can men have tummy tucks?

Tummy tucks are not gender specific so men can definitely get tummy tucks. The abdomen is a problem area for men and women alike, with different factors affecting the area. The ageing process affects the elasticity and integrity of the skin, whilst weight loss leaves the body unable to naturally tighten the skin effectively – both problems that affect men.

What happens at a tummy tuck consultation?

A tummy tuck consultation with your surgeon is a great way to firstly get to know the surgeon that is potentially going to be carrying out the procedure, discuss your desired outcome, ask any questions that you may have and talk through any concerns that you have about the procedure. The surgeon will ask to see your stomach so they can assess which procedure would be best for you. You will also be able to go through before and after photographs to get a realistic idea of what to expect post-surgery.

How long does the procedure take?

A tummy tuck procedure can take up to 2 hours to perform and you may be required to stay overnight in the hospital so that your surgeon and the nursing team can ensure you are recovering well.

Does an abdominoplasty require general anaesthetic?

The type of anaesthetic used will depend on the patient, the surgeons’ preferences, and the type of procedure. Most abdominoplasty procedures require general anaesthetic, but some can be performed under local anaesthetic with sedation if requested.

What happens during a tummy tuck procedure?

The procedure involves an incision being made along the lower abdomen (further incisions may be needed). Then skin is carefully separated, allowing the excess tissue and skin to be removed and the remaining skin and tissue to be repositioned or reshaped. Finally, the skin is firmly pulled across the abdomen area and sutured up.

If you are having liposuction as part of the process, excess fat will be extracted along with the removal of excess skin and tissue.

What should I expect after a tummy tuck procedure?

Temporary drainage tubes can sometimes be used for fluid drainage if required. Surgical gauze and compression garments will be used to wrap around the treated area to aid the body’s recovery process.

Your pain should be effectively managed with the prescribed pain relief and although you are told to rest, you are also advised to get up and take regular short walks throughout the day. Initially, you may feel tightness in the abdomen and find standing up straight difficult for the first 4-5 days post-surgery. You will have an aftercare plan set up which will require you to visit your nearest clinic regularly to ensure you are healing well. You will be required to wear a compression garment during your healing for 6-8 weeks or until any swelling has gone.

Is a tummy tuck painful?

You will not feel any discomfort before or during the procedure but after the procedure, you are likely to experience moderate discomfort. Painkillers and sedatives are prescribed for patients and a full resting period is necessary in order to help your body adjust. Considering the results, most patients report the procedure’s downtime was worth it.

Will a tummy tuck get rid of my stretch marks?

A tummy tuck procedure is not designed to remove stretch marks so this is not guaranteed, however due to the technique of the skin being tightened – some patients find the appearance of their stretchmarks has reduced after their procedure.

How long do the results of tummy tuck surgery last for?

The results you get after a tummy tuck procedure are essentially permanent however as we age, our bodies change and our skin may become more elasticated which could affect the results. Gaining weight or becoming pregnant can also alter the results of a tummy tuck procedure.

Where will my scar be after a tummy tuck procedure?

At your consultation, your surgeon will discuss your scar placement with you. It may be beneficial for you to bring or wear specific underwear or bikini bottoms that you know you want the scar to sit beneath to give your surgeon a clear idea of where the scar should sit. Ideally, the scar will sit as low on the abdomen as possible, for the first few weeks it will be very visible and it will go through a red phase before eventually fading to a silvery colour. Over the years your scar will continue to fade and should sit flat against your skin. Your surgeon will give you guidance on how to care for your scar post-surgery.

Invasive surgery of any kind will leave some form of scarring but our surgeons are specialised and able to minimise scarring as much as possible, as well as hiding the scars below the underwear/bikini line. Fortunately, the scarring will be in a place that isn’t commonly visible most of the time. Advice will be given to treat scarring post-procedure and further treatments are available at The Private Clinic if you need further help with treating your scarring.

How much time off work will I need after a tummy tuck?

You will need to take between 1-3 weeks off work, depending on your job. After a surgical procedure you need to care for your body and grant it the full rest it deserves. Naturally, the recovery process varies considerably between patients so you may find you will be able to do some very light work from home sooner than you thought. Following the aftercare schedule we provide will help you heal quickly and effectively so make sure you adhere to the care plan.

Will a tummy tuck remove fat?

A tummy tuck procedure is intended to remove excess skin rather than fat although some fat removal can be carried out during the procedure. If you are looking for a procedure to help with stubborn fat removal see our Vaser Liposuction page.

Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck procedure will not prevent you from getting pregnant and pregnancy after a tummy tuck procedure is definitely safe for both mother and baby.

We do recommend that patients do not have a tummy tuck if they are planning a pregnancy again in the future. This is because there is a risk that the skin and abdominal muscles could stretch out again during pregnancy. It makes more sense to wait due to risk of additional expense and need for revision surgery.

However, not all patients require a second procedure following pregnancy, especially if their tummies do not stretch out too much. Everybody responds differently to pregnancy so whether you would need a second procedure would only be able to be decided post-pregnancy.

Will a tummy tuck remove my love handles?

A standard tummy tuck will not target your love handles/sides/flanks but an extended tummy tuck does target this area otherwise a vaser liposuction procedure may be best suited.

When will I be able to exercise after tummy tuck surgery?

We recommend that you allow 6-8 weeks before returning to exercise and any other strenuous activities.

When can I travel abroad after tummy tuck surgery?

We advise that you wait for at least 6 weeks after surgery to fly.

What are the risks with tummy tuck surgery?

An abdominoplasty procedure is a relatively safe procedure but it does carry risks just like any surgical procedure would do. The most common risks after an abdominoplasty procedure are infection, excessive bleeding or a reaction to the anaesthetic; your surgeon will discuss these in full at your consultation.

What does a free tummy tuck consultation mean?

We are offering free tummy tuck phone or video consultations with an experienced patient coordinator.

Our coordinators are able to provide information on tummy tuck procedures and advise on which tummy tuck surgeon is going to suit your requirements best.

In order to secure the timed appointment we do require a £25 refundable deposit. This is refunded once the consultation takes place. You can change your appointment time up to 48 hours before.

Contact us to book your free phone or video consultation.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Abdominoplasty involves the removal of excess, sagging skin and some of the connective tissue surrounding it and will not result in demonstrable fat removal. People who have lost a lot of weight quickly or had babies and have excess skin are typically ideal candidates for the procedure.

Instead, people looking for fat removal will be suitable for liposuction. As the skin may struggle to tighten, a tummy tuck can be used to help improve the result of the fat removal. A consultation will help you to understand what procedure or procedures your body may need.

What is the difference between a full, mini and extended tummy tuck?

A full tummy tuck removes loose skin above and below your belly button, a mini tummy tuck will only remove skin below your belly button and an extended tummy tuck removes loose skin from above and below the belly button as well as from your sides/flanks or love handles.

Do I need a full or mini tuck? – Find out more in our blog

To get an accurate idea on which procedure is best for you, make an appointment to see one of our specialist abdominoplasty surgeons.

When will I see the results from a tummy tuck procedure?

You should notice an initial difference straight after your procedure however the best results are not seen until after the swelling has subsided which can take up to 6 weeks.

How much does Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) cost?

The Private Clinic sees over 15,000 new patients every year and perform over 10,000 procedures, with one of the highest patients’ satisfaction in the sector with a Trustpilot 5 star rating and 98% of patients saying they would recommend us to their friends and family.

The Private Clinic prides itself on its commitment to Medical Expertise, Patient Care and Satisfaction, Honest advice and most importantly Results. We are above all committed to Quality. Please feel free to contact us for any Tummy Tuck advice or to book a consultation with one of our expert surgeons. Tummy Tuck Cost can be part of your decision to undergo a procedure but it should never be the deciding factor. For more information about The Private Clinic, our experience and medical expertise click here

The average price for a mini-tummy tuck starts from £6,665. If you require a full tummy tuck the price starts from £9,500. You will be given an accurate quote for your procedure following your consultation.

Consultations with our plastic surgeons are £100 at our clinics in London Harley Street, BirminghamManchester and Northampton.

All consultations with Mr William Van Niekerk are £150.

We also offer consultations with our highly experienced Patient Coordinators which require a £25 refundable deposit to secure your place. These are available in BirminghamLeedsManchester and Northampton.

Patient coordinators are able to offer you all the information you require prior to meeting a surgeon.

Please note all consultations available at our Harley Street clinic are with a surgeon.

Do you have a Tummy Tuck clinic near me?

The Private Clinic has several clinics so we are sure to have an expert tummy tuck surgeon located near you.

Our clinics:

Where can I get a tummy tuck in London?

London – 98 Harley Street, W1G7HZ

Where can I get a tummy tuck in Manchester?

Manchester – 25 St John Street, M3 4DT

Where can I get a tummy tuck in Birmingham?

Birmingham – 88 Hagley Road, B16 8LU – West Midlands

Where can I get a tummy tuck in Leeds?

Leeds – 45 Park Square North, LS1 2NP – Yorkshire

Where can I get an abdominoplasty in Northampton?

Northampton – 82 Billing Road, NN1 5DF – East Midlands

To find out more about booking a consultation at a clinic near you, contact us here.

Can a tummy tuck correct Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis recti, or separated abdominal muscles, is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy but it can also occur in women who have not had children.

Typical symptoms of diastasis recti include an abdominal bulge that doesn’t go away, a jelly-like feeling around the belly button, coning or doming when you contract your ab muscles and an overall weakness of the core.

Diastasis recti corrective surgery is not available on the NHS so many women go private for repair surgery.

Diastasis recti surgery is the same procedure as a tummy tuck so seeking a specialist tummy tuck surgeon is going to give you the best results.

Our surgeons are able to provide more information about Diastasis Recti correction via tummy tuck/abdominoplasty surgery in consultation. To find out if you are suitable, book a consultation.

Things to Consider

Our advice on what to consider when deciding to have an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) procedure:

1. When choosing a clinic, you should always do your research, and only go to an established, reputable clinic.

The Private Clinic has been in the cosmetic surgery industry for over 40 years. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind.

2. When choosing a surgeon, make sure you know who you’ll be seeing. Their expertise, qualifications and patient satisfaction rate are important factors to take into consideration.

At The Private Clinic, we only source the most experienced and specialised surgeons. Find out more about our plastic surgeons here.

3. Price should never be the deciding factor when choosing where to have your treatment. Safety should be your number one priority and feeling confident that they will look after you – not only before, but also after your procedure

4. When it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Always find out what your clinic’s reputation is.

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape.

Tummy TUck Patient Stories

Outstanding care, patient satisfaction and results mean everything to The Private Clinic Team

Read about our patients’ experiences to see what you can expect from our award-winning procedures.

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of patients placing their trust in us each year.
  • Top UK best tummy tuck surgeons with decades of experience.
  • We are able to offer our patients a wide portfolio of abdominoplasty procedures, including the standard tummy tuck, mini tummy tuck, Brazilian tummy tuck and extended tummy tuck.
  • Dedicated care with your expert surgeon and nursing team before, during and long after every procedure.
  • Our aftercare promise – you can call, email, and visit us to discuss how we tailor-make each procedure and offer ethical and professional aftercare for every patient.
  • 24 hour help line so you are always in the best of hands.
  • State of the art hospital facilities.
  • 5 Star Trustpilot Rating.
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Meet our Surgeons

We have a dedicated Plastic Surgeons and an expert medical team who will be with you throughout your journey.

At The Private Clinic, our procedures are performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons who have decades of experience in abdominoplasty procedures.