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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic. Last Reviewed July 16th 2020.

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.

How do I know if I need a tummy tuck?

​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. This type of excess skin usually requires surgical removal if you are wanting to achieve a flat stomach.

Where in the UK does The Private Clinic provide Tummy Tucks?

Your tummy tuck surgery journey at The Private Clinic starts with a consultation with the best tummy tuck cosmetic surgeons.

We are proud to offer you a team of expert Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons are available in London, Bristol, BirminghamBuckinghamshireNorthampton, Leeds and Manchester.

Milton Keynes offer free consultations with a patient coordinator.

Our extensive experience and the best options

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. 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 options are available for a tummy tuck at The Private Clinic?

See our Tummy Tuck UK before and after photos

Stella’s Patient story

Read Stella’s incredible patient story here and see her amazing results in the Daily Mail and The Express.

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 to tighten the muscles and tissues of the abdominal area.

What type of tummy tuck is best for me?

There are a variety of different tummy tuck surgical techniques or types of tummy tucks. The one you have will depend on how much skin and fat you have removed. Your surgeon will explain which type is most suitable for you.

  • 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 still repair the muscles as well as removing excess skin and tightening up the lower part of the tummy.
  • 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.

What are the options instead of a tummy tuck?

It is becoming more common that abdominoplasty is combined with stomach liposuction to remove stubborn pockets of fat and leave you with a slimmer contour and there are a number of variations on the procedure which your surgeon will discuss with you during your consultation.
Before the liposuction procedure was invented, an abdominoplasty was the only procedure carried out to remove excess fat. Depending on the amount of excess skin and fat you have, VASER liposuction may be a more suitable, minimally invasive option for you. You may find that the results of liposuction are sufficient for your desired results. Our Doctors will always offer you the most suitable option for you and your body.

Can the gym solve loose excess skin after weight loss?

Tummy tucks should not be thought of as a substitute for weight loss or an exercise program. The procedure cannot correct stretch marks, although these may be removed or somewhat improved if they are located on the areas of excess skin that will be treated.

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.

If you’ve worked hard in the gym and are leading a healthy lifestyle you will soon realize that you can’t shift these folds of stretched skin through diet and exercise alone. For many, swimwear or fitted clothes just aren’t an option and if you feel self-conscious about the appearance of your tummy it can really affect your body confidence.

Book a consultation with one of our Consultant Plastic Surgeons to discuss what you want to achieve. They will be able to advise on the best option for your shape.

What does an abdominoplasty tummy tuck procedure involve?

Depending on how much fat and skin require removing, and the type of abdominal reduction being carried out, the operation may take up to three hours under general anaesthetic.

The procedure starts with an incision across the base of the abdomen, from hip to hip, that generally follows the pubic lining (bikini line for women). Incisions for a mini tummy tuck can be significantly smaller. Your surgeon may also make a second cut to remove your belly button from the surrounding skin.

The stretched or torn muscles will then be pulled together and stitched in place. Excess fat will also be removed, pulled down, and stitched into place. Once all your excess skin is removed, your belly button is then repositioned correctly.

Once the skin and fat removals are completed, all incisions are stitched and your lower abdomen is strapped with bandages.

With a modified, or mini, tummy tuck, you may only have an incision below your abdomen.

Are tummy tuck results permanent?

Whatever your motivation, having a tummy tuck will give you a flatter tummy, by removing the loose skin, that is more proportionate with your body shape. The changes will last as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight after your surgery.

Within a week or two of your procedure, swelling will begin to reduce and you should be able to stand tall fully upright.

It may take up to six months for your abdominal area to settle completely so that you can see the full results of your abdominoplasty – shorter for a modified tummy tuck.

Abdominoplasty recovery and aftercare

Typically you’ll require a two-day stay in hospital, after which you will be discharged with an abdominal support garment that must be worn constantly for the first 2 weeks, and only during the day for a further month. You will also be prescribed a course of antibiotics, which must be taken.

We recommend that you book two to three weeks off work and avoid strenuous exercise for at least six weeks.

Why choose The Private Clinic

With over 35 years of experience in helping men and women get back their body confidence, The Private Clinic prides itself on setting the highest industry standards and working with the most capable and experienced surgeons. From our relaxed, sympathetic and informative consultations to the very best aftercare, you’ll be given first-class treatment every step of the way.

When it comes to researching tummy tuck procedures there are a lot of words and abbreviations that may seem confusing. We have created a glossary of the most popular Cosmetic Surgery words which you can view here.


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.

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 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.

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

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 do also recommend that you do not have a tummy tuck procedure if you are planning on getting pregnant in the future. Pregnancy causes your skin to stretch which again, may result in revision surgery being required at a later date.

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 will be required to stay overnight in hospital so that your surgeon and the nursing team can ensure you are recovering well.

Does the procedure require general anaesthetic?

Depending on each patient, some procedures require general anaesthetic but others can be performed under local anaesthetic with sedation.

What happens during the 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.

Will I feel any pain?

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.

How much time off work will I need?

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Will a tummy tuck fix torn abdominal muscles?

Your rectus-abdominis muscles are the muscles in your stomach that can give you the ‘6 pack’ appearance. During pregnancy and after weight loss you may find that these muscles have stretched apart and this split in the muscles is known as diastasis. A tummy tuck is a very effective way of repairing these muscles through an internal stitch which brings the muscles back together into the correct position.

Can I get pregnant after a tummy tuck?

A tummy tuck procedure will not prevent you from getting pregnant however it is not something that we recommend. Pregnancy can cause your stomach muscles to separate and skin laxity to occur which often results in patients needing a second tummy tuck procedure to correct the changes to their previous results.

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.

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.

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, Trustpilot 9.4, 5 star rating, 96% would recommend us to their friends and family. We are a multi award winning provider and have been voted the Aesthetic award for Best UK Clinic Group 2017.

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 £5,670. If you require a full tummy tuck the price starts from £8,295. You will be given an accurate quote for your procedure following your consultation.

Consultations with our plastic surgeons are £100 at our London Harley Street Clinic.

Consultations with our plastic surgeons are £50 at our Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Northampton clinics.

We offer consultations with our highly experienced Patient Coordinators which require a £25 refundable deposit to secure your place.

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

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

Do you have a Tummy Tuck clinic near me?

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

Our clinics are in;

  • London – 98 Harley street, W1G7HZ
  • Manchester –  25 St John Street, M3 4DT
  • Birmingham – 88 Hagley Road, B16 8LU – West Midlands
  • Leeds – 45 Park Square North, LS1 2NP – Yorkshire
  • Buckinghamshire – Stokenchurch Medical Center Oxford Road, HP14 3SX – South East England
  • Bristol – 92c Whiteladies Road, BS8 2QN – Clifton
  • Northampton – 82 Billing Road, NN1 5DF – East Midlands

We also have consulting rooms in Milton Keynes where you can have consultations with one of our patient coordinators.

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

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.

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    Comments from patients

    I had a Brazilian Abdominoplasty done with The Private Clinic in Harley Street. I have to say the procedure went well, 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 procedure and I highly recommend The Private Clinic.

    Princey, London

    I had my surgery in at The Fitzroy Hospital which is where Mr Fazel mainly operates from. The staff there were lovely and the nurses were very patient focused. On the day of my surgery, Mr Fazel again confirmed my procedure, I wasn’t worried but I believe people who were feeling nervous would have been calmed down by Mr Fazel instantly before going to theatre. I placed my life in his hands with his full trust and I had no worries at all.

    Zoe, Birmingham

    Mr Adrian Richards and his team are truly fantastic. They have changed my life and given me a new found confidence. The care I received during my Implant Removal / Tummy Tuck operation at the hospital and before/after at the Princes Risborough clinic is second to none. I had my pre op with nurse Sinead who was so lovely and completely put me at ease. I also met with the admin team at the clinic to go over more questions which made me feel confident that I am in very good hands! After the procedure I had his nurses calling and texting me regularly to make sure I’m ok which really put my mind at ease knowing that I was in good care. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Mr Richards and his team truly care and made me feel secure.

    Hayley, Bucks

    Absolutely delighted with the results. The surgery was nice and easy. I always received good advice and guidance from the doctor and nurses. I was looked after so well during my recovery period. I love my new shape and couldn’t be happier. Only regret that I didn’t do it earlier. Thanks a lot! *

    I.P., London

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