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tummy tuck





The Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty is a very popular body shaping procedure. In essence the Tummy Tuck surgery is removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen and the simultaneous tightening of the abdominal muscle wall.  Who wouldn’t want to be rid of their post pregnancy paunch and replace it with a tight, flat belly?


The tummy Tuck is very often combined with Liposuction to achieve a more significant result.


Who is a good candidate for a Tummy Tuck?


There are many causes for developing a “tummy” and apart from the obvious poor diet and lack of exercise there are a few significant reasons for this paunch:


  • Post pregnancy, especially following caesarean section.

  • Significant weight loss – the belly can be very resistant to weight loss.

  • Genetics.

  • Hormonal.


How is the procedure performed?


Abdominoplasty surgery is a long procedure, performed under general anaesthetic in theatre. The surgery lasts approximately 90 to 120 minutes. In most cases your belly button will need to be repositioned to allow for the removal of skin. (It is not replaced with a new one as so many people mistakenly believe!)


  • First Dr.Schoenfeld will make an incision from hip to hip – carefully hiding the scar within the panty line.

  • Then the skin and fat is lifted from the abdomen and the excess is removed.

  • Should it be necessary, the abdominal muscle will be sutured to increase strength and form a flattened stomach.

  • Finally Dr.Schoenfeld will insert drains and close.


Your drains will stay in place for a few days and possibly up to 2 weeks if there is excessive drainage – these are to assist with fluid drainage and hasten the healing process. In some cases Dr.Schoenfeld will ask you to stay in hospital for a night to ensure your comfort immediately after surgery.


Risks & Complications


In Dr.Schoenfeld’s practice Tummy Tuck surgery has an extremely high satisfaction rate. This is because Dr.Schoenfeld explains, in detail, the complications and risks during the consultation process. Having realistic expectations and understanding the healing process play a massive role in the final aesthetic result.


One of the aesthetic worries with Abdominoplasty surgery is the scars. They are long and must be carefully considered.  It is a trade –off of skin vs scar and most are only too happy to exchange the excess flabby tummy skin for a scar which although long, is well hidden and typically fades significantly in the months following surgery.


There are numerous scar treatment options on the market and Dr Schoenfeld will guide you in the post-operative period so as to get the best scar possible.


Other complications apply as for any surgery and these include but are not limited to:


Bleeding, infection, fluid collections (seroma’s), transient tummy skin numbness, loss of skin or belly button, deep vein thrombosis and possible pulmonary embolus (blood clot that forms in the leg veins during or shortly after the surgery and which can dislodge and travel to the heart and lungs).  These complications may result in re-operation and poorer aesthetic outcomes, thus it is important to optimize your general health prior to surgery and to follow your post-operative instructions carefully.


What is the recovery like?


Most ladies who have had a prior caesarian section, have said that the pain shortly after a tummy tuck is similar or possibly slightly less, than that following the C/Section. The healing process with a large surgical procedure like Tummy Tuck surgery can be long.  It is imperative that you keep your follow up appointments for check-ups and dressing changes.


You wont be allowed to do any core exercises for 6-8 weeks after the surgery. In this time you will also not be allowed to do any heavy lifting and for the initial week or so, you will need help with driving and general daily chores.


You will be encouraged to wear a corset for at least 6 months after the surgery to facilitate the healing and to optimize your aesthetic result. Although there is an immediate significant improvement in the appearance of the tummy, it usually takes up to a year for all the swelling to subside and the tummy to look at its best.


Combined procedures


Some patients do combine the tummy tuck procedure with other surgery such as breast augmentation or reduction, thigh lift or labioplasty surgery.  This does make the total surgery time significantly longer, and as such can increase the complication rate. Dr Schoenfeld will advise you as to whether it is safe for you as an individual to consider combination surgery or not.


If you are considering undergoing a Tummy Tuck with Dr.Schoenfeld please call her rooms to make an appointment for a consultation at her Howick rooms now on 033 330 4727 / 4.

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