What are the pros and cons of a tummy tuck?

If you have worked hard to shift the post-baby weight yet still have a paunch that stubbornly refuses to go, or you have lost a dramatic amount of weight but are left with a formless, saggy tummy, you might be considering an abdominoplasty.

For all those people who have become extremely self-conscious of their ‘belly bulge’, the promise of a taut, toned tummy is a tempting thing. So what can be gained – and what might stop you?

Why would a tummy tuck not be right for me?

Anyone considering a tummy tuck must be in good health. It is an invasive procedure that requires a general anaesthetic, and health problems raise the risk of complications occurring. Moreover, to be a good candidate, you need to be at or near your ideal weight for it is not a weight-loss procedure. Further weight loss after the procedure will jeopardise the aesthetic results.

Another issue to consider is that of downtime: you will need to stay in hospital for at least one night after your surgery and while you will be back on your feet pretty quickly, you need to give yourself time to heal fully. There is also the matter of scarring – perhaps one of the most frequently voiced concerns Mr Tariq Ahmad hears in his Cambridge tummy tuck clinic. An abdominoplasty requires two incisions: a long one running from hip to hip, and a second circumnavigating the belly button.

And a reason to go for it?

The transverse incision is discreetly located low down so that it can be concealed by underwear and an experienced cosmetic surgeon such as Cambridge-based Mr Ahmad is skilled at producing neat, fine scars. He also has techniques to make the belly button scar barely discernible. Mr Ahmad will gladly show you before-and-after tummy tuck photos so you can judge for yourself if you feel the tightened, shapelier contours would be worth it.

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