Michael Cadier MA (Oxon), MB, BS, MS, FRCS (Plast)
Consultant in Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery
The ideal abdominal profile is smooth with no excess skin and no bulging. In women
ideally there is a very slight concavity above the belly button and a slight convexity below
the belly button with a midline indentation running top to bottom. In males the ideal
abdominal contour is frequently said to be the six-pack! With age, changes in weight,
alterations in muscle tone and in women pregnancies, the abdominal contour may be
altered and result in an undesirable appearance. Dependant on what the problem is a
variety of surgical procedures can be undertaken to correct this appearance. The
commonest procedure is known as an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck and involves
removal of excess skin in the abdomen underneath the belly button associated frequently
with a tightening of the muscles in the abdomen and some liposuction. For further details
regarding this procedure please see the information sheet and the discharge advice
summary and for examples please go to the photo gallery
Types of abdominal contouring available
Abdominal liposuction alone is a very straightforward procedure which leaves few if any
scars, is relatively risk free and from which recovery is fast. However, the effect of an
abdominal liposuction alone will be limited if there is any skin excess or if skin tone is
poor or if there is significant muscle laxity. If these problems are present then the effect
may be limited and in certain cases liposuction may be detrimental.
Mini abdominoplasty. When there is a small excess of skin in the lower abdomen (this
may be associated with a scar from a Caesarean section) then a mini abdominoplasty may
be appropriate. In this procedure skin and fat is excised from the lower abdomen leaving a
scar in the bikini line of relatively limited length. When there is fat excess liposuction
may be added and when there is muscle laxity a repair of the muscle may be undertaken.
The operation is quicker than the abdominoplasty and usually takes one to one and half
hours and recovery is faster.
Abdominoplasty. In this procedure a large ellipse of skin and fat from the lower
abdomen is excised leaving a long scar within the bikini line. The belly button is resited
and there is therefore a scar around the belly button, though in most cases this is
inconspicuous. Not infrequently liposuction is undertaken to remove fat excess and a
repair of muscle laxity is performed. This is by far the commonest surgical procedure
undertaken for abdominal recontouring. The procedure has a very high patient satisfaction
rating and excellent results can usually be achieved.
Apronectomy/massive abdominoplasty. This operation is usually reserved for patients
who have a massive abdominal overhang usually resulting from excessive weight changes.
A significant number of patients will have undergone bariatric surgery preoperatively and
will have consequently lost a lot of weight. This operation aims to remove the overhang
of skin and fat and leaves a long scar which may extend around the lower half of the body
Information Sheet – Abdominal Recontouring - Page 1 of 2
in the bikini line. An additional up-down scar to the belly button may be required. This
operation may take anywhere from two to five hours to perform and is associated with
prolonged recovery and no insignificant risks. These will be fully discussed at the
consultation with Mr Cadier preoperatively.
For further details please see information sheet and discharge advice summary and for
examples please go to the photo gallery.
Other Special Interests
Aesthetic Surgery, Breast Reconstruction, Cleft Lip & Palate, Laser Surgery.
Web Site: http://www.michaelcadier.co.uk
Capio New Hall Hospital
Wilts SP5 4EY
Telephone: 01722 435176
Capio New Hall, Salisbury,
Telephone: 01722 422333
The Orchard, Isle of Wight,
Telephone: 01983 520022
The Harbour Hospital, Poole.
Telephone: 01202 244200
Sarum Road Hospital, Winchester
Telephone: 01962 844555
Information Sheet – Abdominal Recontouring - Page 2 of 2