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Leeds mum of four has successful tummy tuck surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital

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Mr Waseem Bhat - Leeds mum of four has successful tummy tuck surgery

Like millions of women, Danielle, carried the legacy of several pregnancies with slack stomach muscles and loss of elasticity of skin. during pregnancy when the pressure on the abdominal wall increases as the tummy increases, creating holes which can get larger and cause hernias.

Danielle, a PA from Leeds, who lives with her husband and four children, had waited for 12 years since the birth of her first child to get rid of her loose skin. She underwent a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) – a popular procedure billed as the ultimate cure for the ‘mum tum’, for women who want to erase the loose skin and stretchmarks often left by pregnancy and restore the smooth, flat stomach of their youth.

It was really frustrating! I love to exercise, and I returned to the gym as soon as I could following the birth of each of my children. No matter how many sit-ups I did, I couldn’t shift it. As an active gym-goer with a slim physique I knew that exercise alone would not fix it and I would feel self-conscious about my loose skin, particularly in the gym. I dressed in baggy tops to cover the bulge. I waited 12 years until after the birth of my fourth child to do something about it.

Danielle’s GP referred her to Spire Leeds Hospital. Her stomach muscles had herniated and she chose to have both an abdominoplasty and a hernia repair operation done at the same time.

She underwent a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in January 2022 under the care of Mr Waseem Bhat, consultant plastic, reconstructive, aesthetic & hand surgeon, Spire Leeds Hospital and a hernia repair at the same time with Mr Adam Barlow, consultant general and sarcoma surgeon. The procedure took two and a half hours and Danielle returned home after two days. She wore a compression corset day and night for the next six weeks to aid healing. Danielle was able to return to work a few weeks after surgery as she works from home.

Mr Bhat said many women’s abdominal muscles are stretched to the limit during pregnancy leaving them permanently slack and the skin loses its elasticity. An abdominoplasty is the only way to make it tight and smooth again.

Commenting on the popularity of abdominoplasty, Mr Bhat said, “More people are requesting this procedure and cosmetic surgery on the whole. Due to a combination of people being more aware of the procedure and perhaps less fear and stigma around plastic surgery, it is more popular. There is also a culture change and the media has driven this to some extent through reality shows where people talk openly about the surgery they have had and how it has transformed their life. This tends to give people the confidence to explore this for themselves.”

He described the operation, to lift the skin, repair abdominal muscle and trim excess creating a new naval. “This involved making an incision on the lower part of the abdomen from hip to hip, lifting the tissue up repair and tighten the abdominal stomach muscles. Her hernia was then repaired by Mr Barlow. Her abdominal tissue was noted to be lax and this was tightened with sutures (stitches). The excess abdominal tissue was then removed and the skin closed with dissolvable sutures and a new naval (belly button) is created. We do encourage patients to think carefully about having these procedures as they can be complex.

Danielle is thrilled with the results and says she feels a lot more confident about her body than she used to. “I’m delighted with the results. My skin is smooth and my stomach is flat. My confidence has increased and I’m enjoying buying and wearing clothes that I couldn’t wear before. It’s also helping me to fulfil my goal to become a fit and active role model for my kids.

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