We’re always keeping an eye on news stories regarding cosmetic procedures, and one such current ‘trend’ – for want of a better word – certainly made our ears prick up: according to NHS figures, the number of women undergoing ‘extreme’ abdominoplasty surgery has doubled over the past five years.
There are many reasons for this: some experts point to soaring obesity levels in the UK, while others claim it’s down to the NHS taking more cases on board. The increase in obese patients undergoing weight loss or bariatric surgery is also a factor; extreme weight loss often leaves patients with a marked degree of sagging skin that can only be resolved with a surgical abdominoplasty.
What is an ‘extreme’ tummy tuck?
You’re probably aware of what a tummy tuck is, and what happens: when we lose a considerable amount of weight, we discover that we’ve lost a great deal of elasticity in our skin – through simple ageing, through a loss of muscle mass, and through our skin being ‘stretched’ for a considerable amount of time. We expect our skin to ‘snap’ back into place after weight loss – but very often it doesn’t. And, in certain cases, people who have lost an extreme amount of weight often wish they had kept the weight on, as they feel they looked better beforehand.
The ‘extreme’ tummy tuck differs from the original procedure because it has a bigger job to do and requires a more precise approach. Unlike the standard tummy tuck – with deploys a simple horizontal curve incision, the ‘extreme’ version deploys the Fleur-de-Lys approach – essentially, a series of vertical and horizontal incisions which resemble the shape of a three-petal flower. This allows the practitioner to access more areas of the abdomen, giving them more scope to tighten muscles, trim off excess skin, and – in certain cases – reposition the belly button for a more natural look.
It’s all worth it in the end
As is the case with all cosmetic procedures these days, there had to be a celebrity influencer involved – and in the case of the ‘extreme’ tummy tuck, it fell to Lisa Riley to lead the way. In an interview with the Mirror, the former Emmerdale star realised that her weight loss regime had left her with a lot of unsightly excess skin and the feeling that all her hard work had left her looking worse than before. She underwent a Fleur-de-Lys abdominoplasty which trimmed a stone and a half of unnecessary skin from her body and is now ecstatically happy with the transformation.
Although she’s not shy in admitting that the procedure was not simple in the slightest, and the recovery time was measured in months, not weeks, Riley is extremely pleased with the final results. “I had more than sixty stretch marks, so what are a few scars? I do not care about my scars at all. I am proud of them. I am happy to show them. I couldn’t be happier about my body now if I tried.”