Tired of trying to hide your stomach to improve your silhouette? Want to improve your tummy profile but feel like you’ve tried everything? Abdominoplasty surgery, commonly referred to as a ‘tummy tuck’ aims to remove loose skin resulting from significant weight loss after diet and exercise, weight loss surgery or pregnancy.
The surgery aims to achieve a firm, flat abdomen with narrowing of the waist by tightening the rectus abdominis (six-pack) muscles. Tightening these muscles can improve core muscle strength and reduce back strain.
The procedure is performed through an incision from hip to hip in the bikini line under general anaesthetic administered by Specialist Anaesthetists in an accredited hospital. The Surgeon will discuss the extent and length of the scar and the wedge of skin and fatty tissue which will be removed.
Abdominoplasty surgery often incorporates liposuction of the flanks to improve the shape of the hips. The umbilicus (tummy button) is usually repositioned and the area of skin above flattened and smoothed out.
The aesthetic result of abdominoplasty surgery may not be appreciated for many months. Following a typical 2-3 days in hospital, patients are discharged with a compressive garment, to the care of a responsible adult. At the time of discharge, appropriate pain medication and antibiotics will be given. It is important that these be taken to minimise discomfort and potential complications.
In general, swelling and bruising increase over the first three to five days and improve between five to ten days. In some instances, it may take several months for the soft tissue swelling to subside completely. During this period, the sensation of the abdominal skin may be affected but it typically returns to normal over a few months.
The wound generally takes three weeks to heal and care with movement needs to be taken during this time to optimise healing. Driving a motor vehicle can typically commence when the patient has ceased pain medication and can walk comfortably; strenuous exercise can be resumed at around six to eight weeks. Return to work can be anticipated after approximately three weeks.
Ideally, your weight should be stable for at least 3 months prior to abdominoplasty surgery. During your consultation with your Surgeon, you can discuss your expectations and understand limitations to achieving those expectations such as skin quality, muscle separation, extent of skin excess and fat. It’s really important for you to fully understand the potential risks and complications so make sure you ask any questions that you have.
The extent of the abdominoplasty surgery may need to be modified if you have abdominal scars from previous surgery. You may be suitable for a “mini” abdominoplasty and in appropriate patients, liposuction can also be used. The Surgeon will discuss options with you during the consultation.
During your consultation, it’s important that the Surgeon is made aware of previous surgery and history of scarring, along with significant medical history. In addition, a tendency for easy bruising and excessive bleeding, deep venous clots involving the legs, all prescription and non prescription medication, allergies to anaesthetic agents, antibiotics and dressings, history of smoking and any other notable health issues. These issues are important as they have the potential to affect the surgery, anaesthesia, potential complications and recovery.
The cost of an initial consultation with a Surgeon to discuss your procedure is $140. A portion of this cost may be claimed from Medicare if you have a referral from your GP. During your consultation with a Surgeon of NorthEast Plastic Surgery - Mr Patrick Tansley or Dr Sugitha Seneviratne, you will be given a personalised quote for your surgery.
If you are considering a tummy tuck and have questions you would like to ask, or if you would like to book a confidential consultation with one of our highly qualified, experienced surgeons to see what can be achieved for your individual needs, simply click below or call (03) 9088 5000 for Melbourne or (07) 3180 3400 for Brisbane.
NorthEast Plastic Surgery has been designed to offer a bespoke and unrivalled cosmetic plastic surgical service of superlative standard and quality. Dr Seneviratne and Mr Tansley share their Australian and British plastic and cosmetic surgery experience in these educational articles.