An abdominoplasty – often called a ‘tummy tuck’, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat to create a flatter, tighter, abdominal area. A tummy tuck may also restore separated abdominal muscles, which can often occur after pregnancy or weight fluctuation.
Individuals undergoing a tummy tuck procedure will have differing goals, but an abdominoplasty can assist with the following:
During your initial consultation, one of our experienced plastic surgeons will determine if you are eligible for a tummy tuck.
Individuals who are concerned about a disproportionate or protruding abdominal area, which hasn’t responded well to diet and exercise, may be eligible for a tummy tuck procedure.
Women who have experienced muscle separation and stretched skin after their pregnancy may also find abdominoplasty to be an effective procedure.
Tummy tucks work best when a patient’s weight is optimal, has remained stable for three months, and they are in good physical condition.
Your surgeon will assess the amount of excess skin and fat you have, the extent of your muscle separation and any previous abdominal scarring, before advising on the outcomes you can expect to achieve. Depending on your level of excess skin and fat, your surgeon may recommend liposuction as an additional procedure.
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Our surgeons discuss with each patient their expectations for the procedure, the results they wish to achieve, and the risks involved in the procedure.
Your surgeon will take you through any potential limitations to your procedure and outline additional surgical options you may have.
This is also an excellent opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns about the abdominoplasty, particularly if you are anxious about certain aspects of the procedure, such as the anaesthetic, medication or recovery process.
At this consultation, it is very important for you to share your full medical history with the surgeon. This includes:
Full disclosure of your medical history ensures that your surgeon has a good understanding of your general level of fitness for anaesthesia, potential surgical risks and whether your medication needs modifying before surgery.
In line with the Australian Medical Board’s guidelines for advertising regulated health services, we do not provide exact costs of our procedures on our website. Your surgeon can discuss the cost of your procedure during your initial consultation or you can contact our clinic before your first appointment to discuss approximate costs and out-of-pocket expenses. Please call us on 07 3180 3400 , or submit an online enquiry to find out more.
The cost of your initial one-hour consultation with the surgeon is $175 ($225 for weekend consultations). You may be able to claim a portion of this cost from Medicare if you have a referral from your GP.
The pre-operative process is designed to help you prepare for surgery and the recovery period.
The surgeon will go through with you in detail which medications (both prescription and non-prescription) must be stopped and/or adjusted in the lead-up to surgery and whether you require any blood tests. If you are a smoker, you will be required to stop smoking six weeks prior and six weeks following surgery.
Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital by one of NorthEast Plastic Surgery’s experienced surgeons, Mr Patrick Tansley or Dr Sugitha Seneviratne.
The procedure is performed through an incision which passes from hip to hip along the bikini line. The extent of scarring and the amount of skin and fatty tissue removed will be discussed with you before the surgery.
Once the incision has been made, the surgeon re-attaches the separated and/or stretched abdominal muscles to create a tighter, flatter abdominal area. Excess skin and fat is also removed.
The incisions are then closed with dissolving stitches and sterile surgical dressings applied, which are removed in the weeks after surgery. Suction drains will also be applied to the site to drain tissue fluid and blood and are removed three to five days later.
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Typically, patients stay in hospital for two to three days following their surgery or can be treated as day surgery cases. Once all the excess fluid and blood has been drained away, the suction tubes are removed and you’ll be given a compressive garment that assists in reducing swelling and bruising. This is to be worn for a number of weeks following the surgery.
Before leaving hospital, you’ll be given advice on how to move around so as not to put strain on the surgical site, which also encourages the wounds to heal.
You will have a series of post-operative appointments, when your dressings will be changed and your wounds will be assessed.
At this time, you may notice that swelling and/or bruising increasing over the first three to five days after surgery. This is completely normal, and in many cases, it will subside within weeks.
You’ll be given various restrictions following your abdominoplasty, including no driving for approximately two weeks, and avoiding heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for around six to eight weeks. Many patients find they can resume work within three weeks after their surgery, once wounds have healed.
You will need to notify your surgeon immediately if you experience excessive bleeding, high temperature over 38 degrees or severe discomfort not addressed by pain medication provided after surgery.
Post-operative complications are rare, but it is important for patients to be aware of them before consenting to surgery.
Possible complications arising from a tummy tuck include:
A small percentage of patients (approximately 5 per cent) who experience post-operative complications require revisional surgery.