Abdominoplasty (Tummy tuck)
Remove Fat & Excess Skin, Smooth & Tighten the full height of the abdominal wall musculature.
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a body contouring operation that produces a total transformation of the stomach contour.
It involves the removal of excessive abdominal fat and skin along with tightening of the underlying supportive abdominal muscles.
As with Liposuction, Abdominoplasty improves the shape and contour of the abdomen, rather than being an operation for weight reduction. The extent of the procedure will depend on the amount of skin and fat to be removed.
A Mini Abdominoplasty produces a smaller scar along the panty-line with no scar around the belly button, while a Standard Abdominoplasty involves a longer panty-line scar and a scar around the belly button.
The cost of the surgery varies according to the surgical time and complexity. It is very common for the central abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis muscles) to separate with increasing age or following pregnancy. This contributes to a weakening of the abdomen and the impression of flabbiness and crepy skin.
A thorough pre-operative assessment will determine the degree of muscular separation and during the surgery these muscles will be returned to their original position.
In the lead up to your tummy tuck, maintain your exercise regime, get plenty of sleep and eat a health diet. It is important to have achieved a stable weight, in your ideal, healthy weight range. Tummy tuck surgery is often combined with liposuction but is not weight loss surgery, it is body contouring surgery. In other words, you will get the best results if you have lost your unwanted weight and the surgery targets removing unwanted, excess skin rather than fat per se. Finally, it is imperative that you have stopped smoking for at least 3 months, if not 6 months prior to your operation. Smoking can have devastating effects on healing and significantly increases your risk of complications across the board.
The operation varies in length from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on what is involved. Mini-tummy tucks take less time but full tummy tucks with liposuction take longer.
A scar is created from hip to hip (I know, it is quite long) and is best concealed within the outline of your swimming costume. Your tummy muscles (rectus abdomini) are tightened up if they have separated through age, pregnancies or obesity. Finally excess skin (and fat) is removed giving you a beautiful, tight tummy. Liposuction is often done at the same time to maximise the effect.
Patients are often uncomfortable for the first 24 hours, but after that things settle down pretty quickly. Most pain can be managed from day 1 with pain tablets alone.
Recent changes to Medicare mean that it is harder for your health fund to cover the surgery. But exceptions do still exist. If your overhanging tummy skin gets repeated rashes, infections or ulceration, then your fund should contribute to the cost of your surgery.
Yes, it will. If you have enough lax tummy skin, then your caesarean scar can be removed at the time of your tummy tuck. If your caesarean scar is very low or you do not have a large excess of tummy skin, then it might not be possible to remove your caesarean scar.
A scar will be created around your belly button so that it can be located in the appropriate position on your new, flat tummy. Your belly button is never disconnected from your body but remains attached to you at all times.
Scarring with the surgery is an inevitability, but the appearance can be minimised. Good post-operative scar care will hasten the maturation of your scar, and as such speed its transition to a thin, flat, pale line. Scar care involved taping for external support, massage, topical silicone gel sheeting and light therapy, including LED and laser light.
Every operation carries with it a list of potential complications. In the short term, I worry about bruising, bleeding, swelling and fluid accumulation. Healing problems, while not common, can be a real nuisance for the patient and the surgeon. Patients complain of numbness of the skin, which returns to normal over a period of months. Finally, if you put weight on after your surgery your body shape may revert to the way it once was.
I am happy for my patients to start walking the day after surgery but you should avoid core strengthening exercises for 12 weeks, then slowly ease back into things.