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Abdominoplasty Surgery

Pure Aesthetics can help give you a firmer, flatter abdomen and improved abdominal strength.

Abdominoplasty “Tummy Tuck” in Sydney

Great News: from July 1, 2022 abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) has been added back to the Medicare Benefits Scheme.

Abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” is plastic surgery procedure at Pure Aesthetics that removes loose skin and excessive fat from the abdomen and tightens the abdominal muscles for improved contour, tone and function. This surgery also allows for repair of the abdominal muscles that may have stretched during pregnancy that may have lead to lower abdominal bulging. The result is a firmer, flatter and more youthful looking abdomen.

What Are the Benefits of Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery?

Studies have shown that abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) surgery offers significant benefits in strength, reduced back pain, and better bladder control.

Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) is beneficial for those who can relate to the following:

  • Have a protruding abdomen from stretched muscles and skin
  • Have loose, sagging abdominal skin that may hang over previous abdominal scars, such as caesarian section or appendix scars
  • Suffer from weakened abdominal muscles caused by pregnancy or ageing, which has caused muscle separation and a “gap”
  • Are unhappy with excess fat in the abdominal area that won’t budge with diet and exercise
  • Are at their ideal weight and have a healthy lifestyle
  • Do not smoke

What Are the Different Types of Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Procedures?

There are different types of Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) techniques due to variability in degree of muscle weakness, skin stretch and overall contour problem. At Pure Aesthetics, our plastic surgeons often perform the following techniques:

Standard (Full) Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”)

Standard abdominoplasty is the most common form of abdominoplasty. In a full abdominoplasty, the scar is carefully positioned below the bikini line and, although long, allows for the maximum improvement in the abdominal shape and strength which usually heals extremely well with time. In the standard abdominoplasty, the belly button is cut around and freed from the skin, which is pulled down to allow maximal removal. This procedure allows for the abdominal muscles to be tightened full length, from pubic bone to breastbone. Finally, the belly button is brought out through a new hole at the end of the procedure.

Our plastic surgeons utilise the most modern techniques for abdominoplasty to maximise the quality of your final outcome, making your recovery as comfortable as possible. They do not routinely use drains for abdominoplasty, which is often one of the most significant concerns for most patients.

Standard abdominoplasty gives a more widespread contour improvement to the abdominal region, and it is the typical technique if you require improvement of larger amounts of skin, fat and muscles, as can be seen in multiple pregnancies or following dramatic weight loss.

Mini-abdominoplasty  (“Mini Tummy Tuck”)

Mini-abdominoplasty is helpful if you have a small amount of skin looseness, and that skin is mostly restricted to the lower abdomen below the belly button. It is best if there is less need for major muscle tightening.

The scar is kept short above the pubic area, and is shorter than the full or standard abdominoplasty. Loose fat and skin are removed from the area above the pubis, and some additional liposuction is often also done to improve the overall shape.

In mini-abdominoplasty, the belly button is not moved, and little work is done above the level of the belly button. Unlike the full abdominoplasty, with a mini-abdominoplasty  (“mini tummy tuck”) there is no scar around the belly button. Since there is less muscle tightening, recovery is usually quicker and the scar shorter, however mini-abdominoplasty is less effective in providing a comprehensive improvement of the full length of the abdomen. Our surgeons do not routinely use drains for their abdominoplasty (“tummy tucks”), including mini-abdominoplasty.

“360 Degree, Circumferential”, “Corset”, “Fleur-De-Lis” and Reverse Abdominoplasties

For more extreme cases of skin excess, there are various abdominoplasty techniques that can be performed. These are more commonly recommended after major weight loss, rather than pregnancy, and involve removal of skin from more areas than a standard abdominoplasty, such as circumferentially around the lower body, below the breasts or vertically down the middle of the abdomen. These may be combined in a single surgery, or sometimes done as separate procedures.

Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery vs. Liposuction

Loose skin is not corrected by liposuction, and can be made worse. Similarly the abdominal muscles are not modified. Liposuction removes fat only and skin may not retract back well, leading to substantial loose skin. Although liposuction may be done as part of your abdominoplasty, it has distinctly different purposes and goals.

What Can I Expect in Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Consultation?

During the consultation, your surgeon will ask you a variety of questions covering everything from your current health situation to details about the physical outcomes you desire. Be prepared to talk about current medications, allergies and any past or current medical treatments. Abdominoplasty requires a thorough examination of the muscles, fat and skin of your abdomen and how it relates to your overall body size and shape. In your consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss your goals for the surgery focusing on how to achieve maximum improvement in the most natural-looking manner.

Based on your history and examination, your best options for abdominoplasty are determined. Photographs of your trunk and abdomen will be taken to allow for planning of the surgery and to assess results following your surgery. These will be kept strictly confidential between your plastic surgeon and our staff.

You will also discuss the recovery process and any potential complications that could arise. At any time, you are encouraged to ask any questions that you may have.

Your second consultation will further deal with your operation choices and reiterate the possible problems and complications with reference to your specific case.

Can I Combine an Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) with Other Procedures?

Absolutely. Many of our patients look at a comprehensive “post pregnancy reconstruction” and combine abdominoplasty with other procedures. This means less overall expense, less time in hospital and less time recovering than from separate operations. Liposuction is often combined with Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”), to help refine the contour of the stomach, flanks and other area.

Abdominoplasty is also often combined with other body contouring surgeries, such as breast surgeries like Breast Enlargement/enlargement, breast lift and breast reduction for a complete “post pregnancy reconstruction.”

By combining one or more procedures, you may achieve a more dramatic and enhanced overall outcome.

When Is the Best Time for a Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”)?

If you are female, it is best to wait to have an Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) until you have finished having children, so your abdominal muscles aren’t further stretched by pregnancy.

After major weight loss, an Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) is advised when you are close to your ideal weight and your health and nutrition are normal.

An Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) is not to correct major weight problems and should only be considered if you have realistic expectations of the results that can be achieved.

What Does the Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Procedure Involve?

Abdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic in fully accredited hospitals. Our plastic surgeons always aim to have the incision (and hence the ultimate scar) below the bikini line, to be as inconspicuous as possible. Following the incision, the skin and fat are lifted off the abdominal muscles, and the separated and stretched muscles are tightened and the “gap” between them repaired. The loose skin is then pulled down to tighten and excess loose skin is removed. Your umbilicus (belly button) is then repositioned into its new position. Wounds are closed with dissolving stitches beneath the skin.

Our plastic surgeons do not routinely use drains for abdominoplasty, to improve your comfort and recovery.

Dressings are then applied and compression garments will be required to be worn for at least 3 weeks, further assisting in swelling, healing and the final result.

A “full” abdominoplasty usually takes 3-4 hours and involves a hospital stay of several days. If a “mini” abdominoplasty is done, this will involve less surgery time—about 1-2 hours—and a shorter hospital stay, possibly even as day-only surgery.

What Is the Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Recovery Like?

Our plastic surgeons do not routinely place drain tubes for routine abdominoplasty. After the procedure, it is usual to have moderate discomfort, and you will be provided with pain medication to help alleviate these symptoms.To promote blood circulation, you will be encouraged to get up and move around soon after surgery.Bending and lifting, however, should be avoided at this stage. Sleeping on your back or sides with your knees is recommended for the first few weeks after surgery.

An abdominal support garment is worn for the first 3 weeks. It can be taken off, washed and dried. They are easily worn under clothing and are relatively light.

While you should be up and about shortly after surgery, patients usually will need 2-3 weeks off work, depending on the extent of your surgery and the level of physical activity in your job. Full recovery usually takes up to 6 weeks. Light exercise can start after about 3 weeks.

When Will I See My Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Results?

During the healing process, you should notice that your abdomen area is firmer and sleeker. To maintain long-lasting results, our plastic surgeons recommend regular exercise and a healthy diet.

At around 6 weeks, most of the swelling will have subsided and you will get a good idea as to the final result. Final results, however, can be seen more at the 3-month mark. Scars will gradually fade and take around 1 year to fade.

Can I Get Pregnant After Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery?

Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) surgery should not affect your ability to have children in the future. However, it is typically advised to wait to undergo the procedure until after you have completed your family. Should you become pregnant after you have abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) surgery, this can reverse the contouring effects of your procedure. The skin may stretch, and your abdominal muscles can separate again. Although pregnancy after a abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) can affect your surgical outcome, it should not affect your health or safety.

What Complications Can Arise from Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications. These include:

  • Infection
  • Bruising, bleeding, haematoma formation
  • Scarring
  • Anaesthetic problems
  • Allergy
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Pain

Risks and complications specific to abdominoplasty include:

  • Asymmetry of abdominal region
  • Poor healing causing unsightly scarring
  • Altered abdominal sensation, numbness or pain
  • Poor scarring
  • Malposition of umbilicus
  • Elevation of pubic hair
  • Bulges at the ends of the wound (“dog ears”)

Will Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery Leave Scars?

Abdominoplasty scars can be quite long, but are carefully positioned below the bikini line. The incision line of a full abdominoplasty generally runs from hip to hip, just above the pubic area. Usually there is also a scar around or within the belly button. Patients who don’t require correction to the lower abdominal muscles may have a shorter scar, similar to an extended caesarean scar. The scars are often red and somewhat thickened initially and will generally fade to a fine, pale line over about one year.

If there is extreme excess skin, an additional incision that runs top to bottom, as well as side to side, may be required, or a full circumferential scar for extreme weight loss patients.

How Much Does an Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Cost?

Abdominoplasty is recognised as a medical procedure and attracts Medicare rebates (and therefore private health insurance contribution) in two circumstances:

  1. After pregnancy – Medicare item number 30175 applies where there is abdominal muscle separation (“rectus divarication”) of at least 3 cm in width, and associated functional symptoms, which has been unresponsive to physiotherapy.
  2. After significant weight loss (with a BMI reduction of at least 5), and specific functional symptoms, then Medicare number 30177 may apply.

Please note: Medicare and health insurance do NOT cover the full cost of this surgery. Additional “gap” payments apply. Details of this will be provided through our contact us enquiries, by email reply.

For more information and an estimate of fees, please contact our team at Pure Aesthetics to schedule your consultation.

Are There Any Alternatives to Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery?

If you only want to treat a small area of fat around your abdomen, liposuction alone may be a solution for your needs. Liposuction does not, however, tighten the muscles or skin in the abdominal area. We use either power-assisted or VASER liposculpture, resulting in smoother and more predictable results, with a better recovery period with minimal pain, swelling and bruising.

What Else Should I Consider Before Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) Surgery?

It is important to note that an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) is not intended to correct major weight related issues. This surgery will not be performed on current smokers or extreme obesity.

To understand what is reasonable to expect from the surgery, it is a good idea to look at before and after abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) photos. This will give you a good perspective of what results other patients have achieved through our plastic surgeons’ work. Some other things you may need to consider:

  • Are you happy with your body weight or do you intend to lose weight in the future?
  • Do you plan to have children in the future?
  • Have you considered the prospect of scarring on your abdomen?
  • Can you spare the time required for a proper recovery?

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions that you might have about this procedure. The Pure Aesthetics team will be happy to address any concerns that you may have.

Schedule a consultation with our specialist plastic surgeons today. Contact Us