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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty is an aesthetic surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles. Usually performed under general anaesthetic, an abdominoplasty involves the removal of skin and fat from the lower abdomen and tightening of the abdominal muscles.

Although results vary from patient to patient, in general the overall body appearance is improved by reducing and recontouring abdominal skin and fat. The best results are obtained in patients of near normal weight with some laxity of the abdominal skin or a slight excess of fat or bulging of the abdominal muscles. The result is usually permanent although of course excessive weight changes or future pregnancies may undo some of of the benefits of the surgery. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are surgically possible.

Please note: Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight reduction nor a cure for obesity.

Your surgeon at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will discuss the results that you can personally expect at your initial consultation.

What is Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is an aesthetic surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles.

How is an Abdominoplasty carried out?
Usually performed under general anaesthetic, an abdominoplasty involves the removal of skin and fat from the lower abdomen and the tightening of abdominal muscles. Most frequently the surgeon makes a long traverse incision across the lower abdomen, elevating the skin and fat up to the rib cage. The skin is pulled down and the excess removed. In some patients the navel is repositioned. Suction lipectomy may be advised in addition to, or instead of, abdominoplasty.

Please note: abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight reduction nor a cure for obesity.

What results can I expect from an Abdominoplasty?
Although results vary from patient to patient, in general the overall body appearance is improved by reducing and recontouring abdominal skin and fat. The best results are obtained in patients of near normal weight with some laxity of the abdominal skin or a slight excess of fat or bulging of the abdominal muscles. The result is usually permanent although of course excessive weight changes or future pregnancies may undo some of the benefits of the surgery. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are surgically possible.

Is a Tummy Tuck suitable for me?
The decision to go ahead with an aesthetic procedure is a very personal one. The first step is a consultation with one of the qualified plastic surgeons at the Aesthetic Day Surgery. You may wish to have an abdominoplasty if your abdomen is affected by obesity, skin laxity following pregnancy or weight loss or scars from previous surgery. Whatever your reasons you should frankly discuss your personal goals and expectations with respect to the outcome of the procedure (both physical and emotional) with your surgeon. As with any aesthetic surgery you should always keep in mind that the desired result is improvement, not perfection.

How long will the procedure take?
Depending on the extent of the procedure, tummy tuck surgery may last anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. However please keep in mind that this is only actual surgical time. To ensure the highest standard of personalised patient care, attention to detail and results, the Aesthetic Day Surgery requires you to spend appropriate time both immediately before and after the procedure within the surgery. In general most tummy tucks are done in hospital with a hospital stay of usually 3-7 days. Some of the smaller procedures can be as day surgery.

How long will it take me to recover from an Abdominoplasty?
Although each patient is different, in general you will need complete bed rest for the first several days following the procedure. If you have been hospitalised for the procedure (as in the case of more extensive procedures) then you can expect to be in hospital for between 3-6 days. A supporting girdle is normally provided to help ensure optimal healing and contouring. Returning to your normal activities is an individual matter but most people return to work within two to four weeks. However more vigorous exercise should be avoided for 6-8 weeks after the surgery.

Will the procedure leave any scars?
The advanced surgical techniques applied by the surgeons at the Anesthetic Day Surgery are designed to minimise (and where possible eliminate) all visible scarring. The long horizontal scarline is rarely fine and never invisible but is usually placed low enough to be hidden by more modest two piece bathing costumes but not by some modern bathing costumes. Any scarring will fade over time albeit there is some personal variation. Patients can help their healing and scars by avoiding overactivity and straining for 3 to 4 weeks.

What side effects and potential complications exist with Abdominoplasty?
Although side effects vary from one patient to the next, in general there is often a feeling of tightness in the lower abdomen and an area of diminished sensation which persists for several months following the procedure. A collection of fluid my also form under the skin and require aspiration. Infection is rare and is treated promptly with antibiotics should it occur. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious but rare risk. Your surgeon at the Aesthetic Day Surgery will discuss side effects and any potential complications directly with you at your initial consultation.

Can all Abdominoplasty procedures be carried out at the Aesthetic Day Surgery?
Only smaller procedures are completed at the day surgery itself. More extensive procedures require admission to hospital for 3-6 days. In these instances, operations are performed by an Aesthetic Day Surgery surgeon at St. George Private Hospital.

Can previous abdominal surgery, such as caesarean or gall bladder operation, interfere with an Abdominoplasty?
A caesarean or gall bladder scar may limit the amount of skin the surgeon can remove and may increase the risk. This is because the circulation of the remaining skin must be maintained otherwise some of the lower skin may ‘necrose’ or die. This necrosis of skin adjacent to the surgical scar is one of the recognised possible complications of this operation.

Some pre-existing indented, tethered or uncomfortable scars can often be removed with abdominoplasty.