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Abdominoplasty

~ Why abdominoplasty?

People choose to undergo an abdominoplasty, or “tummy tuck”, for a variety of different reasons. Some patients have persistent loose skin after pregnancy or considerable weight loss. Perhaps exercise and diet has not achieved the flat stomach they wish for. An abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure in which both excess skin and fat are removed, and the abdominal muscles tightened as well.


~ Will this procedure help me to lose weight?

Abdominoplasty reduces the amount of abdominal skin and fat but it is not a weight loss or obesity solution. It is desirable that patients are at or near their goal weight prior to having the surgery. The procedure is often combined with some liposuction to re-contour the abdomen but Dr Cooter will assess your particular needs and develop an individual treatment plan to achieve your desired outcome.


~ I am really fearful about going to hospital and having an anaesthetic!

Some patients may require extensive surgical work that requires a brief stay in hospital but it in some cases it is possible to perform a tummy tuck as a day surgery procedure. At Waverley House we have a Specialist Anaesthetist who provides sedation and paravertebral block anaesthesia. This is an injection of a local anaesthetic into the paravertebral space which is found on either side of the vertebral column. This numbs the abdominal region both during and after surgery. A study of patients receiving this type of anaesthesia has been published by Dr Cooter and Dr Rudkin and the results indicate less nausea and vomiting are experienced and recovery is quicker and more comfortable than with general anaesthesia. The day surgery option can be discussed with Dr Cooter at your initial consultation, and will depend on the extent of the surgery required and your general health.


~ What about scars?

Some scarring is inevitable with this procedure however new surgical techniques have changed where the scars are placed. We have considerable experience with wound healing and scar minimization using tapes and other techniques. Following abdominoplasty it is also necessary to wear a compression garment or binder to support the wound and the abdomen during healing. The new generation garments are less detectable under clothing and cooler to wear than previous designs.


~ How much will it cost?

There are several costs involved and Jenny, our Practice Manager, will discuss these with you after your consultation with Dr Cooter. There is a surgical fee, assistant fee, theatre fee and anaesthetic fee. In most circumstances a rebate from Medicare is payable.

If you have private health insurance, the theatre fees and accommodation in hospital may be covered by your fund so it is wise to check your eligibility for these payments prior to booking surgery.


~ How much time will I need away from work?

We suggest that our patients plan to be away from normal duties for at least 10-14 days but preferably three or four weeks after surgery. Patients can spend two to five days in hospital and after discharge it is important to rest in the initial post operative phase as this helps recovery. We recommend that patients do not drive for the first three weeks after surgery and Dr Cooter will monitor your progress and let you know when driving may be recommenced. After the first three weeks light housework can be done and you may return to work as long as your job does not involve any heavy lifting. Light exercises and upper body gym work are fine after six weeks but you should not do any exercises that stress your tummy muscles for three months after surgery. Dr Cooter will discuss any special circumstances with you prior to surgery.


~ What if something goes wrong?

Dr Cooter and his team are committed to providing our patients with the best care possible. Abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure so it can take some time for the tissues and any swelling to settle. Occasionally there is a need to make some minor adjustment and every attempt is made to ensure that the best surgical result is achieved without incurring any further costs. If you have any issues at all regarding your surgical outcome you should discuss this freely with Dr Cooter.



Further information on abdominoplasty from The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
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