A tummy tuck has the ability to re-contour your lower abdomen and give you the confidence to wear the clothes that you enjoy.
A tummy tuck removes unwanted and excess abdominal skin and fat to reveal a contoured shape.
The tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can address excess lower abdominal skin and fat that has come about through previous pregnancies or dramatic weight loss.
Whatever the cause, the abdomen requires careful consideration to achieve balanced body contours. Women considering abdominoplasty have often lost their waist, which would normally create a visual break between the breasts and hips and provide a sleeker silhouette.
The ideal waist is not a flat tube, but a smooth series of soft convexities and concavities, which transition seamlessly from the breasts to the hips. This balance of contour and form should be apparent from frontal, oblique and side views. The waist should complement the hips and breasts rather than simply being as flat as possible without character. This natural undulation is reflective of a youthful underlying muscle tone and even distribution of skin and soft tissue.
To achieve a contoured waistline, you can choose abdominoplasty.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
Patients will usually need a general anaesthetic for their surgery. This ensures that the abdominoplasty is pain-free and comfortable for the patient. From there, your surgeon will make incisions along the lower abdomen, which will allow for the removal of excess skin in a pattern that results in a more contoured waistline.
In addition to this, the entire area will be tightened and muscles will be repaired if they were affected by a previous pregnancy. If excess fat is also a concern, liposuction can be used to reduce it before the incisions are closed and a compression garment is applied. The average tummy tuck takes about one to two hours to complete depending on what needs to be achieved.
Tummy Tuck FAQs – What You Should Know
Are there any side effects after a tummy tuck?
After you have had abdominoplasty, it is normal for there to be some swelling over the abdomen and the skin can feel tender to the touch. Bruising, tightness and some numbness (especially below the navel) are also quite common following this surgery.
However, all of these potential side effects usually dissipate within a few weeks of the procedure and you should see a gradual improvement in symptoms. However, sometimes skin numbness can persist. Our resident surgeon Dr Rodney Cooter will provide you with a specific set of aftercare instructions that should be carefully followed throughout your recovery. This will include everything from wound care to scar reduction tips.
Will downtime be required after abdominoplasty?
Some downtime will be required after you have undergone a tummy tuck. You will need to rest after surgery to make sure everything heals properly. Usually, this means at least 10 days of rest at home without any strenuous activities. During the early recovery phase, you will usually need a compression garment too.
While every patient is different, most are able to return to work within three or four weeks after abdominoplasty. However, it can take several months to fully recover and see the full results of a tummy tuck, which means returning to your normal routine should be a gradual process.
Who is an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty?
The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck is someone who has excess skin around the lower abdominal area that has been caused by weight loss or pregnancy. In addition, you should not be considering future pregnancies and you should be at a weight that is modest and stable before considering abdominoplasty. As you can imagine, gaining a significant amount of weight after your surgery will affect your results.
It is important to remember that a tummy tuck should not be seen as a weight loss procedure. You should still make the effort to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly as this procedure is not a substitute for those actions.
Before undergoing abdominoplasty, you will attend a consultation with a professional surgeon. This will give you an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the procedure. At your initial consultation, our surgeons will explore your goals in the context of your general health, weight and lifestyle. Thereafter, you will have the chance to think the procedure over and decide whether it is something you would like to go ahead with.
How much does a tummy tuck cost?
A tummy tuck starts at about $6,000 but since every patient is different, this cost could differ for you. Along with the specifics of your surgery, anaesthetist and hospital fees will need to be taken into consideration. Unfortunately, some abdominoplasty procedures are purely cosmetic. So, in these cases, it’s highly unlikely that it will qualify for a Medicare rebate.
Is liposuction or a tummy tuck a better option for me?
The general rule is that if your skin is still elastic and you only have excess fat, liposuction will more than likely be enough to achieve your desired outcome. If you have a large amount of excess skin though, a tummy tuck is a better choice because even if you had to get rid of the excess fat, the skin would remain. If you aren’t sure, the best course of action is to schedule a consultation with a qualified surgeon who can advise you after a physical examination.
Will there be visible scarring after my abdominoplasty procedure?
A tummy tuck will leave some scarring but the size and placement will vary between patients. Your surgeon will always aim to place your incisions in an area where the scars can easily be covered with underwear or swimwear. Most patients are more than happy to have some mild scarring in exchange for a more contoured stomach. You will also receive scar management tips that will ensure they are as invisible as possible once your stomach as healed.
How do I know if I need a full or mini tummy tuck?
A mini tummy tuck won’t remove any sagging skin above the navel. Basically, if you only have a small lower belly pooch, a mini tummy tuck will be enough to get rid of it. However, you need a more dramatic change to the entire abdominal area, a full tummy tuck will more than likely provide you with a better outcome.
How much pain can I expect after a tummy tuck?
This will vary between patients. Some report only a moderate amount of discomfort, while other patients felt they needed more pain medication during recovery. Either way, all patients can expect some degree of discomfort but nothing that can’t be managed. After the first week, most of the discomfort will have subsided.
Are there any risks associated with abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty is a serious surgical procedure, which means there will be some risk involved – as with any surgery of this nature. Infection is one of the risks that could occur after this procedure but it’s highly unlikely if the necessary aftercare instructions are followed. Hyperpigmentation and asymmetry are risks associated with liposuction but are again, very rare. There’s also a chance that your navel will have a different appearance following your procedure. Along with the skills of a qualified surgeon, there are steps that you can take to reduce the risks associated with this procedure. Stopping smoking for several weeks before and after your surgery is one of them.
How long will my tummy tuck results last?
How long the results last will mainly depend on whether or not you gain a significant amount of weight after your procedure. Naturally, pregnancy is another life event that could change your results. Over and above this, the natural ageing process can also have a gradual effect on your results but this will only be much later in life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must after abdominoplasty, even if you decide to grow your family. Small changes and consistency can make a major difference to the longevity of your tummy tuck results.