Abdominoplasty or (tummy tuck) surgery is a spectrum of operations used to improve the contour of your tummy following childbirth, massive weight loss and even weight gain. A full Abdominoplasty surgery removes excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen, tightens the underlying rectus abdominus (‘Six pack’) muscle and repositions and reshapes the belly button to restore your waistline and flatten your abdominal contour. The operation is often complimented by liposuction to the flank and hip areas.

The Procedure

A full lipoabdominoplasty is performed under general anaesthetic in an accredited hospital. Our surgeons will carefully mark her plans for your surgery on your skin before you are moved to the operating theatre. Before commencing incisions, liposuction of your waistline, hips and upper abdomen are performed. The excess skin and fat of the lower abdomen is then surgically removed. The separation of your rectus muscles is repaired to improve your waistline. Your anaesthetist will then bend the surgical bed into a V position to allow our surgeons to close the abdominal skin. The belly button is repositioned and reshaped to give it a youthful almond shape. The skin is closed with sequential sutures between your abdominal skin and your abdominal muscle. This minimises the need for drains after surgery, and in many cases, our surgeons will not use drains at all.

Recovery from Abdominoplasty surgery

When you wake from surgery, you will be wearing an abdominal binder to help support your tummy. Your bed will remain in a bent V shape to help take away any tension from your wound. Your anaesthetist will prescribe a specific care plan to manage your pain. Most patients are able to sit into a chair on the first day after surgery and go for a brief walk. It is expected that you will spend 4 to 5 nights in hospital. During this time, a physiotherapist will help you improve your mobility and your nurses will care for your wounds. Our surgeons do not use any sticky dressings to avoid tape allergies and blisters. Our surgeons will see you each day that you are in hospital to check you are progressing smoothly.

abdominoplasty Silkwood Medical Sydney
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Frequently Asked Questions

Abdominoplasty surgery is an operation that caters to three groups of patients. People who require the operation after massive weight loss are at the right age for their surgery once their weight has been stable for more than 6 month. Massive weight loss patients who have not had children or who plan to have children need to weigh up the potential risk that their skin may stretch again after childbirth. The second group of patients seeking an abdominoplasty are usually post-partum women. Women who have carried large babies, twins or triplets, or who have had many children are more susceptible to permanent muscle and skin damage to their abdomen. It is best to plan your abdominoplasty after you have completed your family. Lastly, mature women who find that their skin has lost its elasticity can find that the loose skin at their tummy becomes unsightly and visible through their clothing. Abdominoplasty can still be performed safely in mature women who are otherwise healthy.
The skin and fat that is removed in an abdominoplasty is permanently removed and you will permanently have a flatter, tighter abdominal contour if your weight remains stable. Pregnancy also causes rapid stretching of your skin and abdominal muscles and should be avoided after the surgery to maintain a long lasting result.
Abdominoplasty surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic in an accredited private hospital. Most patients are able to go home two to five days after the surgery. The degree of pain experienced largely reflect the amount of skin that needs to be removed and also the size of your rectus muscle separation. Patients are safe to go home once they are easily walking and have good pain control.
The size of the scar reflects the amount of skin to be removed. For people with a small amount of hanging tummy skin, the scar with extend from hip bone to hip bone. For people with larger abdominal folds, an extended abdominoplasty scar will curve around the hip area towards the back. In all cases, the scar will lie under the pant line.
The cost of abdominoplasty surgery is determined by the expected complexity and duration of your operation and will be estimated following your first consultation. Prices start from

insured: $9,600

uninsured: $17,000

including the surgeon’s fee, assistant’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital stay, garment and 12 months post-op care.

You may be able to claim from your private health insurance if you have recently had a significant weight loss and have mobility and hygiene problems as a result of your large abdominal pannus. Health insurance pays for all your operating theatre and hospital costs, including the post operative stay. Call your health fund and see if you are covered. The Medicare item number is 30177.

Women who have not had a recent massive weight loss are not able to use Medicare or health insurance to reimburse their surgery. An estimate of the surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fees will be determined after your first consultation.

Depending on the extent of your abdominoplasty most surgeons prefer you to wear an abdominal support girdle constantly for two to four weeks. It can be taken off, washed and dried without any problems and the modern support girdles are easily worn under clothing without looking bulky. They are also relatively light so wearing them in summer isn’t as uncomfortable as it may have been in the past.
Getting back to work and normal activities, including sex, is highly variable and depends to a large degree on the extent of the procedure and muscle tightening. Most people are fine to return to office work after one week to 10 days following a tummy tuck. The vast majority of people return to full normal activities within four to six weeks.
Sometimes it can. The greatest problem with liposuction is that surgeons are unable to tighten skin in a reliable, predetermined manner. Skin will shrink when fat is removed but this is not always reliable and can lead to loose skin. An abdominoplasty is great for tightening not only loose skin but also abdominal muscles stretched during pregnancy and childbirth. Having said this, it is almost always possible to use liposuction on the obese abdomen and see how much the skin will shrink over the next one to two months, thereby possibly avoiding surgery. At our practice, a tummy tuck and liposuction of the abdomen are frequently combined.
Abdominoplasty surgery will remove stretch marks of the central abdomen that occur below the umbilicus/belly button. No method currently known is able to remove stretch marks from the hips, flanks and upper abdomen.
Women who have had Caesarean sections or abdominal hysterectomy are perfect candidates for abdominoplasty, as a large segment of the usual surgical incision has already been made and further incisions may only need to be limited to achieve a good effect.
Yes. Abdominoplasty procedures can range from full scale procedures for removal of vast amounts of fat and skin (10 to 15kg is not unheard of) to the more common, much smaller, gentler mini-abdominoplasties with limited incisions for the person not requiring such extensive surgery.
Our surgeons use a sequential abdominoplasty flap closure technique which significantly reduces the post-operative swelling and drainage in her patients. In many patients, this makes using drains unnecessary.
You will be seen daily in hospital by your surgeon. On rare occasions when your surgeon is working at another location, you will be seen by another member of the surgical team (the anaesthetist, surgical registrar or another surgeon in the practice).

 

When you go home, you will be seen within a week of your discharge. Thereafter, the follow up protocol will be determined by you and your surgeon.

Regular appointments are made to check that you have reached your aesthetic goals and that your scars and contour are continuing to improve.

You will be given a Plastic Surgery Recovery guide upon booking your surgery. This is a highly valuable document that explains in great detail all of your after care for surgery.

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