Abdominoplasty is performed for people with excess abdominal skin due to weight loss or pregnancy. The excess skin creates a fold which causes irritation and rashes. Some patients suffer from lower back pain as a result of abdominal wall weakness (typically after pregnancy)
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) reshapes the abdomen by removing excess abdominal skin while at the same time tightening the abdominal musculature.
Patients may appreciate the benefit of being able to undertake more physical activity, freedom in clothing choices and improvement in self confidence in patients whose abdominal appearance has affected their self esteem.
Your surgeon will discuss your specific queries and also detail the benefits, risks and limitations of this surgery. It is important to align your expectations (for example: of abdominal appearance) with the potential outcome of surgery.
For abdominoplasty to be covered under Medicare, you must have had substantial weight loss (at least 5 BMI* points), skin irritation and rashes not responsive to 3 months of conservative treatment, the redundant skin must interfere with your activities of daily living and your weight must be stable for 6 months.
*BMI = Body Mass Index = mass in kilograms / (height in metres)2
Your surgeon will take a detailed history that is relevant to your surgery and perform an examination.
You will be provided a quote for the cost of surgery, including surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fees and any other costs that may apply.
If you are a smoker, you need to stop smoking at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
Prior to surgery, your surgeon will mark up your abdomen with a marking pen. Your surgeon will take a photograph that does not include your face. This photo will be kept in a secure database, and may be used to justify your operation with Medicare or your private health insurer. Your support garment will be taken with you into the operating theatre. You will need to wear this for 6 weeks following your procedure.
Following the surgery your surgeon usually recommends to stay in hospital until the drains
are removed, you are comfortable and mobilising safely – typically 3-4 nights.
You should take it easy and rest following your surgery to allow it to heal. You should not drive a car for 2 weeks. At six weeks, you can return to more vigorous exercise including the gym.
The final results of abdominoplasty are obvious at about 3-6 months when swelling has gone down and scars have matured. These results are durable, however if weight is put on this will change the abdominal appearance.
Modern surgery is safe but does have risks. It is important that you have enough information to weigh up the benefits, risks and limitations of surgery. While complications are rare, you should be aware of these when considering surgery.
There are general risks of surgery such as those associated with the general anaesthetic or DVTs (blood clots in the leg) and chest infections.
There are complications specifically associated with the procedure such as bleeding, infection, wound dehiscence and seroma.
Your surgeon will discuss the risks during your consultation and give you an opportunity to ask any questions.
All complications or adverse events are a greater risk in patients who are overweight or have abdominal obesity. If this applies to you, weight loss prior to surgery will reduce your anaesthetic and surgical risk and enhance your final outcome.
When abdominoplasty surgery is undertaken and meets the suitability requirements according to Medicare listed above, the majority of the cost is rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. This does require a referral from your family doctor. If you do not meet these criteria, the procedure is considered cosmetic by Medicare rules so there is no contribution by Medicare or private health insurance.
After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and support garments for your initial recovery.
Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.