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Why would I consider Abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is an operation to reduce the size of the abdomen – typically both skin and fat are removed and the muscle repaired as part of this procedure.
The degree of correction required depends on the problem, varying from mini to full tummy tuck.
Often there are underlying weaknesses of the abdominal wall muscles (divarication of rectus abdominis) which is tightened at the same time.
If you feel that your abdomen is out of proportion with the rest of your body, then a tummy tuck may be a procedure you would consider.
Your dissatisfaction may translate into difficulties in obtaining clothing to fit properly or a general dissatisfaction with your appearance.
Alternatively, you may have health-related or functional reasons for considering this procedure such as :
- recurrent skin infections under the roll of excess skin
- abdominal wall/muscle weakness
- Tendency to stress or urge incontinence
- Difficulty with day to day living and activities
How is it done?
The exact surgery required will depend on the patient.
- Mini Tummy Tuck
Tightens moderately loose skin and allows access to repair split muscles in the lower abdomen.
- Full Tummy Tuck
Tightens skin in the upper and lower abdomen, split muscles of the entire abdomen can be repaired and new belly button created from the old one.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A wedge of skin and fat is removed from the lower abdomen, with repair of the muscle layer.
Full Tummy Tuck
The belly button is left attached to the deeper muscles and fascia of the abdominal wall. The skin between the belly button and just above the pubic hairline is removed and the skin above the belly button is lifted off the muscle layer.
The remaining skin is then pulled down over the belly button (like pulling down a Holland blind) and sutured to the skin just above the pubic hair- this tightens the abdominal skin. A new position for the belly button is then made and the belly button is brought back through the skin.
What can I expect?
If you're undergoing abdominoplasty, you will be admitted on the day of surgery, having not had anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before. The operation is performed under general anaesthetic with a fully qualified specialist anaesthetist. Recovery requires hospitalization for between 1 and 4 days. Drains are required following the operation, but are very soft and don’t hurt when removed.
I generally keep scars within the boundaries of your underwear or swimming wear, depending on preference.
How long does it take to recover?
Recovery time following a tummy tuck ranges between several days to several weeks, depending on the extent of the surgery. Generally, the less extensive the surgery, the shorter the recovery period.
What complications can occur?
Although every endeavour is made to avoid complications, sometimes they do occur. Complications do not necessarily imply an error has occurred, they can be related to the anaesthetic or the surgery.
Surgical complications can include: bleeding and bruising, swelling, infection, wound break-down, numbness, delayed healing and seroma.
Although this list indicates some examples of complications, surgery should not be undertaken until all issues have been discussed fully with the surgeon.
What other procedures are often performed at the same time?
Associated procedures can assist with the overall result:
Liposuction of the back and flanks and upper abdomen ( so called 360 liposuction) is the most common accompaniment to this procedure .The outer aspect of the lower abdominal incision is also usually treated with liposuction to settle the area and improve the overall appearance.
Abdominoplasty can also be combined with a buttock lift procedure and lateral thigh lift to reduce the whole lower body, also called body-lift surgery.
What does it cost and will private insurance help?
Exact costing is highly variable as it depends on your history and circumstances, the hospital used and specifics of the procedure.
If a procedure can be given an item number then rebates will apply. In this scenario, out of pocket costs are typically less than amounts paid for surgery overseas.
A cost guide can be requested from my office on 9126 9218 (+61 8 9126 9218).
Alternatively, we can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I get more information?
If you have specific questions, or wish more information on specific procedures, please contact my office for a complimentary appointment with my nurse / patient liaison officer.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.