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)
An abdominoplasty removes excess abdominal skin following weight loss or pregnancy. More than just a cosmetic procedure, abdominoplasty often includes the repair and tightening of muscles that have separated. This is a common issue for people following pregnancy or significant weight loss and can lead to several problems such as pelvic floor dysfunction and back pain.
Many people choose abdominoplasty to improve their self-confidence, especially after pregnancy or weight loss. However, the excess skin can also cause irritation and rashes, which is another reason people choose to remove it surgically. Nevertheless, abdominoplasty is a safe and widely adopted procedure in professional hands.
The two main times people choose to undergo a tummy tuck in Adelaide are following dramatic weight loss or pregnancy. There is a common misconception that it is a weight loss surgery, but in fact, it is quite the opposite.
Regardless of whether your excess skin is the result of pregnancy or significant weight loss, it should only be considered once you’ve reached your goal weight or you don’t intend to have any further pregnancies.
In consultation with our surgeons, you’ll be able to determine if abdominoplasty is right for you.
We’ll ask many questions about your health, diet and lifestyle to determine if this procedure is suitable. Because an abdominoplasty includes the repair of separated muscles, it likely won’t be recommended if you plan on being pregnant in the future or if you still want to lose considerable amounts of weight.
While each case is unique and every surgeon will have slightly different preferences, most abdominoplasty procedures follow much the same process.
Firstly, you should be aware that the surgery takes place under general anaesthesia, and even though the procedure only takes around 2 hours, you will usually spend one or more nights in hospital.
An incision is made from hip to hip, usually just above the pubic region, so any scarring can be concealed more easily. Next, the skin and fat underneath are lifted from the abdominal muscles, surgically tightened if necessary.
Excess fat and skin are then removed, while the remaining skin is pulled back down to the incision. From here, the incision is closed using sutures, and your surgeon may also create another incision to reposition your navel. If you have any concerns, your surgeon will explain the process in more detail prior to the procedure.
There are a few things you’ll need to consider before your procedure to ensure you get the best results. Most importantly, you need to consult thoroughly with your surgeon. A tummy tuck in Adelaide requires you to be in good physical health to speed up your recovery time.
You’ll also need to provide your surgeon with a full medical history and satisfy the specialist that you’ve reached your goal weight.
For recovery purposes, you should also quit smoking before surgery. You’ll need to arrange your transport to and from the surgery and have someone with you for 48 hours after the procedure.
You’ll still experience pain and restricted movement for some time, so it’s worth preparing your recovery space with comfortable pillows, ice packs, medications and, of course, something to keep you entertained while you rest.
The length of recovery required will largely depend on the individual. Some people recover more quickly than others. However, you can expect to be back at work from 2-4 weeks after surgery. Note that you will likely still need to wear a support garment for six weeks. Again, returning to work is largely dependent on the type of work you do.
You may also have a plastic tube inserted to drain excess fluid. However, this is usually removed before you leave the hospital. Pain and discomfort are normal following surgery, as there is often a lot of swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will recommend pain relievers during your recovery, and it’s important to follow these guidelines.
Ultimately, most people can return to more vigorous exercise and activities around six weeks after their tummy tuck in Adelaide.
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.