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Abdominoplasty

Tummy Tuck Surgery in Sydney & Newcastle NSW by Dr Scott Turner Plastic Surgeon

Lipoabdominoplasty or a tummy tuck is a procedure designed to reshape the entire torso, where the abdominal muscles are tightened back to their youthful position and excess skin and fatty tissue is removed to create a flat and toned tummy. Liposuction is required in almost all patients to add to refine and give that finishing touch to your tummy tuck.

Sometimes even with a rigorous diet and exercise regime, you cannot achieve the flat and sculpted abdominal contours that you desire. Several changes occur during ageing and afterlife events such as pregnancy and weight fluctuation that may result in permanent and undesirable changes to your physique. Abdominal muscles may have stretched and weakened and an accumulation of fatty deposits and excess loose skin in the abdominal region may have occurred which are typically not responsive to diet or exercise.

Quick Facts

Anesthesia: General Anaesthesia
In/Outpatient: Inpatient
Length of surgery: 2-4 hours
Recovery: Most patients are back to work in approximately 10 – 14 days when swelling and bruising resolves. We advise our patients to avoid strenuous activity for 1 month.
Results: Final results are seen within 6 months, and the duration of those results vary from one person to another due to the quality of their skin, ageing and weight changes.

Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is a procedure that targets tightening the abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen, improve abdominal contour, tone and function. The skin and muscles around your abdominal area may have been loosened over time by age, pregnancy, significant weight loss, prior surgery and hereditary factors.

A tummy tuck is suitable for women and men who are healthy, in good physical shape and have maintained a stable weight for at least 3 months prior to surgery- your BMI should be below 30 to be considered a suitable tummy tuck candidate.

The tummy tuck procedure is performed under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. The operation can take between 2 and 5 hours and patients are required to stay in hospital for 1-2 days.

Generally, a horizontal incision is placed in the pubic region, exact placement and incision length will vary depending on the amount of skin to be removed and your abdominal structure. The final scar is designed to fall discreetly within your underwear and swimsuit lines.

Drainage tubes are usually left in place for up to a week after surgery and you will need to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks post-surgery. Any bruising or swelling will resolve in the majority by 6 weeks but can persist for several months. Light activity can resume 2-3 weeks following the procedure, any heavy lifting and vigorous activity should be avoided for up to 8 weeks.

Benefits of an Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

An abdominoplasty procedure (tummy tuck) is best suited for women and men alike if you are healthy, in good physical shape and close to your ideal body weight (or a stable weight following major weight loss). If painstaking dieting and regular exercising haven’t helped you flatten a bulging stomach, or tighten loss skin that is covered in stretch marks, surgery may improve your overall appearance, so you can once again you can feel confident in form-fitting clothes and no longer hide your shape in loose-fitting garments.

Some of the many benefits of abdominoplasty surgery include:

• Remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen
• Strengthen underlying abdominal muscles
• Improve contours of the torso
• Restore a smooth flat tummy
• Ability to fit into normal clothes
• Reduce irritation, chafing and infections in lower abdominal fold
• Improve exercise tolerance and assist with weight loss activities

Am I Suitable For An Abdominoplasty?

The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those close to their ideal weight, in good health, non-smokers and whose abdomen causes health problems, interfere with routine activities and make them feel self-conscious.

Please note: Dr Turner does not perform abdominoplasty surgery on current smokers or patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 – a healthy range is 20-25. It is important that all patients undergoing abdominoplasty cease smoking or nicotine intake (including patches/gums) for at least 6 weeks pre and 12 weeks post-surgery. To calculate your BMI you need to divide your weight (kg) by your height² (m²) – e.g., if your weight was 65kg and height 1.65m, would be 24.

Different Types of Abdominoplasty Surgery – Tummy Tucks

Abdominoplasty surgery or a tummy tuck is performed under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. Expect the operation to take between two and four hours, and you will be required to stay in hospital for around two days. There have been significant advances in abdominoplasty techniques over the past few years now making it safer with quicker recovery than ever before. The abdominoplasty technique used will vary depending on the patient’s anatomy and individual desires. Of the many techniques available to improve the abdominal contours, the techniques vary largely based on how extensive liposuction is utilized and the length of the abdominal incision which is required.

Mini Abdominoplasty

A mini tummy tuck targets predominantly the lower abdomen below the belly button (umbilicus). This is an excellent option for many patients with excellent skin quality to the majority of the abdomen however are affected with excess fatty tissue and loose overlying skin limited to the lower abdomen. The scar with a mini tummy tuck is only a few centimetres longer than a caesarian section scar and is always hidden within your bikini line. During a mini tummy tuck we frequently perform liposuction to the remaining abdominal area and repair any muscle separation if required to give an overall improvement to the whole abdomen.

Full Abdominoplasty

A full tummy tuck targets both the lower and upper abdomen. During a full abdominoplasty the entire abdominal skin is redraped and the underlying abdominal muscles are tightened. Due to the amount of skin that is removed during a full tummy tuck the umbilicus is moved into a new position through a new often small opening. While the scar of a full tummy tuck is longer than a mini tummy tuck, the incision is still discrete and falls within your underwear garment line so once fully healed should be hidden with clothing on. Liposuction is combined with a full abdominoplasty to contour the abdomen and flank regions.

Extended Abdominoplasty

In many of our patients that seek a tummy tuck often have concerns with excess fatty tissue in surrounding areas, not just the abdomen and flanks. To give an ideal contour to the torso, it is often necessary to add liposuction to the adjacent regions like the lower back and hip/thigh regions to give that sought after hourglass figure and feminine lower back curve. As we are able to reshape the adjacent areas to the abdomen, we are able to give a more defined and slimmer look to the abdomen and torso than we would be able to with a standard abdominoplasty only.

Recovery After Abdominoplasty Surgery

At the completion of your surgery, Dr Turner will place drains under abdominal skin, apply a specialized dressing to aid wound healing and a surgical compression garment. Depending on how extensive your abdominoplasty surgery was most patients stay in hospital for 1-2 days for a mini-abdominoplasty and 2-3 days for a full abdominoplasty. The drains may be removed before you go home from the hospital, or at days 5-7 when you have your first follow up appointment with Dr Turner.

While you recover, you will remain a little ‘flexed’ at the waist and knees – this is the body’s way of increasing comfort levels while easing tension on your incision. The abdomen feels “tight” for several weeks after surgery. Numbness may be present around the incision and the belly button itself and in some cases may be permanent. The scar begins to fade after 6 months and may take 2 years to reach its final appearance. Bruising and swelling can persist for several months.

You will be given a prescription for pain management and antibiotics. Have someone fill the prescription, drive you home and take care of you as you recover during the first few days when you go home. You are able to take the garment off for short periods of time while at home and shower over the dressings.

You can return to your normal activities at a slow and gradual pace. While recovery time will vary from patient to patient, you should plan for the following:

  • At least 2 weeks off work
  • No driving for 2 weeks
  • No moderate – high-intensity cardiovascular exercises for 6 weeks
  • 3 months before abdominal core exercises (sit-ups) can be resumed

You must have someone to help with the care of young children for at least the first 3 weeks postoperatively.

You will have an appointment to see Dr Turner within the first week after surgery to check that your wounds are healing as expected and to remove drains if required. Dr Turner will see you frequently over the first year to monitor your progress and will give you advice on scar management, wearing garments and resuming normal activities.

It is extremely important to your final result that you follow all post-operative instructions given to you by Dr Turner.

Risks Associated With Abdominoplasty Surgery

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks associated with tummy tuck surgery. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner.

GENERAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SURGERY

• Postoperative infection
• Bleeding or haematoma
• Poor Scarring including keloid scars
• Blood clots in legs or lungs
• Revision surgery to correct or improve outcome

SPECIFIC RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ABDOMINOPLASTY SURGERY

• Fluid accumulation or seroma formation
• Partial or total loss of the umbilicus
• Loss of sensation to the abdomen
• Wound breakdown and delayed healing
• Scar asymmetry
• Lumpiness or fat necrosis

Your Tummy Tuck Consultation with Dr Scott Turner

Your cosmetic tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery consultation begins with a personal one on one consultation with Dr Turner at one of his Sydney & Newcastle clinics. Firstly you are fully informed of the normal surgery process, plus any possible complications. We talk through your medical history and discuss your goals for the surgery. Dr Scott Turner conducts a thorough examination to assess skin tone, fat deposits and underlying abdominal muscle tone to determine your suitability.

A tummy tuck covers a spectrum of surgeries ranging from a mini tummy tuck procedure to a full-body lift in patients that have lost a significant amount of weight, with liposuction an integral component of the procedure. Factors such as your abdominal contour (excess skin, fat deposits, muscle separation) and your individual preference will determine which technique/s are used to smooth and flatten your abdomen. During your consultation routine pre-op photographs are taken.

An abdominoplasty is designed to create a well sculptured and beautiful torso that compliments your body shape
Dr Scott Turner, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

If you wish to discuss this procedure further, please contact one of our friendly staff on 1300 437 758 or feel free to send an email

Abdominoplasty FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Tummy Tuck

What Can I Expect During My Abdominoplasty Consultation With Dr Turner?

Dr Turner will evaluate your medical history, examine your abdomen and consider factors such as the size and shape of your abdominal area, the quality of your skin and the position. From there 3D images will be taken where you will be able to see the before and after to get a sense of what your abdominal area will look like

What Happens During Recovery From Abdominoplasty?

To prevent accumulation of post-surgery fluids, small drainage tubes are placed beneath the skin and removed several days after surgery. During recovery in hospital you will wear comfortable dressings and support garments on your abdomen. Any soreness is controlled with pain relief medication.

Abdominoplasty is major surgery, you will need to take a few weeks break from work. We will show you some gentle exercises to help you achieve full recovery in good time. The results are immediate however the swelling and discomfort will last for a couple of weeks.

In the first couple of days, you will need to keep your knees slightly and back slightly bent due to initial post-surgery tightness. It is important to start moving around after surgery to promote blood circulation, with bending and lifting to be avoided. The first couple of days post-surgery are generally the most painful particularly when you are moving around or coughing

When Can I Resume My Normal Activities?

The recovery period following this surgery varies from person to person but most patients are back to their normal routine approximately in 1 month. The abdominal area will be sensitive for 2-3 weeks or so following surgery and should be handled according to your own level of tolerance and comfort. Dr Turner will advise you regarding returning to work taking into account your job demands. You may be able to return to light work like administrative work within3-4 weeks, as per Dr Turner’s advice

Will There Be Scarring After Abdominoplasty?

Scars from abdominoplasty plastic surgery are permanent but they usually fade substantially after 12 months. Dr Turner will explain the likely extent of abdominoplasty scarring during your initial consultation when you will be shown before and after images of previous patients to indicate the results you can expect

Can I Get Pregnant After Having Abdominoplasty Surgery

Becoming pregnant after abdominoplasty plastic surgery will not cause any problems during pregnancy but the skin tissues may stretch again reducing the benefits of your procedure.

Future pregnancies and other likely significant weight fluctuations can undermine your abdominoplasty results. It is best for women to only consider this surgery if they are not planning to have more children. For all abdominoplasty patients, weight stability following the surgery contributes to the permanence of results

Is There An Alternative To Having Abdominoplasty

If you skin looseness and sagging is restricted to the lower part of the abdomen, you may achieve good results from a ‘mini’ abdominoplasty. A lower abdominoplasty has a faster recovery time and produces less scarring than the full procedure. Dr Turner can show you before and after images of past patients taken with our 3D Vectra imaging simulation.

If muscles do not require tightening and skin is not stretched or sagging then Liposuction is an alternative to a full or lower abdominoplasty procedure. Liposuction is a less invasive plastic surgery procedure that only removes abdominal fat and does not remove or tighten excess skin. Dr Turner will advise which procedure you qualify for and is the best for your physique

What Are The Risks Of Having Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Abdominoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures undertaken by women and men around the world. All plastic surgery carries some risk and Dr Turner will carefully explain all known abdominoplasty complications during your first consultation

When Will I See Results From My Abdominoplasty Surgery

An improvement from your abdominal shape is noticeable immediately after your plastic surgery, although there will be swelling for the first few weeks. After a few weeks, you will see a firmer shape and new contour in the abdominal area

How Long Do The Results Last?

Abdominoplasty results are long-lasting because of the tightening of muscles to their new position and the removal of sagging skin. All tummy tuck patients can expect to keep their new shape for many years by maintaining a steady weight and for women, by having no more pregnancies. Over time, weight gain, gravity and ageing may loosen the abdominal tissue

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