Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Abdominoplasty is also commonly referred to as a “tummy tuck” or the “mummy makeover”. It’s a procedure that removes loose skin and stubborn abdominal fat that doesn’t respond to exercise or further weight loss.

Abdominoplasty eliminates loose skin and abdominal fat, for a more streamlined shape

Abdominoplasty is best suited for people who are in relatively good shape, but who still have loose skin or abdominal fat that simply won’t shift, despite their best efforts. Tummy tucks are not indicated for people who are significantly overweight, and when you first present to us your BMI will be assessed by measuring your height and weight.

Successful candidates will have a BMI below 30: if your BMI is greater than 30 you may be directed to a weight loss clinic or bariatric surgeon. If you plan to become pregnant or lose a significant amount of weight you should discuss this with the surgeon. In some cases, scars from previous surgeries can be used for the new incision.

The post-operative hospital stay is generally 2 - 3 days. While uncommon, some of the specific complications of abdominoplasty include seroma, infection and wound breakdown. Obesity and smoking will increase the risk of these occurring, which is why candidates will need to measure a BMI of less than 30.

Frequently asked questions about abdominoplasty

Are there other options to abdominoplasty?

Traditional abdominoplasty is not always the best option for everyone, particularly patients close to their ideal weight with limited fullness. A procedure for liposuction may be recommended as an alternative solution - this is a good option if you have good skin elasticity and muscle tone, but need to shift some abdominal fat.

The “mini” abdominoplasty may be an option if there is a bulge but no skin laxity below the navel. This avoids a navel scar but cannot address skin laxity either above or below the navel.

How safe is abdominoplasty?

Abdominoplasty is performed in hospital under a general anaesthetic, and the post-operative hospital stay is generally 2-3 days. Abdominoplasty is an extensive procedure and it is essential for you to be informed of the risks as well as the benefits. 

One of the most important parts of your consultation is the discussion that you and your surgeon will have about the possible complications of abdominoplasty. Specific complications include seroma, infection and wound breakdown. Obesity (BMI>30) and smoking increase the likelihood of these occurring. 

How is abdominoplasty performed?

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about 3 hours. Special nerve blocks are placed and various measures such as calf pumps, TED stockings and blood thinners are utilised to prevent or lessen the risk of DVT (thrombosis) forming post surgery.

An incision is placed just above the pubic area and extended toward the sides
sufficient to avoid skin folds. The length of this incision varies depending on the amount of skin to be removed and your skin quality. Your surgeon will always perform a muscle repair to assist regaining muscle strength and a flatter tummy.

A second incision will be made around the navel. Although the navel’s position remains unchanged, this allows more skin fold removal and a much improved navel appearance. Soft drains are often left in place to drain off any fluid accumulation.

Invisible dissolving stitches are used and it is rare for a urinary catheter to be required. A supportive garment is used and will be continued for the next six weeks.

For every step of your plastic surgery
journey, we are by your side.

Bendigo Plastic Surgery follows a simple tried-and-tested process for our surgical procedures. From initial consultation, to recovery and beyond, our team will look after you.


Before surgery

At your initial consultation the surgeon will ask about your specific cosmetic goals, and will discuss the strength and functional improvements that are possible. Your abdomen will be examined for the quality of skin, location of scars and the distribution of fat.

The status of the underlying muscles will also be assessed, and the surgeon may suggest other treatments that might better achieve your goals, such as liposuction, or a more limited type of abdominoplasty if there is minimal skin laxity.


During surgery

Abdominoplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes about three hours. An incision is placed above the pubic area and extended towards the sides to avoid skin folds, and the surgeon will perform muscle repair for strength and a flatter stomach.

A second incision is made around the navel for approved appearance, and liposuction is commonly performed to address contour fullness in the tummy, flanks and hips. Soft drains and dissolving stitches are also used - it is rare that urinary catheter is required.


After surgery

In most cases, small drainage tubes will have been placed under the skin to prevent fluid build up. Dressings will be applied to your abdomen and covered with a support garment, and you will be encouraged to gently move on the day of your surgery.

Any discomfort will be managed by anaesthetic solution nerve blocks (TAPS) and regular pain medication. Early gentle movement will assist your recovery, but you will need to avoid straining, lifting and pulling movements. Your incision line will begin to fade as months pass, but will always be visible and hidden by your clothing.

Best practice plastic surgery right here in Bendigo

You don’t have to travel to the city for plastic surgery. Richard Dickinson MBBS FRACS is a Sydney-trained surgeon who brings a wealth of expertise to Bendigo, a place he has called home for 20 years. Conveniently located in central Bendigo, our clinic offers the best of both worlds - best practice plastic surgery in a convenient location close to home.

Want to know more?

Book a no-obligation consultation with our surgeon today.

If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact us and we can arrange a time for you to visit our clinic for a consultation. If you have any questions, our surgeon can answer them for you. We look forward to meeting you. 

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