Tummy Tuck Surgery – Abdominoplasty in Melbourne
A Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty Surgery is a surgical operation that addresses problems with overstretching of the stomach and abdominal skin. It can also improve the appearance and contour of the abdomen. This procedure is performed in Melbourne by top breast and tummy Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Plas).
There are several different types of tummy tuck procedures available and the right one depends on your condition, physique, presenting problems, as well as your medical and surgical history.
In fact, Tummy Tuck Procedures are one of the most common surgeries performed in Australia, second only to breast surgeries.
What is a Tummy Tuck Is it worth it?
Patients seek abdominoplasty surgery for a variety of reasons, including correcting pockets of body fat, sagging skin, and fat bulges across the abdomen. These are common in both men and women that have had major weight loss. It is also a popular procedure for women post-pregnancy.
Unfortunately, stomach fat can be difficult to treat with diet and exercise alone. Furthermore, many women suffer knowingly from abdominal hernias and torn abdominal muscles after childbirth. This further hinders their ability to regain a flatter stomach.
A “full” tummy tuck surgery or abdominoplasty involves tightening the abdominal muscles and flattening the stomach. A fully qualified plastic surgeon will also repair any underlying muscle damage to achieve the best possible result.
The aim is to achieve flatter stomach contours and a curvier, natural-looking waistline. Repair to the underlying muscles also aims to improve the patient’s core strength.
Are You a Good Tummy Tuck Candidate?
What makes a good candidate for a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery?
While it is best to discuss your eligibility in a private consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon, generally good candidates for abdominoplasty surgery are:
- Those with excess skin that cannot be remedied with diet and/or exercise
- Patients requiring diastasis recti repair, hernia repair, or repair to torn abdominal muscles
- Those who have reached a healthy weight and BMI but are unable to lose stubborn stomach fat/ excess skin
- Patients noticing a loss of abdominal firmness or sagging after weight loss or pregnancy
- Those who have finished having children and/or do not have weight fluctuations
- Patients who plan to maintain and/or improve their current fitness level and weight
Considering Tummy Tuck Surgery? Download our handy Guide.
Tummy Tuck Surgery – What happens in a Tummy Tuck Procedure?
Firstly you will be administered a general anaesthetic by an experienced anaesthetist in a safe, sterile hospital setting. Second, a full tummy tuck procedure involves a horizontal incision in the general area between the pubic hairline and the navel. The shape and length of the incision will be determined by the type of abdominoplasty you require and the amount of correction you need.
Further, a second incision may be necessary to remove excess skin from the upper abdomen.
Your surgeon then separates the skin from the abdominal wall to the ribs. Dr Rubinstein then draws the underlying muscle and tissue together with stitches. The excess skin and fat is removed before upper abdominal skin is stretched down to the lower abdominal.
Finally, a brand new opening is created for the navel or belly button.
The final results may be initially obscured by swelling and your inability to stand fully upright until internal healing is complete. Within a week or two, you should be standing tall and confident about your new slimmer profile.
Will My Tummy Tuck Surgeon Use Post-operative Drains?
- Drain-free surgery is the preferred approach of Dr Rubinstein to improve your comfort during post-op recovery and reduce infection risks at drain insertion sites. Some patients, however, will require drains, which will be removed as soon as possible.
Recovery after Tummy Tuck Recovery
Body contouring procedures require planning and adequate healing time. Scars can take up to 18 months to mature or longer if you have a complication or infection.
How Long Will I Need to Wear a Compression Garment?
You will not wear your compression garment day and night, except for bathing, for about 2-3 months. Dr Rubinstein will advise you on when you can remove it at night and how long you can continue wearing the garment.
Tummy Tuck Before and After Gallery
To view some of Dr Rubinstein’s previous abdominoplasty patients, click here to direct you to the abdominoplasty before and after gallery.
Four Different Types of Tummy Tucks
1. Mini-Tummy Tuck -without repair of Split Tummy Muscles
The mini tummy tuck is very similar to a regular abdominoplasty. However, unlike a normal abdominoplasty, the incision is generally not as long. As a result, recovery is generally shorter. It usually involves mostly excess skin and is less likely to include significant muscle repair.
2. Full Tummy Tuck – With Repair of Split Tummy Muscles
As described above
3. Tummy Tuck with Extra Lipo – Liposuction-Assisted Abdominoplasty
Sometimes known as the “Brazilian Abdominoplasty” or “Suction Assisted Abdominoplasty”, liposuction assisted abdominoplasty is seen as a body contouring procedure. It involves employing liposuction alongside a normal tummy tuck procedure in order to fully customise your surgery for more natural-looking results.
Further, it allows your qualified plastic surgeon to smooth out localised fat pockets and bulges, for a smoother, flatter result. This is the preferred procedure for post-pregnancy and post-weight loss patients.
4. Circumferential Abdominoplasty – Belt Lipectomy or 360 Abdominoplasty
Unlike a tummy tuck, a circumferential abdominoplasty, 360 surgery or belt lipectomy is a re-contouring procedure for the entire trunk. It addresses both the front and the lower back, and sometimes elevates the buttocks. Plastic surgeons generally use this procedure for patients recovering after massive weight loss or weight loss after a bariatric surgery like a gastric sleeve.
What is Considered During Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Consultations
There are a number of things your specialist plastic surgeon will consider during your one-on-one consultation. These include:
- Your overall health
- Your skin and BMI
- The extent of the damage to your abdominal muscles
- Factors that can influence your surgery and healing process
- Your genetics
- Whether or not you are considering having more children
- How stable your weight is
What an Abdominoplasty Can’t Do
- Tummy tuck surgery can never be an alternative to weight loss, a healthy diet and exercise. As a result, abdominoplasty procedures may not be ideal if you are still carrying excess weight or are at an unsafe BMI.
- Further, while a tummy tuck can reduce some stretch marks located in the areas to be excised, it will likely not treat all your stretch marks. With less skin volume you will likely notice less stretch marks, however, it is important to discuss with your surgeon how much surgery will improve their appearance. Our dermal team has a range of non-surgical solutions to reduce tummy tuck scars and treat stretch marks. These can include Fraxel Lasers, V-Beam laser to remove redness and Dermapen. These treatments are usually included in your package.
How Much Does Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Cost?
The cost of abdominoplasty surgery can vary across Australia and Melbourne. It depends entirely on the surgeon you choose, where you have your operation, etc.
Often sites that post the estimated cost of a tummy tuck surgery do not include all the related and necessary expenses. As a result, you may end up paying more than you expected. Dr Rubinstein never recommends shopping for low-cost surgery as it is unlikely that a FRACS level plastic surgeon will be performing the procedure. It is important to do your research before deciding on a plastic surgeon for your chosen procedure. Further, revision surgery is costly and is not guaranteed to fix the issue you experienced with your initial surgery if you chose to explore cheaper surgical options.
It is always important to pursue plastic surgery based on skill, not cost.
- Sadly, Medicare does NOT cover tummy tuck surgery required after pregnancy. However, many women’s health groups are lobbying to change this due to its benefits after pregnancy and weight loss. It may be covered after massive weight loss under certain conditions.