Are endless sit-ups and crunches not giving you the taut tummy you are striving for? Do you have a little too much flab or excess skin around your abdomen that won’t diminish with diet or exercise? If you answered yes to one or both these questions, you may want to consider an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).
Popularly referred to as a tummy tuck, this procedure flattens your abdomen by removing extra fat and skin. The walls of the abdomen can also be tightened if need be. Whilst not an alternative to a healthy weight-loss plan, abdominoplasty can help tidy up an out of shape mid-section for both men and women. The procedure is also is subject to Medicare rebates.
What is Abdominoplasty?
By targeting loose abdominal skin, this surgery removes excess lower abdominal skin or ‘apron’ and tightens the abdomen to remove the appearance of a ‘baggy belly’. Abdominoplasty surgery has the power to restore weakened or separated muscles and alleviate any hygiene issues caused by the folding of excess skin. It can also improve posture, improve bladder function and rework the shape and tone of the abdomen to create a firmer and smoother profile.
The best candidate for a Tummy Tuck is someone who has achieved his or her ideal body weight but is left with remaining loose abdominal skin. Abdominoplasty surgery is not a short-cut plan for weight loss.
For patients with fatty tissue on their stomach but no significant loose skin, liposuction may be all that is required. If loose skin is a problem, liposuction may make this worse and the best procedure is abdominoplasty or mini abdominoplasty. Dr. Doyle routinely uses liposuction with the above procedures in order to contour the abdomen.
A decision for what would achieve the best outcome can only accurately be made at your consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Doyle.
Different Types of Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty
Full Abdominoplasty or Tummy Tuck
If you have concerns with weakened abdominal muscles, large amounts of excess fat, as well as loose skin, you may require a Full Tummy Tuck. This procedure requires a long incision above the pubic bone that will extend across the entire abdomen, between both hipbones. The stomach muscles are then tightened and the loose abdominal skin removed. The results of this can be quite dramatic, and patients often lose weight following the procedure because they become more mobile.
Mini Abdominoplasty or Mini Tummy Tuck
If loose and hanging skin is your primary concern, you may be a candidate for a Mini Tummy Tuck. An abdominoplasty is suited for patients with a moderate degree of excess skin and fat on the lower abdomen. This procedure requires a smaller incision to a full Tummy Tuck, placed just above the pubic bone. The skin leading up to the belly button can then be separated from the muscles and pulled tight, with the excess being removed. This is helpful for those who suffer a ‘muffin top’ on their stomach or bulging skin above a cesarean section scar.
Both these surgeries are equally suited to male and female patients who desire a significant cosmetic improvement.
A study by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS) shows that an Abdominoplasty surgery can have particularly significant functional benefits for women who have had children. The nature of this surgery can bring improvement to chronic lower back pain and urinary incontinence – two of the most common physical consequences of childbirth.
Does this sound like something that would benefit you? Book in for a consult with Dr. Doyle to discuss your options.
The tummy tuck procedure
An abdominoplasty involves an incision on the lower abdomen at about the same level as the pubic area. This incision usually extends from hip bone to hip bone. The skin and muscle are then manipulated, sutured and contoured to create the best result. A cannula is used to break down and extract any excess fat. The procedure takes between 2 and 3 hours under general anaesthetic and usually involves an overnight stay in hospital.
The exact recovery time for your procedure will be determined post-operatively.
Recovery after surgery
Before you are discharged from hospital, any drains that were placed under the skin to collect excess blood and fluid will be removed. In some instances, patients may need to leave the drains in place for a few more days at home. You will also be sent home with a dressing over your abdominal area. Patients can expect some moderate pain and swelling but this can be controlled using pain medication and a compression garment. The compression garment needs to be worn for at least six weeks but the pain medication is only necessary when you need it.
Most patients are able to resume their normal routine two to three weeks after their tummy tuck but this will vary between patients. Exercise will need to be avoided for at least six weeks.
To keep any scarring to a minimum and avoid complications, Dr Doyle will provide you with specific aftercare instructions after your surgery. The better you follow these instructions, the smoother your recovery will be.
You will also require a follow-up visit with Dr Doyle after your surgery so that he can monitor your progress.
Download your guide to:
Your Free Tummy Tuck Guide!
Tummy Tuck Before and Afters
Tummy Tuck Before and Afters
Who is an ideal candidate for abdominoplasty surgery?
Abdominoplasty is the most successful when patients are at their ideal weight.
Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss solution. The ideal candidate for this surgery is someone who is close to their ideal body weight. For moms, we don’t recommend undergoing this procedure until after you’ve completed your family.
Can a tummy tuck be combined with liposuction?
Depending on your weight, and the state of your health, it is possible to combine these procedures. In most instances, liposuction is performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. In the event that excess fat around your mid-section is your only concern, you may only need liposuction and not a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck is best for addressing excess fat and skin, as well as damaged abdominal walls. To find out if you’re eligible for this dual procedure, you should book a consultation with Dr Doyle at Gold Coast Plastic Surgery.
Combining abdominoplasty with liposuction
At your consultation with Dr Doyle, the difference between abdominoplasty and liposuction will be explained in full as the two are often confused. Dr Doyle generally uses liposuction during the abdominoplasty procedure to contour the area.
At Gold Coast Plastic Surgery, we find that women who have given birth and patients who have experienced significant weight loss are ideal candidates for abdominoplasty combined with liposuction.
When will I notice results?
You will see a noticeable difference directly after your abdominoplasty procedure. However, your body will need time to recover, so we advise that you give yourself some time to heal before judging the results. How quickly you see results will also depend on the extent of the procedure you undergo and how your body recovers. It’s important to note that leading a healthy lifestyle will determine how long your results last. If you do decide to have more children after your procedure, keep in mind that this will affect the results of your surgery.
How much does a tummy tuck cost in the Gold Coast?
The final cost of a tummy tuck will be different for everyone. Not all patients have the same requirements. Some require liposuction, while others don’t. Some need to have their abdominal walls repaired, while others don’t. Along with the specifics of your procedure, surgeon, anaesthetist and hospital fees are also factored in. If specific criteria are met, some patients may qualify for a Medicare rebate for this procedure. Dr Doyle can provide you with a more accurate estimate following your consultation.
What should I do in preparation for surgery?
To begin with, a consultation will be required. During which, your medical history, surgical requirements and goals will be evaluated. If you decide to go ahead with surgery, it’s highly recommended that you stop smoking for at least two weeks before your procedure, if you are a smoker. There are also certain medications that need to be avoided to reduce excess bleeding and bruising. It’s helpful to do a few other things ahead of time too. Arranging for someone to fetch you from hospital because you won’t be able to drive for several weeks is one of them. It’s also best to prepare a recovery area and fill any prescriptions before your surgery. This way, the only thing you need to do once you get home is rest and recover.
What is the main difference between a Full and a Mini Tummy Tuck?
A Full Abdominoplasty surgery allows for contouring to be performed below the ribs, whereas, a Mini Abdominoplasty surgery allows for contouring to be performed only below the belly button.
What is the recovery like?
A Full Abdominoplasty requires 6 weeks recovery. A Mini Abdominoplasty requires 4 weeks of recovery.
Will Medicare cover my abdominoplasty?
Yes, this procedure can attract Medicare rebates if you meet the strict criteria, so it is best to discuss this with Dr. Doyle during your consultation.
Where will I undergo surgery?
This procedure is performed at John Flynn Hospital, under general Anaesthetic. It takes between two and three hours to complete.
Will I need to stay overnight?
An overnight stay is required for a Full Abdominoplasty. An overnight stay is not always necessary for a Mini Abdominoplasty. Liposuction does not require a hospital stay and can be performed in our office theatre.
Next Steps for a Tummy tuck or Abdominoplasty on the Gold Coast
There are many benefits that can come to your life following an Abdominoplasty Surgery, also known as a Tummy Tuck. This surgery may not be for everyone, but it could be for you… Tummy Tuck is perfect for those who have endured massive weight loss or for women who have undergone one or many pregnancies. This surgery could be the next step on your weight loss journey, and ultimately, your final step towards confidence.
If you are interested in changing the appearance of your abdomen, Dr Doyle offers abdominoplasty from his surgery on the Gold Coast. To learn more about abdominoplasty, please contact our practice today.