Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty Sydney by Dr Kernohan
A tummy tuck is medically known as an Abdominoplasty and is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of sagging skin and excess fat from the abdominal area.
The procedure works on three layers of the abdomen: fatty tissue, skin, and the muscle underneath. When these layers become weakened, stretched or increase in size, it leads to an undesirable, protruding stomach. An abdominoplasty can be a solution to these problems.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Michael Kernohan is a highly experienced plastic surgeon and performs Abdominoplasty in Sydney Southwest Suburbs and the Southern Highlands.
Download Dr Michael Kernohan Abdominoplasty Surgery Guide
Benefits of Abdominoplasty
Some benefits of abdominoplasty include:
Improved Posture and Abdominal Tone
When your body undergoes pregnancy or extreme weight loss, the stomach muscles can become distended. A tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty surgery tightens the weak muscles and removes the excess skin. It significantly improves the abdominal tone and help you with a better posture and also helps with back pain.
Tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty surgery will change the overall appearance of your body.
Different Abdominoplasty Procedures
The abdominoplasty procedure can take anywhere from one to five hours. It will be performed under general anaesthesia and you will be required to stay at the hospital for quite some time. The procedure will begin with a consultation with a plastic surgeon and he/she will determine which approach is best to take:
Full Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty with Muscle Repair
A traditional abdominoplasty aka lower abdomen involves making incisions around the navel and lower abdominal area. The surgeon will get rid of the excess skin, tighten the muscles and will use liposuction to get rid of any excess fat. The procedure also removes excess skin from above the navel, down to the pubic area.
Mini Tummy Tuck – “Skin only” Abdominoplasty
The mini tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty involves a single incision that is made in the pubic region. The incision will be quite low and is of varying lengths. The surgeon will remove excess skin, tighten up the slack muscles and use liposuction. This procedure is recommended for people who are not suffering due to weak abdominal muscles.
Extended Tummy Tuck /High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty
If you have excess skin around your love handles and hips along with your tummy, the Extended/High Lateral Tension Abdominoplasty might be the optimal surgical plan. This procedure is generally recommended for women who have undergone a massive weight loss transformation.
The technique involves a layer in the deeper tissue that supports the repair. The surgeon will create an incision at the top of the abdomen and transfer the lift over the hip to the side of the thigh to improve the contours of the overall mid-section.
Circumferential Abdominoplasty – For massive weight loss patients
Watch the abdominoplasty video by Dr Kernohan
Recovery after abdominoplasty
First things first, you need to take certain time off post-surgery so you have ample time to heal and recover. It is important to make the proper arrangements in advance based on your surgeon’s instructions to fully prepare yourself for recovery.
Your drains will be left in your body for a few days after the surgery. The staff will guide you on how to properly take care of the drains and empty them. The doctor will put you on antibiotics and anticoagulants. Make sure to take your medications regularly.
It is important to wear an abdominal binder for at least the first six weeks of recovery. It helps prevent fluid build-up and offers extensive support for your abdomen. It is important to stay clear of any strenuous activities for the first six to eight weeks post-surgery.
At home care and recovery
Dr Kernohan will ask you to sleep on an incline for the first few days post-surgery (raised upper body and knees slightly bent to minimise swelling). Stacking up a few pillows underneath the abdomen can also minimize the pressure.
It is important to do a bit of light walking every day post-surgery to help with the blood flow. The surgery helps with the healing process and minimizes the chances of blood clot formation.
It is important to rest as much as possible during the recovery phase. It might take you several weeks before you’ll be able to feel normal. Stay clear of strenuous exercises and demanding physical activities for a couple of weeks. Your doctor will guide you on how much time you’ll need to take off from work.
Risks and concerns of abdominoplasty surgery
An abdominoplasty is a major surgery that comes with a certain degree of risk. Hence, choosing the right surgeon and sticking to all the pre and post-surgery instructions is critical.
Swelling, bruising and a bit of discomfort are some of the most common signs associated with the surgery. These signs are to be expected and usually calm down within the first few weeks post-recovery.
Fluid accumulation is a major side effect that can occur when the drainage tubes are left in for too long.
It is important to take antibiotics post-surgery in order to prevent poor wound healing and infections. You might also get unexpected scarring in certain areas. The length and overall visibility of your scarring will vary from one person to another.
It is important to quit smoking during the healing phase otherwise it can lead to the death of tissue in certain areas. In some cases, the tissue will heal on its own while in others, you will be required to get a touch-up procedure.
Sometimes, changes in the skin sensation can also occur due to the repositioning of the abdominal tissues. It will usually take you a couple of months before you began to feel normal again.
For more details about the risks and complications of plastic surgery check out Dr Kernohan’s page.
Tummy tuck prices and costs
How much is an abdominoplasty in Sydney?
Each patient is different and you will get a customised quote after a consultation with Dr Kernohan. For an estimate of the price of abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery please contact the clinic.
Check out Dr Kernohan’s page on prices and fees.
How much does a tummy tuck / abdominoplasty cost in Australia?
Typically the cost for an abdominoplasty is anywhere between $12,000 and $29,000 depending on surgeon, hospital and other factors.
Funding your abdominoplasty surgery
Some patients who have undergone a massive weight loss transformation due to medical reasons and have a lot of skin folds might be able to qualify for a medical rebate from medicare and their private health insurance.
You can finance a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty using various methods such as personal loans, credit cards, or a payment plan with a medical finance company.
It is important to learn about the costs and discuss your payment options upfront so you can make the arrangements adequately.
Does Medicare cover some of the cost for abdominoplasty?
At present, Medicare does not cover post-pregnancy abdominoplasty procedures. In some cases, patients who have lost a lot of weight and have redundant skin folds might be eligible for the procedure.
How to find the right abdominoplasty surgeon in Sydney
Abdominoplasty sounds like a simple procedure but isn’t at all. It requires the expertise of a trained and experienced plastic surgeon. You need to find someone who has years of experience in performing abdominoplasty procedures.
Medical referral and Internet research
A way to start your research journey is by getting a referral from your GP.
All patients require a medical referral preferably from your GP to see a plastic surgeon for a consultation for cosmetic surgery.
A Medical Referral from a GP is valid for 12 months and a referral from a specialist is valid for 3 months.
You can also do research on the web and shortlist a few plastic surgeons based on their qualifications, experience and expertise.
Questions to ask to find the Right Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgeon in Sydney
Here is a list of questions that you need to ask your potential plastic surgeon during the consultation:
- Are you a specialist plastic surgeon with a FRACS?
- Do you have hospital privileges to perform a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?
- How many abdominoplasties have you done in the past?
- Is a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty one of your primary procedures?
- Am I a good candidate for this surgery? If yes, why? If not, why not?
- What are the risks associated with the tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty procedure?
- Can you share some before and after pictures of your patients?
- How much will it cost for the surgery?
- Will you give me an all-inclusive quote?
- How involved will you be during the post op and recovery phase?
- How will you handle any possible after hour emergencies?
Tummy tuck before and after photographs
You can find before and after pictures of different people who have undergone the surgery. You can also ask to see pictures during the consultation. These photographs will give you a realistic idea of how you will look post-surgery, eliminate any unrealistic expectations and show you the placement of scars as well.
Only after considering all these points, should you select your surgeon.
FAQs about abdominoplasty
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding abdominoplasty:
Who qualifies for abdominoplasty?
Generally, you can qualify for abdominoplasty if:
- You are physically healthy with no chronic illnesses
- You have realistic expectations from the treatment
- You do not smoke or drink or can quit it for a specified duration
- You are at a stable weight
Is abdominoplasty a major surgery?
- Yes, abdominoplasty is a major surgery that removes excess skin, and fat from the abdominal area.
Can the stomach go back after abdominoplasty?
- No, your stomach will not back to its original shape as the results of abdominoplasty are permanent (provided that you maintain a healthy stable weight).
Who should not get a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty?
- Not everybody is an ideal candidate for the tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty procedure. You might not qualify for the surgery if:
- You are dealing with any pre-existing health issues that might prohibit you from getting the surgery.
- You smoke or use tobacco products.
- You are overweight or obese.
- Your weight fluctuates constantly.
- You are currently under certain medications, anticoagulants, or supplements that can interfere with the procedure.
How many hours does a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty take?
- Based on the type of tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty, the surgery can take anywhere from one to five hours.
Can I get an abdominoplasty at 50?
- Yes, age is just a number when it comes to this surgery, provided that you are in good health.