Abdominoplasty, known more commonly as a “tummy tuck”, can dramatically reduce the size of the abdomen, and leave you with a flat, contoured stomach. This procedure corrects laxity of skin and muscles that often occur after pregnancy or with ageing by removing excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightening the muscles of the abdominal wall. Liposuction of the hips and flanks is often performed at the same time, which can transform the appearance of your midsection, an area of concern for many people.
Depending on the amount of loose skin and fat to be removed, an incision is either made above the pubic hairline alone (mini-abdominoplasty), or from hip to hip (full abdominoplasty or tummy tuck). In the former, the umbilicus can be moved a short distance without a scar, but in the latter there is also a scar around the umbilicus. The skin and fat between the pubic hair and the umbilicus is removed, and the muscles of the abdominal wall tightened, and the skin closed.
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic by Dr Charles Cope in Sydney and takes 2-3 hours, with patients staying in hospital for 3-4 days.
After surgery, you need to wear a compression garment for a few weeks, and avoid heavy activities and sport for 6 weeks. *Most people return to normal everyday activities and work after 3-4 weeks. The scars from surgery gradually fade and lighten in colour, although this may take a full year, with the scars usually not being visible in underwear or a swimming costume.
Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight should postpone the surgery until after their weight is stable, and the surgery is best left until after all pregnancies have finished, as weight loss and pregnancy can compromise the result by producing more loose skin.
*Note results may vary from person to person