An abdominoplasty surgery, also known as a tummy tuck is designed to tighten the appearance of the abdominal area, according to the unique preferences of each patient.
Changes to the abdominal area that can naturally occur over time can potentially be caused by pregnancy, significant weight loss or the natural ageing process. These factors can cause abdominal skin to become loose.
In the case of pregnancy, the muscles within the abdominal wall can become weakened and/or separated (rectus diastasis). These conditions and changes to the abdomen cannot be reversed with diet and/or exercise alone, and typically require surgical intervention to remove excess skin and fat.
What is an abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty procedures involve removing excess skin and fat, usually after weight loss or pregnancy and in most cases, requires tightening of the abdominal muscles. The procedure will be tailored to the unique needs of each patient, deciding on the right steps to achieve the patient’s desired results.
Whilst some doctors advocate aggressive liposuction and abdominoplasty in overweight patients, this carries risks and is not appropriate in most cases. Suitable patients for abdominoplasty should generally be at a healthy weight (BMI under 28) and should not be smokers as these factors can greatly increase the risks from the surgery. Abdominoplasty is NOT a procedure designed to produce weight loss.
An abdominoplasty can make aesthetic changes to the abdominal area, eliminating excess skin and fat and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
Recovery time can vary for each individual, but patients may be able to return to non-strenuous work within one to three weeks after surgery. In many cases, most normal activities, including mild forms of exercise, can be resumed within a few weeks.
In certain cases, a portion of the procedure cost may be covered by Medicare and/or private health funds. Generally, for a patient to be considered eligible for a Medicare rebate, the procedure needs to be deemed medically necessary.
An abdominoplasty can offer a variety of benefits, depending on each patient’s personal preferences. It can create a flatter abdomen while removing excess skin and fat, improving the appearance of stretch marks, and potentially providing relief from medical conditions such as hernias or back pain caused by abdominal weakness.
What makes a suitable candidate for the procedure
Suitable candidates for abdominoplasty typically include individuals who have excess skin, fat, and weakened muscles in the abdominal area. This may be due to factors such as pregnancy, significant weight loss, or natural ageing. Good candidates for the procedure should be in good overall health, have a stable weight, and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the surgery. A consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon is necessary to determine if a person is a good candidate for abdominoplasty.