Abdominoplasty

Overview

Abdominoplasty, sometimes known as a 'tummy tuck', is designed to help improve the shape and tone of the abdominal region. The procedure involves the removal of excess sagging fat and skin to improve the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports the fat and skin. This procedure can be cosmetic or reconstructive in nature.

 

Features

While abdominoplasty can be a cosmetic procedure, it may also be partly a reconstructive procedure that is necessary to:

  • Correct abdominal abnormalities caused by pregnancy, obesity, extensive weight loss, trauma, tumours or other disease
  • Correct or relieve structural defects of the abdomen
  • Improve function of abdominal muscles
  • Create a more normal appearance of the abdomen
  • Repair an abdominal hernia that has followed previous abdominal surgery
  • Remove a large and distressing apron of fat, also called a “pannus”, that can cause chronic dermatitis, skin infection, difficulty in walking and difficulties with hygiene. The surgical removal of a pannus is called an “apronectomy”

 

Notification

Some risks and complications associated with abdominoplasty may include:

  • Wound infection (treatment with antibiotics may be needed)
  • Pain and discomfort around the incisions
  • Haematoma (an accumulation of blood around the surgical site that may require drainage)
  • Visible and prominent scars including keloid and hypertrophic scars. These are raised, red and thickened scars that may form over the healed incisions. They may be itchy, annoying and unsightly but are not a threat to health
  • Numbness around operated sites. In most cases this is temporary and will improve over many months
  • Areas of skin that do not heal and may require a skin graft
  • Difficulty in bending forward due to the tightened skin. Other movements may also feel constrained
  • Excess fluid accumulation under the skin (known as a seroma) around an operated site that may require one or more drainage procedures with a needle
  • In the unlikely event that blood loss during surgery has been large, a transfusion may be needed
  • A blood clot in a leg or the chest (deep venous thrombosis) that will require further treatment. It is rare that a clot can move to the lungs and become life threatening
  • Nausea (typically from the anaesthetics which usually settles down quickly)

 

Estimated Cost

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery. Prices for a tummy tuck can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office.

Costs associated with the procedure may include:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anaesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Medical tests

Your surgeon should welcome any questions you may have regarding fees.