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Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Cosmetic surgery of the abdomen is generally an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedure. Its main objective is to tighten up the stomach and lower chest with firmer skin, more clearly defined musculature and an overall flatter abdominal profile.

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It does this by removing excess skin and fat, and consolidating the abdominal muscle wall. A lot of the issues that make abdominoplasty a good choice have effects in other parts of the body, and consequently it’s not unusual for patients to request it to be performed alongside breast augmentation and lift or laser liposuction treatments. Generally, however, it’s done as a standalone operation for the purposes of simultaneously achieving a slimmer profile and smooth, tight, healthy skin on the stomach and abdomen.

When to Choose Abdominoplasty

The high value placed on slimness and great skin in today’s world makes abdominoplasty a very popular choice, as it can achieve amazingly transformative results with minimal surgery. At Australia Cosmetic Clinics, however, we would like to stress that abdominoplasties are most important when it comes to solving specific issues. While almost anyone can benefit aesthetically from a tighter stomach and thinner figure, the most striking results are always in situations where the patient was previously experiencing flaccid skin, a protruding abdomen or build-up of fatty tissue. Abdominoplasties can give almost anyone a flatter belly and younger-looking skin, but the most suitable candidates are experiencing one or more of the following issues:

  • Excess or sagging abdominal skin: This is a common side effect of weight-loss or giving birth. Once skin has stretched to encompass a larger body, it’s difficult or even completely impossible to get it back to normal without an abdominoplasty.
  • A protruding stomach or abdomen: Various genetic and hereditary circumstances can lead to excessive build-ups of fatty tissue or skin on the belly or upper pelvis. Essentially, some people are just built in such a way that their body happens to store fat in those areas. The problem with this is that it’s difficult to target those areas with exercises, meaning an abdominoplasty is sometimes the only way to fix weight issues that are concentrated in these parts of the body.
  • Abdominal muscles that have been separated and weakened: The rigours of childbirth often lead to the weakening, separation and degeneration of one’s abdominal muscle wall. As the mother’s body changes to accommodate a child during pregnancy, these muscle walls are twisted and separated in inconsistent and unpredictable ways. Because these muscles are vital to mobility and body support, it’s important that they fully heal after giving birth. Unfortunately they frequently don’t. Abdominoplasty can help by consolidating and tightening these muscles, essentially matching them by hand to your new slimmer body type.
  • Stretch marks: An extremely common side effect of rapid growth or weight gain as seen in pregnancies and elsewhere, stretch marks pose no health risk and do not require operations. However, they vary in severity and can be potentially unsightly or a source of insecurity, so many people choose to have them removed. Depending on where they’re situated it may be possible for abdominoplasties to remove them, and as such it’s not unusual for people to opt for stretch mark removal while simultaneously getting a slimmer profile, flatter stomach and tighter skin.

During the initial consultation your surgeon will inform you of all advantages, drawbacks and potential complications involved with abdominal tucks, but in particular they’ll ask about any future plans for pregnancies or weight loss. This is because abdominoplasties have the potential to interfere with these things. In general, the perfect time for a tummy tuck is after you’ve finished having children or pursuing weight loss regimes. Here, abdominoplasties can essentially put the finishing touches on your body by removing the excess flab and fat deposits that won’t go away with traditional means.

Because there are a lot of individual factors in play, not everyone will get the same results from an abdominoplasty. The only way to get a clear picture of how it will help you is by having a consultation session with an expert cosmetic surgeon.

How an Abdominoplasty Works

Any abdominoplasty will involve at least one incision, but certain cases may require more. All, however, utilise a similar process.

  • You will be administered general anaesthetic or I/V sedation for smaller operations.
  • A horizontal incision will be placed just around or above the pelvic area. The exact location will depend on how much skin needs to be removed, whether or not there are stretch marks to get rid of and how easily the scar can be concealed by your preferred undergarments.
  • If necessary, a second incision will be placed above the bellybutton. This is for patients that have excess skin above the navel. By placing a second incision here, the operation can be carried out while ensuring the navel’s location remains unchanged.
  • Excess skin will be removed and stubborn sub-dermal fat deposits will get liposuctioned out.
  • Underlying abdominal muscles will be tightened with sutures if required. This is most frequently done for patients that have been pregnant or lost a lot of weight in the past.
  • The incisions are stitched up and bandages are applied suitably.

The entire operation takes anywhere from 2-3 hours, and your anaesthetist will be next to you the entire time to make sure you safely sleep through it. Recovery times vary largely depending on the patient and the surgical parameters, but you will enjoy normal walking and movement within five days, even after the most extensive abdominoplasty.

A common variation of this surgery is known as a mini-tuck or partial abdominoplasty. This is employed when the amount of loose skin is minimal and all excess fat deposits are situated below the navel. The process is similar, but it can be done with just one small incision and localised rather than general anaesthetic.

How to Get Started

The first thing to do is make sure you know all the ins and outs of the operation, and have your needs assessed by an expert. Call 1300 559 848 or contact us online to speak with a professional. They’ll help you take the next steps towards a slimmer, fitter, happier and healthier body.

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