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All about the tummy tuck

All about the tummy tuck
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The tummy tuck – officially known as the abdominoplasty – is a surgical procedure designed to tighten and tone the abdomen by removing excess skin and fat. A tummy tuck also tightens the abdominal muscles.

NOTE: We do not perform the ‘tummy tuck’ abdominoplasty procedure at ENRICH, as we have a preference for less invasive techniques for tightening and fat removal. 

Alternative fat-removal techniques
There are many ways to remove fat, with many not being as radical as full abdominal surgery. These fat-removal treatments range from fat-dissolving injections (Lipodissolve), Clatuu fat freezing, and liposuction.

Alternative skin-tightening treatments
Skin tightening can be done in a more organic fashion, by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen, and naturally retract. Improvements can be quite impressive, though sometimes combined treatments including surgical skin tightening may be necessary for best results.

We do skin tightening using radiofrequency, the Ultraformer III, and other wave-based treatments to stimulate collagen, tighten skin, and rejuvenate your tummy area without invasive surgery.

What’s the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?
A tummy tuck is for those with a lot of loose tummy skin, while liposuction of the abdomen is for those with excess fat deposits. Both procedures are extremely useful in terms of reshaping the tummy area, but their use is very specific, and elements like recovery times vary greatly. Liposuction usually only requires a local anaesthetic, whereas a tummy tuck requires a general anaesthetic because it is a far more invasive procedure that involves skin and muscle.

~ Please note that ENRICH does not perform abdominoplasty surgery, however we do have many less-invasive options that may be suitable for you. Speak to your cosmetic surgeon for more information. ~

About the tummy tuck

A tummy tuck is often used in conjunction with liposuction on the hips and abdomen.

There are several forms of abdominoplasty, ranging from the radical tummy tuck (the whole abdomen undergoes surgery, with loose skin and muscles tightened, but leaves a scar); the sub-umbilical tummy tuck (loose skin and muscles tightened, minimal scar on the bikini line); and a tummy tuck with liposuction (treatments depend on the person).

A tummy tuck is used to remove excess skin around the tummy and abdominal area, however the extent will depend on each person’s body. Excess skin issues can occur after pregnancy, menopause, or extensive weight loss.

A tummy tuck may be suitable for some people, but there are also other effective ways to tighten loose skin, like radiofrequency and other wave-based treatments. If the skin has some elasticity, other options might be more suitable and cost-effective. Speak to your cosmetic surgeon about your options.

You cannot have a tummy tuck if you:

  • Smoke
  • Have serious medical conditions that make surgery too risky
  • Want to get pregnant
  • Want to lose a great deal of weight

The tummy tuck for lax abdominal muscles and saggy skin
The tummy tuck effectively removes excess skin and can be used to tighten abdominal muscles that have become overstretched or loose. A small scar remains at the lower abdomen.

Tummy tuck post-pregnancy
Pregnancy can cause the skin to stretch out beyond what you might reasonably expect without a pregnancy, leaving sagging, baggy skin. The loss of firmness to the abdominal skin can be an issue for women after having babies, with a tummy tuck part of a suite of treatments that can restore a toned abdomen.

Baggy skin after extreme weight loss
Extreme weight loss in men or women is also a cause of baggy, excess skin on the abdomen. Anything that causes the skin to stretch out beyond its ability to remain elastic will cause this skin appearance, since the collagen and elastin can only do so much. A tummy tuck can resolve this by removing the excess skin in a way that allows perfect flexibility and mobility.

Who can get a tummy tuck?

  • Anyone with excess baggy skin in the abdominal/tummy area
  • Post-pregnancy saggy belly skin
  • Those with a protruding abdomen
  • Bulging stomach
  • Tummy ‘apron’
  • Stubborn fat
  • Disappearing waistline
  • ‘Looking pregnant’ (but aren’t)

Body contouring options
A tummy tuck is one of a suite of treatments specific to a body area to improve its look and feel. It might be used in conjunction with or in preference to skin tightening procedures, liposuction, and wave-based treatments to remove fat and tighten skin.

A tummy tuck may offer you:

  • A flatter tummy
  • Smoother belly skin
  • Tighter skin around the tummy, waist and abdomen
  • A more shapely waistline
  • Improved clothing choices – lingerie, bathing suit, clothes
  • Improved confidence
  • Femininity or masculinity (curvier/more streamlined) of lower abdomen
  • Improved muscle control
  • Improved bladder strength

Repairing torn abdominal muscles with a tummy tuck
The tummy tuck can restore function of muscles that have been damaged, particularly during pregnancy or childbirth. This leaves you stronger.

Does a tummy tuck leave scars?
The tummy tuck does leave scarring, but your surgeon will aim to minimise the visibility of these scars. The scarring will also fade over time with proper care. We can also offer extra treatments to reduce scar tissue.

The ‘mummy makeover’
A ‘mummy makeover’ mean getting your tummy and breasts ‘adjusted’ in some way after you are done having babies. Growing, birthing, and feeding babies (via breast) takes a toll on your body, and thus having a tummy tuck and breast augmentation might be part of the ‘mummy makeover’, which aims to tighten, plump, and reshape the body.

The ‘mummy makeover’ is an abdominoplasty combined with a breast lift. In some instances, fat can be taken from the abdomen and injected into the breasts to offer an increase in cup sizes using your own fatty tissue.

Different types of tummy tucks
Not all tummy tucks are the same, and they can be classified into three separate operations: the radical abdominoplasty, the sub-umbilical abdominoplasty, and an abdominoplasty with liposuction.

The radical abdominoplasty
This tummy tuck is designed to tighten the skin on the upper and lower abdomen by removing loose skin and excess fat from the belly button to the bikini line. The abdominal muscles are tightened, with the results being a tighter, more toned abdomen. This operation leaves a scar across the top of the bikini line/lower abdomen.

The sub-umbilical abdominoplasty
This type of tummy tuck tightens loose skin and muscles via a small incision at the bikini line. This operation has a faster recovery time and less scarring, but its reach is suitable for people with less severe skin irregularities.

Abdominoplasty with liposuction
Any procedure can be combined with liposuction to remove excess fatty deposits from the abdomen area. This results in slimmer contours post-surgery than just removing excess skin can do.

Cost of tummy tucks in Melbourne
A tummy tuck can be partially paid for by Medicare in some instances and also possibly from a health insurer if you have private health insurance. You are paying for the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the space the operation is done in (theatre), and incidentals of drugs, dressings, and other surgical equipment. You aren’t just paying for the procedure, but also follow-up costs.

Choosing the best surgeon for your tummy tuck in Melbourne
You must choose a surgeon who is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and it is desirable to have a surgeon who is also a member of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). This will ensure you are getting the best possible standards of care from your surgeon. You also want to know that your surgeon is experienced in tummy tucks, and they have a good eye for beautiful results.

When choosing a surgeon, it can be useful to ask another surgeon their thoughts so you are getting a broad range of opinion – make sure a tummy tuck in Melbourne is the best route for you to achieve your desired outcomes. You don’t want to find out later that a simple skin-tightening procedure would have done the trick at a fraction of the cost to you both in financial terms and physically. All surgery comes with risks and recovery times that may put you out of action for a spell, in particular the tummy tuck.

The tummy tuck in Melbourne
You are put under general anaesthetic, which means ‘asleep’ or unconscious during the procedure. This helps to reduce risks, since your body is put into a state of very low functioning – this results in less bleeding and adverse results during surgery.

The incision is made in a place that is less obvious, like in a crease, bikini line, or regular skin fold. The incision for the radical abdominoplasty goes from hip to hip, but this thin scar easily gets hidden under clothes or natural skin folds. A thin, pale line is usually all that’s left after a year.

During the surgery, the abdominal skin is lifted up to reveal the muscles underneath, which can be addressed depending on how they are functioning. A stitch may be added to bring muscles closer together or a mesh may be applied to repair the laxity problem. Any excess skin and fat is removed, and the abdominal skin is replaced and stitched up. Liposuction may be used during the procedure to remove fat. The belly button is re-attached in its new position.

Tummy tuck recovery and results
A tummy tuck is a huge procedure in body terms, and you may need to spend several days under medical care in hospital. This includes intravenous drugs to help keep pain and infection at bay. Compression garments will need to be worn for about six weeks post-operatively.

You will be advised on the best activities, including movement to avoid deep vein thrombosis. Your recovery period is typically one or two weeks for the most important part, which is healing the tissue so you can move around. You’ll need to wait about eight weeks before any heavy lifting or exercise can be resumed, due to the muscles repairing themselves. If mesh was used, this goes up to 12 weeks.

Contact us to discuss your options.

*Results may vary from person to person

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