An abdominoplasty, or ‘tummy tuck’, is a procedure aimed at removing redundant abdominal tissue, tightening the abdominal wall muscles, and reshaping the appearance of the abdomen. These issues usually occur after pregnancy or major weight loss. An abdominoplasty targets issues relating to:
- Rashes that can occur under abdominal wall folds
- Abdominal wall weakness
- Unsightly appearance
Dr Perron is a body contouring specialist and tummy tucks are just one of the procedures that he offers to both men and women.
Tummy Tuck Surgery
The goal of reshaping the abdomen, tightening the abdominal wall and eliminating the excess abdominal tissue starts with being in good health and fitness prior to surgery. If you plan on losing weight, aim for a weight that you consider ‘ideal’ before considering an abdominoplasty. Being in shape before this procedure will ensure an ideal outcome and quicker recovery. Patients should also ideally be non-smokers, as smoking can slow down the healing process. Lastly, setting realistic expectations is a must before pursuing this type of surgery. Dr Perron will help you set realistic expectations about what can be achieved during your consultation.
This procedure usually takes a couple of hours to complete and is performed under a general anaesthetic.
During the surgery, Dr Perron will make incisions above the pubic area, below the belly button. This will allow him to remove excess skin and fat and repair the abdominal walls using permanent sutures. Thereafter, the incisions will be closed and drains may be inserted to remove any excess fluid after surgery.
In some cases, you may need to stay in hospital after the procedure for a few days to recover. Drains may need to stay in for a few days after you leave the hospital – these can be removed in the rooms. You will need to wear a post-operative garment for several weeks to aid healing and ensure the best possible outcome.
The recovery time for an abdominoplasty can be variable. For most people, it will be a few weeks before normal activities can be resumed. Exercise should be limited to walking, or inclined walking, for the first few weeks. A gradual introduction of lower impact exercises can be introduced as directed. Walking and movement in the first few days after the tummy tuck surgery will help prevent blood clots, DVTs and lung complications such as pneumonia. Dr Perron will provide you with specific aftercare instructions after your surgery to ensure your recovery is both smooth and comfortable.
As with any operative procedure, there are risks involved with abdominoplasty. The most common complications associated with surgery, in general, are minor bleeding, infection, wound healing problems, and some pain. The specific risks associated with a tummy tuck include the following:
- The scar around the umbilicus
- Feeling tired for some weeks after the procedure
- A long scar
- Scaring problems
- Swelling on the lower part of the abdomen
- Fluid collection
- Numbness around the lower part of the abdomen
- Loss of some abdominal tissue due to poor blood supply
Not everyone is a good candidate for an abdominoplasty. Dr Perron can discuss your specific circumstances and expectations, and help you decide on the best option
Tummy Tuck Before and After Gallery
Abdominoplasty patients of Dr Justin Perron
Often, men and women choose a tummy tuck because they cannot get rid of excess fat deposits or loose skin through their diet and exercise. Indeed, some fatty deposits can be stubborn, despite the hours you spend in the gym. It’s also not possible to get rid of loose skin after significant weight loss because it has already become stretched. This can mean that men and women who manage to lose weight remain feeling self-conscious due to excess skin. This is where abdominoplasty can help. It is also a surgery that can be good for after pregnancy if patients are struggling to restore their pre-pregnancy body.
Since a general anaesthetic is used, patients won’t experience any pain during surgery. Dr Perron will also do everything possible to ensure a patient is as relaxed as possible prior to their procedure. Patients should prepare for the fact that the abdominal area will feel tender after surgery – the area may also be swollen. Any pain and discomfort that is experienced can be managed with pain medication.
A lot of patients are concerned that having a tummy tuck will cause permanent scars that are noticeable across their skin. While the incisions that need to be made will inevitably leave a scar, Dr Perron tries his best to make the incisions in areas where they can be hidden. This is usually where there are folds and creases in the skin. It can also be below the bikini line. In addition, scars will always fade over time, which will make them less prominent. Dr Perron will provide you with guidelines after your surgery that will help keep scarring to a minimum.
Right after surgery, the stomach can be tender and slightly swollen. It is important to be patient and realise that your results will not be immediate – they will take some time. Your abdominoplasty results will gradually reveal themselves over time, which means you will see improvements at different stages. The swelling around the stomach should have subsided completely after six weeks and you can expect to see your final results after about three months. Any scars that you have from surgery can take around one year to fade and become less noticeable. However, the final results are always worth the wait.
After having a tummy tuck, you will notice that any loose skin you had before is gone – this will be removed during surgery. Your stomach should also be more toned and firmer when you look in the mirror. With a flatter stomach and tighter skin, patients will feel more comfortable with their appearance, especially after going through life-changing experiences such as pregnancy or significant weight loss.
Yes, the results of a tummy tuck are permanent. This means that you can enjoy being rid of excess fat and sagging skin forever. However, it should be remembered that your lifestyle can affect the results of abdominoplasty. For example, if you become pregnant or gain weight, this can affect the results that you have achieved. That is why it’s always best to be at your ideal weight before you have surgery. This way you can enjoy your results over the long term. Also, you should try your best to maintain the same weight after surgery to ensure you get the most from your procedure. The last thing you want is to reverse the results.
A tummy tuck starts at about $6,000, but since this is such a personalised procedure, the cost can vary quite significantly between patients. For one, not all patients will need to have their abdominal wall repaired and remove excess skin and fat. Medicare will not cover the costs of a purely cosmetic surgery. However, if the abdominoplasty is performed for medical reasons, some of the costs could be covered by both Medicare and private health insurance. Dr Perron will discuss this option with you during your consultation.
There are a few key differences between these two procedures. For one, a mini tummy tuck requires a smaller incision, while a traditional tummy incision runs from hip to hip. In terms of what can be achieved, a mini tummy tuck will only address excess skin and fat. If the abdominal wall muscles need to be repaired, a traditional tummy tuck is a better option. As you can imagine, the recovery time required for a mini tummy tuck will be slightly shorter too.
Abdominoplasty is very often combined with other procedures – it can form part of a body lift or a mummy makeover. If there is more than one concern that you would like to address, speak to Dr Perron about the possibility of scheduling a combination surgery. Keep in mind that this will affect the cost as well as the surgery and recovery time required.
If you are considering a tummy tuck and wondering if liposuction will be enough, this will depend on whether excess skin is a concern. If you simply want to get rid of a few stubborn pockets of fat but your skin is still fairly elastic, liposuction might be enough to achieve your desired outcome. If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and want to remove stubborn fat, you will need a tummy tuck to address any excess skin. Dr Perron can give you a better idea of your best options during your consultation.