Abdominoplasty, commonly referred to as a ‘tummy tuck’, is a procedure to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall and to remove excess skin and fat.
The most common reason for getting this procedure is loose, sagging skin and/or fat on the abdomen. Abdominoplasty is commonly performed on women after pregnancy, but it’s also performed on both women and men who have undergone considerable weight loss. Skin inevitably becomes stretched when it is required to accommodate a pregnancy or significant weight gain, and sometimes the skin cannot regain its shape, resulting in sagging or an ‘over-hang’. The rectus abdominis muscle (your ‘abs’) also becomes stretched during pregnancy and can become ‘slack’ with significant weight gain.
Unfortunately, the only way to correct these conditions is with surgical intervention.
It is important to distinguish abdominoplasty from liposuction, and to determine which procedure is appropriate for you. While both procedures will remove excess tissue from your abdomen, liposuction will only remove excess fat – it will not tighten any muscle or remove any excess skin. Sometimes a liposuction procedure is incorporated with an abdominoplasty to ensure an ideal result.
There are two types of abdominoplasty:
You will wake after your surgery with dressings over your surgical site/s. Depending on the nature of the procedure you may also wake up with drainage tubes coming from your surgical site. These are removed with little discomfort when Dr Timms feels they are ready to be removed after your surgery. Nurses looking after you are trained to ensure that your recovery is smooth and that you are as comfortable as possible postoperatively. Our clinic nurse is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have whether you are recovering at home or within the hospital setting.
Dr Timms undertakes regular ward rounds, so he will be monitoring you very closely postoperatively.
Your anaesthetist will have prescribed medication for you to keep you comfortable – you will have pain relief medication prescribed for you for discharge also.
An appointment will be made for you to be reviewed by Dr Timms nurse in the rooms 7-10 days after your surgery. This appointment is usually arranged for you at your consultation appointment with Dr Timms. Sometimes it is arranged by the nursing staff that discharge you from hospital. This depends on the nature of your procedure and the duration of your stay in hospital.
A soft surgical grade compression garment is usually indicated for breast, body and some facial procedures. These garments are to be worn for 24/7 for six weeks and can be removed for showering. These are specialised garments and we will advise you where to purchase these garments, how to wear the garments and what type you require when you book your procedure with Dr Timms. Many garments are claimable via your private health insurance depending on your level of cover and whether your procedure is medical or cosmetic.
You will need to be prepared to avoid driving for a period of anywhere between 1-3 weeks post surgery. The duration of this time depends on the nature of your surgery, medications you are taking for pain relief and your level of confidence behind the wheel post-surgery. It is advisable that you refrain from heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for 6 weeks.
Most activities can be recommenced after your 6 week review with Dr Timms.