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Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)

Your complete guide and quick links to everything you want to know about Tummy Tuck Surgery in Sydney! ​

What Is Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Tummy Tuck Surgery, known medically as an Abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that offers both men and women the opportunity to improve their abdominal shape by removing excess skin and fat, and deliver a slimmer, more toned profile by tightening the underlying abdominal wall muscles. The dramatic change in shape not only improves the abdominal appearance from all angles in clothes and swimwear, it also prevents skin rashes and skin infections that can result from the loose folds of skin rubbing against each other.

An additional bonus is that it can also remove many, if not all, the stretch marks on the lower abdomen.

Tummy Tuck Surgery is often sought by both men and women after major weight loss, or by women left with stretched abdominal wall muscles and loose skin after pregnancy.

Who Is A Good Candidate?

There comes a time for many when they realise that dieting and exercise will never correct a protruding and ‘overhanging’ abdomen.

If you are one of those, you could prove a good candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery provided that:

  • You have an excess of abdominal skin and fat.
  • You are in good general health with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • You do not smoke. Smoking impairs the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before the surgery.
  • You do not have diabetes.
  • Your weight is stable and you are not grossly overweight.
  • Your abdominal protrusion is not solely or predominantly due to an excess of intra-abdominal fat around your internal abdominal organs.
  • You have finished having children. The muscles that are repaired during a Tummy Tuck could separate again with a further pregnancy.
  • You do not have scars from previous abdominal surgery that could affect your suitability.

Patients with other significant health conditions could be at a greater risk of complications during and after surgery and therefore would require a full medical assessment before being considered for Tummy Tuck Surgery.

Patients considering Tummy Tuck Surgery must realise that the procedure is for excess skin and fat on the outside of their abdominal wall. While Tummy Tuck Surgery is effective in removing excess skin and fat located in front of the abdominal wall muscles, it cannot access and remove deeper fat that is located behind the abdominal wall.

Accordingly, if there is excess fat on both the outside and inside of your abdominal wall, Tummy Tuck Surgery can still be done but it will only remove the excess skin and fat in front of your abdominal wall, in which case you will achieve an improved abdominal profile but not a flat profile because of the excess fat still present inside your abdomen.

Varieties of Tummy Tuck Surgery

There are a number of different types of Tummy Tuck Surgery that can achieve a slimmer, firmer and toned abdomen along with a narrower waistline.

Naturally, however, the one that is best for you can only be determined after a detailed physical examination by our Specialist Plastic Surgeon and will basically depend on the amount and location of your excess skin and fat. 

The different forms of Tummy Tuck Surgery are as follows:

1. Mini Tummy Tuck

Mini Tummy Tuck  Surgery may be all that is needed if the loose skin is confined to the lower abdomen. The incision is strategically located below your ‘bikini line’, the excess skin is removed, and the lower tummy muscles are tightened if required to produce a ‘flatter’ lower abdomen. This form of tummy tuck surgery may also remove some, if not all, stretch marks on your lower abdomen.

Watch Our Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery Animation Video

2. Full Tummy Tuck

A Full Tummy Tuck is required when there is a significant excess of loose skin and fat on the front of the abdomen.

The excess can be large enough to produce an ‘overhang’ or ‘apron’, and there may also be a significant separation of the abdominal wall muscles.

The incision across the lower abdomen extends from hip to hip but is largely hidden under your ‘bikini line’. The excess skin with its underlying fat is then lifted off the abdominal wall muscles right up to the lower ribs, detaching the navel in the process.

The stretched abdominal wall muscles are then sutured together, the excess abdominal skin removed, and the skin incision closed.

Finally, the earlier detached navel is relocated to its new and correct position. Relocation of the navel does leave an additional small scar around the edge of the navel, but this is usually very inconspicuous.

Tummy Tuck Steps
The 'Full Tummy Tuck' Technique
The Final Result

Watch Our Full Tummy Tuck Surgery Animation Video

3. 360° Body Lift (also known as 360° Belt Abdominoplasty, Belt Lipectomy, and Circumferential Abdominoplasty)

  • Whereas a Full Tummy Tuck is confined to removing excess skin on the front of the abdomen, a 360° Body Lift is continued around the back to also remove loose skin on the the hips and lower back.
  • A Full Tummy Tuck also tightens any abdominal wall muscle separation while a Belt Lipectomy usually does not.
  • A 360° Body Lift can also lift the buttocks and outer hips. 

A 360° Body Lift may be the preferred technique if your loose skin and fat are confined to your lower abdomen, hips, flanks, and lower back.

Pattern of Incisions & Skin Removal in a ‘360° Body Lift’
(also known as a ‘360° Belt Abdominoplasty, ‘Belt Lipectomy’, or Circumferential Abdominoplasty)

4. 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck

This form of Tummy Tuck Surgery is designed for much larger skin removals in those who have lost extreme amounts of weight.

Both the ‘Full Tummy Tuck’ and ‘Fleur de Lis’ techniques involve a long horizontal incision from hip to hip under the ‘bikini line’. However, the ‘Fleur de Lis’ adds a vertical incision in the midline of the abdomen from pubis to just under the ribs.

The advantage of the added vertical incision is that it enables a larger amount skin to be removed from the sides and front of the abdomen, plus it allows increased access to ‘tummy muscles’ for extra muscle tightening – the benefits being a flatter abdomen and a narrower waist than can be obtained with a ‘Full Tummy Tuck’.

Pattern of Skin Removal in 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery

5. Corset Tummy Tuck

Similar to a ‘Fleur de Lis’ Tummy Tuck’, but with an additional horizontal incision across your upper abdomen under your breast folds. This enables the skin to be pulled both upwards as well as in from the sides.

It realigns and tightens the abdominal wall muscles in a way that delivers an even tighter waist and hourglass shape than any of the other techniques.

Think of the pattern of incisions as a capital letter ‘H lying sideways.


Before & 4 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + 360° Liposuction + Fat Graft to Buttocks Following Massive Weight Loss

How Is a Tummy Tuck Done?

  • Depending on the type of Tummy Tuck, the surgery will take anywhere between 1½ hours to around 4 hours.
  • You will be given a General Anaesthetic by our Specialist Anaesthetist to render you fully asleep and not feel any discomfort.
  • If indicated, your doctor may commence with some gentle liposuction to reduce the amount of fat under the skin of the areas that will not be removed. Adding liposuction, when indicated, does deliver a more impressive final shape.
  • Skin incisions are made along the pre-operative markings consistent with the design of your ‘tummy tuck’ surgery.
  • The excess skin and fat are then lifted off the underlying muscles. With the skin lifted, the stretched abdominal wall muscles are accessed and tightened with sutures. 
  • Once muscle tightening is complete, the excess skin and fat are pulled down to the level of the initial incision and removed.
  • If the navel has been detached in your design of Tummy Tuck, an opening in the skin is then created for the freed navel to be anchored in its new and correct location.  
  • Two clear plastic drainage tubes are usually inserted through the skin below the main incision. These surgical drainage tubes are designed to prevent collections of blood and fluids forming under your skin.
  • All incisions are then sutured.
  • Dressings are applied over your sutured incisions and over those, your Post-Operative Abdominal Binder garment. 

Recovery After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Although you won’t feel any pain during the actual surgery, the early recovery period can be uncomfortable. Your doctor will prescribe pain-relievers to help you through this initial period.

Surgeons differ slightly in their post-operative protocols but the following information provides a general outline of what you can expect during your recovery period.

  • Returning Home
    • After Mini Tummy Tuck: You may not need to stay in hospital. If so, ensure that someone can drive you home and be with you for 24-48 hours after your surgery.
    • After Other Tummy Tucks: You will need to stay in hospital for 2-3 days.
  • Swelling & Bruising are normal and expected after any abdominoplasty. The amount varies from person to person but whatever its amount, it largely clears within 3 weeks. Swelling and discolouration of the genital area sometimes occurs after abdominal surgery and is due to blood and fluids released during the surgery gravitating downwards under the skin. It is of no concern and will disappear completely.
  • Surgical Drains
    • After Mini Tummy Tuck: You will need to have someone drive you to the clinic to have these removed – usually on the 2nd or 3rd post-operative day.
    • After Other Tummy Tucks: The drains will be removed before you leave the hospital.
  • Assistance: You must have a responsible person to assist you in the week after you get home. During the first week, you’ll probably find that you’re walking ‘hunched over’ but thereafter you’ll be able to straighten up more and more each day.
  • Ambulation: Early but gentle walking is essential to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (Leg Clots).
  • Sutures are usually removed by day 14.
  • Returning To Work: This depends on several factors: the type of Tummy Tuck Surgery you’ve had, your type of work and your post-operative progress. Discuss this with our Plastic Surgeon prior to booking your procedure. If you can take more than 2 weeks off work do so, as it just gives you that extra time to get your energy levels back.
  • Compression Garment You must wear your Abdominal Binder and then your Post-operative Compression Garment for a total of 6 weeks. This must not be removed except when you need to use the toilet or have a shower.
  • Physical Activities / Exercise: After removal of your sutures, you can progressively resume your normal, non-vigorous, daily activities. Gentle exercise commencing 6-8 weeks after surgery is the safest approach. However, exercise, no matter how gentle, should not be undertaken if it causes discomfort. Instead, wait another couple of weeks and then try again.

Scars After Tummy Tuck Surgery

The locations of your incisions and final scars will depend on the design of your Tummy Tuck Surgery.

Interestingly, when our patients are asked whether they would prefer to keep their excess skin to avoid the surgical scars, they always choose to accept the scars in return for the dramatic improvements of shape, comfort, and lifestyle activities that Tummy Tuck Surgery can provide!

Typically, all Tummy Tuck Surgery scars are initially pink but then progressively fade and become white and less noticeable over time. However, raised, lumpy or pigmented scars are a risk if you have had similar scars from previous surgeries. Pigmented scars are also a higher risk in brown or Asian skin.

Potential Risks & Complications of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Surgery and anaesthesia nowadays are considered generally safe but both have potential risks and complications and these include:

Specific to Tummy Tuck Surgery:

  • Pain and discomfort around the operated areas.
  • Hematoma (a collection of blood under the skin) which if large, may require a return to theatre for drainage.
  • Wound infection requiring topical wound care and antibiotics.
  • Areas of skin numbness around the incisions, which are usually temporary, rarely permanent.
  • Initial difficulty in standing up straight because of the tightened skin but this progressively improves as the skin stretches.
  • Seroma (excess fluid accumulation under the skin) requiring one or more aspirations.
  • Slow or poor healing of the incisions. More likely in smokers and diabetics.
  • Areas of skin that don’t heal or break down which could require skin grafting.
  • Wide or thickened scars (hypertrophic or keloid) could occur if you are prone to them, and pigmented scars are more likely in those with brown or Asian skin.

General Risks:

  • Allergic reaction to medications, sutures, dressings, or antiseptic solutions.
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) and its potential to cause life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism. To reduce the risk of DVT, Calf Massagers can be applied for the entire duration of your surgery to prevent the blood in your leg veins from pooling and clotting.
  • Adverse Reactions to Anaesthesia or Medication: The safety of anaesthesia nowadays in Australia is well established. Nevertheless, potential risks exist with all anaesthesia and unexpected reactions can occur. These may include nausea, vomiting, and allergic reactions ranging from minor to severe. Respiratory failure, heart failure, heart attack and stroke are rare but documented risks of any general anaesthesia.

‘Pros & Cons’ of Tummy Tuck Surgery

The Pros:

  • Tummy Tuck Surgery will remove your excess skin and fat, and the tightening of the abdominal wall muscles will flatten your abdominal profile to deliver a slimmer, firmer, and better-contoured abdominal shape.
  • Your new body shape will look infinitely better from all angles in clothes and swimwear.
  • A Tummy Tuck will also remove any lower abdominal scars (e.g. from Caesarean Section, Hysterectomy etc) as well as some, if not all, stretch marks on your lower abdomen.
  • You’ll be able to choose clothes more freely as you won’t need to choose outfits that have to accommodate a large and protruding abdomen.
  • Tummy Tuck Surgery can change your body shape permanently provided you do not gain a lot of weight or fall pregnant. 
  • You may be eligible for a partial Medicare Rebate if your abdominal changes meet Medicare’s criteria of eligibility. If you do qualify for a Medicare Item Number, and you also have Private Hospital Cover, you may also be able to claim a variable portion of your Hospital Fees depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.

The Cons:

  • All Tummy Tucks are extensive forms of surgery and need to be performed under General Anaesthesia with most varieties requiring a 2-3 day stay in hospital followed by around 2 weeks of downtime or time off work.
  • Full recovery can take months. In contrast, a Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery, being a shorter operation, has a quicker recovery period and may not require any hospital stay. 
  • As with any surgery, there are risks and potential complications as listed above.  
  • You will have permanent scars, but every attempt is made to locate them where they can be hidden by underwear or swimwear.
  • Don’t expect to lose a lot of weight from a Tummy Tuck as it is body re-shaping surgery, not a weight-loss procedure. The weight lost only reflects the weight of the excess skin and fat that were removed.

Tummy Tuck Surgery ‘Before and Afters’

Full Tummy Tuck Surgery

3 Months After Full Tummy Tuck Surgery
12 Months After Full Tummy Tuck Surgery + Muscle Repair
12 Months After Full Tummy Tuck + Muscle Repair
3 Months After Full Tummy Tuck Surgery, Muscle Repair, & Liposuction (Dr Sepehr Lajevardi)
6 Weeks After Full Tummy Tuck Surgery
Following Massive Weight Loss

360° Body Lift

6 Months After 360° Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)
6 Months After 360° Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)
6 Months After 360° Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)
6 Months After 360° Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)
6 Months After Extended 360°Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)
6 Months After Extended 360° Body Lift (Dr Anthony Barker)

'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery

7 Weeks After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
6 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
6 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
3 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
+ Bra Strap Wedge Excision
3 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
+ Bra Strap Wedge Excision
3 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
3 Years After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery
6 Months After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery + Muscle Repair
6 Weeks After 'Fleur de Lis' Tummy Tuck Surgery

Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery

4 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + 360° Liposuction + Fat Graft to Buttocks Following Massive Weight Loss
4 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + 360° Liposuction + Fat Graft to buttocks Following Massive Weight Loss
8 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + Bra Strap Excision
3 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery
+ Bra Strap Wedge Excision
6 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery
+ Bra Strap Wedge Excision
6 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + Hernia Repair
(complex case due to multiple previous surgical scars)
6 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + Hernia Repair
(complex case due to multiple previous surgical scars)
6 Months After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery + Muscle Repair
Before Weight Loss, After Weight Loss & After Corset Tummy Tuck Surgery
(Dr Sepehr Lajevardi, Specialist Plastic Surgeon)

Tummy Tuck Surgery Plus Liposuction

Liposuction is often added to a Tummy Tuck procedure in order to:

  • Enhance the final result by reducing any excess fat in the remaining body areas.
  • Deliver a slimmer result by removing excess fat from the hips and waistline areas.

The Cost of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)

Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide even an approximate total cost for your surgery until you’ve had a consultation because the type of Tummy Tuck required will depend on the design of Tummy Tuck Surgery your body requires. This will determine how long the surgery will take, and in turn the Hospital Costs and Anaesthetist Fees.

The total cost of Tummy Tuck Surgery is made up of the following individual costs:

  • Surgical Fee: This will depend on the type of Tummy Tuck required.
  • Hospital Fee: Hospitals differ in their Operating Theatre Fees and Accommodation charges for post-operative stays. Our Plastic Surgeon will advise you of your approximate hospital costs once it has been determined how long your procedure will take and how many days you will need to stay in hospital.
  • Anaesthetist Fee: This too will basically depend on the duration of your surgery. Anaesthetic Fees are generally around $880/hour.
  • Post-Operative Compression Garments

Can I Claim a Medicare or Private Health Insurance Rebate?

You may be eligible to claim a partial Medicare Rebate if your abdominal changes meet Medicare’s criteria of eligibility.

If you do meet Medicare’s criteria, and you also have Private Hospital Cover, you may also be able to claim a variable portion of your Hospital Fees depending on your Fund and Level of Cover.

Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons

Terms & Conditions

  • Consultations must be pre-paid at time of booking.
  • Once pre-paid, all consultations are non-refundable and non-transferable but can be moved to another date with at least 3 working days’ notice.
  • Cancellations with less than 3 working days’ notice and ‘no shows’ are not refundable or transferable and will incur a new consultation fee to re-book.
  • All payments by Credit Card & Debit Card attract a 0.3% surcharge and Amex a 1.5% surcharge.
  • The Medical Board of Australia’s new Regulations which came into effect on 1 July 2023 require that:
    • All patients seeking a consultation regarding cosmetic surgery must provide a referral and the referral must be from a GP or other specialist who does not perform cosmetic surgery or non-surgical cosmetic services themselves.
    • If a patient arrives without a referral, the Regulations recommend that the doctor should refrain from seeing the patient – in which event, any pre-paid consultation fee would be lost.

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Our Cosmetic Doctors

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Our Specialist Surgeons

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Our Liposuction Doctors

Dr Kenneth Brito, Cosmetic Doctor

Dr Sepehr Lajevardi, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

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