Got questions about Tummy Tucks?

Tummy Tuck |  Dr Eddy Dona

Wed 19th May 2021

We frequently get all sorts of questions when patients first inquire about Abdominoplasty surgery, more commonly known as a Tummy Tuck. In this Q&A article, we will be answering many of the questions you might have regarding tummy tuck surgery. Of Course, if you are considering having a tummy tuck, the best way to answer all of your specific questions is to book a consultation with Dr Dona. Everyone’s body is different, and every tummy tuck procedure can differ depending on the person. During your consultation, Dr Dona will provide you with all the relevant information for your specific tummy tuck procedure and answer any questions you have. There is also a complimenting video if you would prefer to watch Dr Dona answer all of the below questions in video format. For more information, please call us on 1300 373 662 or email us at [email protected], and we will be happy to answer any further queries that you may have.

Tummy Tuck Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Tummy Tuck surgery cost?

Unlike more standardised fee operations, such as breast augmentation. We do not have a standard fee for tummy tuck procedures since there are so many variables that need to be taken into account. The time taken to perform a tummy tuck for Dr Dona can vary anywhere from 2 to 5 hours, depending on the individual. Of course the more complex procedures will cost more. Secondly, the total costs can vary significantly whether you have private health cover and if they will cover your hospital costs. Which is a substantial part of the total out of pocket costs for a tummy tuck. Unfortunately, without assessing someone with an in-person consultation, we are unable to provide them with a precise quote. By booking a formal consultation, Dr Dona can assess your specific situation to provide you with an exact cost for your tummy tuck surgery based on your body and private health insurance status. There is also a medicare rebate available providing that you meet their specific criteria. For more information regarding the cost of tummy tuck surgery, please take a look at our article on Tummy Tuck Pricing.

Can you have a tummy tuck if you have other scars on your tummy? (e.g. caesarean scar, other tummy surgery)

Post-pregnancy is one of the most common reasons why a patient may want a tummy tuck. Dr Dona removes the caesarean scar by making the incision along or below the scar when performing a tummy tuck. Many people have asked Dr Dona if having a caesarean scar complicates the surgery. Scar tissue makes the surgery a fraction more difficult but will not complicate the surgery. The same is for any other scars along the belly, such as those from previous abdominal surgeries. Removing these unappealing scars is also a great bonus to a having tummy tuck.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction? Which is better?

There is no better, they both have different applications. A tummy tuck removes excess skin and the associated excess fatty tissue. Liposuction is classically known as liposculpture, which is used surgically for removing stubborn pockets of fat. Liposuction can be very beneficial, providing that it does not create an excess skin problem. Dr Dona often makes the analogy of tummy tuck surgery like tailoring a dress. “When your body goes through a change such as pregnancy or extreme weight loss. Your skin does not always shrink back down to your new shape, leaving you with excess skin. We tailor your skin to suit your new body by removing the excess skin just like you would tailoring a dress or a suit”.

Will you get liposuction at the same time as your tummy tuck?

For many tummy tuck procedures, Dr Dona uses liposuction along the sides of the stomach to help sculpt and enhance the waste line. Dr Dona usually will apply minimal liposuction along the front of the belly during a tummy tuck procedure. Performing liposuction too close to an incision can damage the blood vessel needed to support the wound in the healing process and significantly increases the risk of postoperative wound complications. After six months, it is perfectly safe to further enhance the sculpting from the tummy tuck procedure using liposuction.

Are stretch marks removed with a tummy tuck?

Stretch marks are scars caused by the skin being stretched faster than what it can keep up with. Stretch mark scarring is often a result of pregnancy or weight gain. Depending on their genetic makeup, some women can gain a moderate amount of weight and may not experience any stretch mark scarring. Whereas some women may get stretch marks from only amount small weight gain. A tummy tuck procedure will remove many, if not all stretch mark scarring around the abdominal area.

Will a tummy tuck correct muscle separation (Diastasis recti)?

Tightening the abdominal muscles is a routine part of most tummy tuck procedures. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are forced apart, and they don’t always spring back together post-pregnancy. During your operation, the abdominal muscles will be brought together and tightened from top to bottom. In some cases, the sides will also be tightened up. Tightening the abdominal muscles will help flatten the belly and tighten the waistline.

When repairing muscle separation, how tight can you make it?

While Dr Dona does tighten up the abdominal muscles quite tightly with several layers of internal stitching, there is a limit to how much the abdominal muscles can be tightened safely. Large amounts of visceral fat, which is the internal fat around your internal organs in the abdominal area, can restrict the amount of muscle tightening that can be performed. The only way to lose visceral fat is through exercise and healthy eating.

Can a hernia be repaired during tummy tuck surgery?

Abdominal wall hernias, especially around or within the belly button are extremely common. In most cases, they are noted before surgery. Dr Dona will repair any abdominal wall hernias during surgery by closing up the hernia and tightening the muscles around it.

Should you get a belly button hernia repaired before a tummy tuck?

In most cases, Dr Dona will recommend against getting a hernia repaired beforehand if you are planning to have tummy tuck surgery. The most common way that a general surgeon repairs a hernia can significantly increase the risk of a belly button not surviving a tummy tuck procedure. We would recommend that Dr Dona repairs your hernia during your tummy tuck procedure.

What is the ideal weight before having a tummy tuck?

The ideal weight for a tummy tuck is the weight that you are. Given that your weight is stable and not going to fluctuate. When a larger person has extra weight and a more prominent fatty apron, this can be a debilitating medical problem. They need to be treated and surgically reconstructed accordingly to resolve the issue. It does need to be considered that performing surgery on someone with a heavier weight can increase the risk of anesthetic and surgical complications. Dr Dona will not reject or make a larger patient go off and lose a bunch of weight before performing surgery if they are in surgical need of a tummy tuck procedure. There is no “perfect” weight for tummy tuck surgery.

Why do some people still have a “big belly” after a Tummy Tuck?

One of the most common reasons why someone might still have a “big belly”, especially around the top of the stomach, is that they still have quite a lot of visceral fat. Visceral fat is the internal fat around the organs in the abdominal area. Unfortunately, this fat can only be lost through lifestyle changes such as healthier eating and exercise. Whilst a tummy tuck procedure will make a significant difference to the top and bottom of the abdominal area. Heavier patients may still have quite a lot of visceral fat. This can result in the top of the belly still looking larger. Before & After surgery, it is also important to maintain posture and exercise your abdominal wall muscles to achieve the best look from your tummy tuck procedure.

Is the pubic area lifted during a Tummy Tuck (Men & Women)?

Lifting the pubic area is a standard part of most tummy tuck procedures. Having a lot of excess fatty tissue can cause the genitals to sag down relatively low in both men and women. A tummy tuck procedure will also pull up your genital area (Penis or Vagina) back up to where it is supposed to be in its prominent position.

Will you go home with drains after a Tummy Tuck?

No! You won’t be going home from hospital with any drains still attached. When you wake up from surgery, there will be two plastic tubes going into your abdominal wall, which are drains.

What is the pain like after a tummy tuck?

Tummy tuck operations are a major procedure. Like any major procedure, you will experience a moderate amount of pain postoperative. Whilst you are in hospital, you will be monitored and given as much medication as required to keep on top of the pain. When you go home, you will be given some strong prescription medication to keep you as comfortable as possible in the early stages of the recovery process.

What is the recovery like post-tummy tuck?

You will go home two to three days after surgery with waterproof bandages protecting the incision wound and wearing a compression garment. Since everything has been tightened, including the abdominal muscles. You will find that you are pretty hunched over for the first few weeks after surgery. You can expect to be resting around the house for the first two to three weeks, but by six weeks, life will be starting to return to normal. At six months, life will have returned to normal, and you will be able to enjoy your transformed body completely.

When can you start driving after a tummy tuck?

Unfortunately, you won’t be driving anytime in the first two weeks following your procedure. After two weeks following your tummy tuck surgery, you will be able to start driving again if you feel safe to do so. You may still be quite hunched over at this point, so it might take an extra week or two.

When can you get back to work after a tummy tuck?

If you are doing light office duties, you will be able to return to work after three weeks. You will need to wait at least six weeks for more strenuous workloads. After six weeks, your body will have settled into its new form more, and you will be able to attempt most things. Likely, you will still experience some pain at this stage, but you will be able to test the waters to determine what you are able and unable to do. After some more time and gradual progression, you will be able to return to a more strenuous workload. Dr Dona will advise you when you should return to work depending on the level of strenuous activity you undertake.

When can you start exercising/sport after a tummy tuck?

You will need to wait at least six weeks before returning to exercise, besides light walking. At the six week mark, you will be able to begin returning to exercise by starting slowly and gradually building up intensity week by week.

When can you have sex after a tummy tuck?

One of the biggest questions that everyone is curious to know but too shy to ask is how long after surgery can you have sex again? You can have sex again whenever you like. But for the first six weeks following surgery you will need to avoid any active movements involving your abdominal muscles or having your abdominal area grabbed/touched. This means that you will need to be taking a very passive role in sex during the first six weeks.

How long does swelling last after a tummy tuck?

Swelling after surgery is completely normal, especially after a major operation such as a tummy tuck. This will take a while to go down. You will be wearing a compression garment for the first six weeks, which will assist in reducing swelling. From three to six months following surgery, you will have a degree of swelling which will go down with time.

Why do some patients (from other surgeons) end up with ugly belly buttons after a tummy tuck?

Getting a belly button to look natural after a tummy tuck can be quite challenging for many surgeons. There are some techniques that other surgeons may use which result in the belly button looking fake or deformed. Dr Dona has perfected his own technique to achieve a natural-looking belly button during tummy tuck procedures. While saying this, a small number of patients may scar badly or have issues with the wounds healing around the belly button. With Dr Dona’s technique, the vast majority of patients Dr Dona has performed surgery on over the years have ended up with a great looking belly button.