Most of the tummy tuck patients I see are women who have had children, or women that have lost a lot of weight. Their tummy skin and muscles have been severely stretched, resulting in a loose floppy abdomen that can’t be tightened, no matter how much exercise is done.

Tummy tuck surgery is an incredibly powerful operation that recreates, and really reconstructs, the central core of the body, giving the whole body a more youthful and more healthy appearance.

What is a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) focuses on improving the shape and tone of your abdomen. It involves removing excess abdominal skin, using liposuction to sculpt the surrounding soft tissue, and tightening the underlying weakened abdominal muscles, creating a smoother, firmer, and more contoured abdomen.

There are several different types of tummy tuck surgery, ranging from mini-abdominoplasty, to full abdominoplasty, to massive weight loss abdominoplasty. Each type of tummy tuck has different benefits associated with it, a different recovery, and results in a different scar position. Dr Colbert examines your abdomen to ensure you are offered the right type of tummy tuck surgery for your body, helping ensure your results are as perfect as can be.

Is a tummy tuck right for me?

You might be a good candidate for tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) surgery if you:

  • Have excess skin or tissue around the tummy.
  • Have a loss of stomach muscle tone.
  • Are not planning to become pregnant in the near future.
  • Are in good health, including being weight stable.

What does a tummy tuck involve?

At a glance tummy tuck surgery involves:

  • Time in surgery: 3 – 4 hours.
  • Time in hospital: 2 – 3 nights.
  • Time off work: 1 – 2 weeks.
  • Time before driving: 1 – 2 weeks.
  • Time wearing a supportive garment: 6 weeks.
  • Time before exercise including gym: 6 weeks.

Dr Colbert rejuvenates and reshapes your abdomen by focusing on three main areas:

  • Skin removal: through an incision placed along the lower crease of your abdomen Dr Colbert removes excess lower tummy skin, creating a tighter and flatter abdominal shape.
  • Fat removal: Dr Colbert uses liposuction to sculpt the flanks, hips, and sometimes the lower back (360 degree tummy tuck), improving the contour and shape of your abdominal area.
  • Muscle tightening: Dr Colbert uses several layers of sutures to reposition and reenforce the abdominal muscles to their original position, improving your abdominal contour and shape.

What is the recovery after tummy tuck surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery takes between two and three hours, is performed under general anaesthesia (with you asleep), and involves you being admitted to hospital for two nights. Immediately after your surgery you are cared for by a dedicated nurse on the ward, with Dr Colbert reviewing you every day. Your wounds are dressed with a waterproof dressing, and two small silicon temporary drain tubes are used to help remove any extra fluid from the wound.

To help ensure proper healing it is important to take your time before returning to activities. Light activities (e.g. office job or light duties) can be recommenced after one to two weeks, while more strenuous activities and exercise can be gradually restarted after four to six weeks. Wearing a supportive garment for several weeks also helps to reduce post surgery swelling.

What are the risks associated with tummy tuck surgery?

While nearly all patients who have tummy tuck surgery have no significant complications, it’s important to discuss some of the potential risks that may be associated with the procedure:

  • Infection: sometimes inflammation or infection of the incisions may occur, and if so this is usually superficial infection that can be treated with tablet antibiotics.
  • Bleeding or haematoma: this refers to a collection of blood underneath the skin that may require removal in the operating theatre, and is very rare.
  • Thick scars: some sections of your scar may be lumpy or thicker that what is normal for a scar, however this usually improves with time.
  • Suture ‘spitting’: all the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures, and these can sometimes irritate the skin before they are dissolved.
  • Seroma: this refers to a collection of fluid underneath the skin, and if occurs it can be drained in Dr Colbert’s dressing clinic.
  • Delayed wound healing: some areas of the wound can take longer to heal. This is usually treated with dressings, or rarely more surgery may be required.
  • Blood clots: clots may form in the veins of the leg (deep vein thrombosis) and travel to the lung (pulmonary embolism) – while this is serious, it is thankfully very rare.
  • Abdominoplasty surgery is like any surgical procedures in that it carries risks – therefore before having any operation you should always speak to an appropriately qualified health practitioner about these potential risks.

Why should you see Dr Colbert for your tummy tuck surgery?

Many Perth women see Dr Colbert for tummy tuck surgery because they want expert care by a fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

  • Dr Colbert MBBS FRACS (Plastic Surgery) is an Australian trained and fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
  • Dr Colbert is one of only a few Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia who focuses exclusively on breast and body surgery.
  • Dr Colbert personally performs all surgery and aftercare himself, and doesn’t get surgical assistants or nurses to treat you during or after your operation.
  • Dr Colbert and his staff are renowned for their amazing patient care, delivered in a comfortable and stress-free environment.

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How much does a tummy tuck cost?

Costs associated with tummy surgery or abdominoplasty surgery can be very confusing. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.

  • Surgical fee: if you are troubled by excess tummy tissue and have lost significant amounts of weight then Medicare and your private health fund may subsidise your tummy tuck operation (item number 30177). Due to the nature of the operation there will be some out of pocket expenses, and Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation. A standard abdominoplasty surgical fee starts from $12000.
  • Anaesthetic fee: if you meet the criteria for tummy tuck item number 30177 then Medicare and your private health fund may also subsidise the anaesthetic fee. There will likely be an out of pocket gap to pay, however your Anaesthesist will discuss this with you before your operation.
  • Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras): Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.

More information on the cost of tummy tuck surgery can be found on our blog.

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Where can I find out more?

To arrange to speak to Dr Colbert about tummy tuck surgery please contact our friendly office staff.

Alternatively you can leave a message in our contact form.

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