Abdominoplasty Melbourne VIC

Abdominoplasty involves removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen (tummy) and tightening the muscles to improve the shape of the area. It is often referred to as a ‘tummy tuck’.

Common reasons why people consider having abdominoplasty

  • After pregnancy or having lost a significant amount of weight.
  • Desire to achieve a more pleasing shape including a defined waist.
  • Fit into clothes of choice.
  • Improve the shape of areas resistant to exercise and diet.

What is involved with abdominoplasty surgery?

  • General anaesthetic.
  • Surgery Duration: Two – three hours.
  • A wedge of tissue (skin and fat) is excised from the lower abdomen (tummy area) from just above the pubic hairline to about the level of the umbilicus (belly button). Generally the abdominal wall muscles are also tightened at this time. The final incision is placed just above the pubic hairline and extends from hip to hip. The resulting scar is similar to a longer caesarean section type scar with a second small incision around the belly button.
  • Drain tubes – These are not routinely used.


  • Patients most commonly require a hospital stay of one – two nights.
  • Generally you will feel a little uncomfortable for a few days.
  • Gradually increase mobility and activity; generally back to most normal day to day activities at two weeks.
  • Most people allow three weeks off work; however, you may require additional time if your job is more physically demanding – this can be discussed with your surgeon.
  • Able to drive when feeling comfortable.
  • No heavy lifting/exercise for two weeks e.g. avoid gym, aerobics, running.


Mr White will see you in hospital after your surgery and/or prior to your discharge from hospital.

Post-operative visits with Mr White:

  • Approximately one week after surgery
    – At this stage Mr White will make sure that you are well and the wounds are healing nicely.
  • Six weeks post-surgery review
    – At this time you will have a better idea of what the final result from surgery will be like. If all is progressing well, Mr White will give you the all clear to resume normal activities.
  • 12 months – If there are any concerns you will be seen more frequently.

If there are any concerns you will be seen more frequently.

Surgical goals

  2. Tighten abdominal/muscle wall.
  3. Treat hernias and divarication (muscle separation).
  4. Decrease excess skin and fat.
  5. Produce a more pleasing waistline.
Mr White explains the difference between liposuction and abdominoplasty

Before deciding to have an abdominoplasty, you should consider the following

  • No desire for any further children.
  • Stable weight.
  • If you are a smoker: STOP Smoking.
  • Generally fit and healthy.This procedure is NOT designed to achieve weight loss but rather recontouring of the figure.

Alternatives to surgery

  • No surgery or delaying surgery.
  • Liposuction – generally if good skin tone and limited excess skin.


Anaesthetic – In otherwise well people, general anaesthesia is very safe with modern techniques. Mr White’s rooms will give you the details of your anaesthetist prior to surgery to discuss any specific concerns.

Bleeding/Haematoma – This may need a return to the operating theatre to evacuate a blood clot. This can impact on wound healing or skin survival. Infection in the wound – If this does occur, can usually be cleared up with antibiotic tablets.

DVT/PE (Deep venous thrombosis/pulmonary embolus) – Blood clots that are potentially very serious and even life threatening, which can form in the legs and travel to the lungs. Multiple strategies are employed to minimise the risk of these occurring.

Wound healing issues – Stretch marks may not all be removed or new ones may be created. Gathers in the wound are often present at either end. These settle over several weeks to months in the majority of cases but sometimes may need a small revision often under local anaesthetic. Initially there is almost always some contour issues or puckers. These settle down in most cases over several weeks.

Scars – Typically are at their thickest and reddest at 6-10 weeks after surgery. Scars continue to mature and improve for up to 18 months after surgery. Scar management advice will be discussed in your follow up visit with Mr White to assist in achieving the goal of a thin, barely noticeable scar. Note: The resulting scar is across the lower abdomen from hip to hip and designed to be hidden by most underwear/bathers as well as a small scar around the umbilicus (belly button).

Asymmetry – The scars may be slightly different on your right compared to left side.

Wound separation/delayed healing – This is much more common in smokers or if there is an infection.

Skin necrosis/loss – Very rare complication and almost only seen in smokers. If it does occur it needs significant aftercare, possibly more surgery and even skin grafting in the most extreme cases.

Seroma – Clear/straw like fluid that can collect following surgery. Usually it settles down with no intervention but if persistent or large may require drainage in the rooms (sometimes on several occasions) or even a drain tube to be inserted.

Numbness – Almost always occurs in the skin of the abdomen. Generally settles down over weeks to months.


What is an abdominoplasty?

An abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, is a procedure in which excess fat and skin is removed from the lower abdomen, while the abdominal muscles are tightened in order to improve the overall shape of the area.

Why consider an abdominoplasty?

The procedure is often an effective option for those who would like to achieve a more pleasing shape and defined waist, and for those who would like to improve areas that have proven resistant to diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty produces good results on patients who would like to get rid of some post-pregnancy fat, or those who have lost a significant amount of weight and would like to get rid of excess skin.

How does abdominoplasty work?

During the surgery, which generally takes two to three hours to complete, a wedge of tissue (including both fat and skin) is removed from the lower abdomen, just above the pubic hairline to the level of the belly button. The muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened, and a final incision is made from one hip bone to the other, just above the pubic hairline. Patients can expect some scarring in this area following surgery, as well as near the belly button.

How much time should I take off work after an abdominoplasty?

In general, you should take about 2 weeks off from work to sufficiently rest and heal. However, this does also depend on the type of work you do. If your work involves strenuous physical activity, you may need to take off a little longer.

At what age can I get an abdominoplasty?

There is no set age for getting a tummy tuck, but it is most often done after a woman has given birth and does not plan to have more children, or after someone has lost all the weight he or she intends to lose. It is highly unlikely that anyone below the age of 18 would receive a tummy tuck.

Is there a lot of swelling after an abdominoplasty?

You can expect some swelling after this type of surgery. The amount of swelling is variable and differs from patient to patient. This swelling should go down after a few weeks.

What are some of the risks associated with tummy tuck?

Some of the risks include:

  • Bleeding – If this occurs, it will require a return to the operating theatre
  • Scars – These are usually at their thickest around 6-10 weeks post-surgery. Scar management advice will be given during the consultation.

Can a tummy tuck be used to remove post-pregnancy fat?

Yes. A tummy tuck can be effective in removing the excess fat from pregnancy as well as removing excess skin.

If I have a tummy tuck procedure, can I head home straight after?

Since the tummy tuck procedure is performed in hospital, it is commonly recommended that you stay in hospital for at 1 -2 nights. This will be discussed during your consultation.

Abdominoplasty Melbourne

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us today by calling (03) 9895 7631 or filling out our contact form.

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