What is abdominoplasty?
Abdominoplasty or ‘tummy tuck’ is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to improve the shape and contour aesthetic of the abdominal wall (muscle and skin). The operation is undertaken to remove excess skin and fat, unwanted scars, stretch marks, and includes tightening of the muscle and abdominal skin. After pregnancy or significant weight loss it is quite common for there to be excess skin in the lower abdomen and muscle separation. Lower back pain and lack of core strength are commonly associated with this.
Abdominoplasty therefore offers improved contouring, core strength, cosmetic appearance and confidence in clothes and is a very positive procedure. Combining the abdominoplasty with liposuction to the waistline can enhance its effectiveness for some patients.
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and requires a one night stay in the hospital. Surgery requiring general anaesthesia is most safely conducted when patients are fit and healthy. General anaesthetic is unwise in patients who are unwell with viral illness or colds.
Who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty?
- When aging, pregnancy, prior surgery, or weight fluctuations leave the patient with extra abdominal skin and abdominal muscle weakness
- Sweating, dermatitis, and skin infections under the fold of excess skin
- Difficulty participating in sports
- Weakness of the abdominal wall muscles which creates a bulge when straining or lifting
- No surgery is offered for smokers as it affects wound healing an ay cause necrosis of belly button. This restriction applies to all forms of nicotine including patches, inhalers, vaping and nicotine chewing gum
- For the best results of a tummy tuck, it is optimal if you have a body mass index (BMI) as close to 25 as possible
What to expect from consultation?
You would normally meet Dr Mackenzie in her consulting rooms, and it is about assessment and the formulation of an operative plan specific to your abdomen. You should then have a cooling-off period before booking surgery
Post operative recovery
- 5-10 days until socialising with close friends and family
- 2-3 weeks post operatively until return to work and normal social engagements
- 3-12 weeks until swelling and bruising disappears
- 6 weeks of surgical garment
- 6-8 weeks until return to gym and other strenuous activities
- 3-6 months until final result
How long does the effect of abdominoplasty last?
Although the results of a tummy tuck are technically permanent, the positive outcome can be greatly diminished by significant fluctuations in your weight. For this reason, individuals who are planning substantial weight loss or women who may be considering future pregnancies may be advised to postpone a tummy tuck.
In general, abdominoplasty is safe and the results are entirely predictable, with an associated high degree of patient satisfaction. Nevertheless, no surgery is without risk.
The Consulting Suites
One Health Building
Level 2, 122 Remuera Road
Auckland, 1050, New Zealand
Phone: 09 522 0652
Fax: 09 522 0435