Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

About Abdominoplasty

Commonly known as the “tummy tuck”,  Abdominoplasty surgery can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding or flabby abdomen. This is a major surgical procedure which removes excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and tightens the muscles of the abdominal wall.

The most effective results are achieved in patients who are in overall good shape, but are bothered by loose abdominal skin that won’t respond to diet or exercise.

The surgery is particularly helpful to women who, through pregnancy/ies, have significantly stretched abdominal muscles and skin.


The surgery involves excision of the excess skin and fat below the belly button. In most patients, there is usually enough excess and loose skin that this can be excised and then the skin at the level of the belly button is re-draped to come down to meet the skin at the top of the pubic hair. This means most of the scar can usually be concealed below the bikini line.

The belly button stays where it is on the abdominal muscles and is brought out through the new skin position. This will leave a scar around the belly button.

Liposuction is usually carried out in conjunction with an abdominoplasty to help create a more balanced outcome. Liposuction helps to contour the abdomen mostly on the sides (hips and flanks) and also the upper abdomen.

NOTE: See Liposuction procedure page for more information on this surgery


Who are the best candidates for a tummy tuck?

Patients who benefit the most from a tummy tuck are bothered by the feeling that their tummy is too large but are realistic about their expectations from surgery. They are physically fit and healthy with a stable weight and are non-smokers or have stopped smoking.

Who is a tummy tuck not appropriate for?

If you may fall pregnant in future or plan to lose a lot of weight you should delay the procedure until your weight is likely to remain stable in the long term.

A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss or an exercise program and we do point out to candidates to consider that whilst the results of the procedure are technically permanent, any result would be greatly diminished by significant future fluctuations in weight.

What is a mini tummy tuck?

Patients who present with good abdominal tone and only moderate fat excess in the lower abdomen only, do not usually need a full tummy tuck as the abdominal muscles do not require repair.

A mini tummy tuck is where the upper abdomen and abdominal muscles are not operated on and the belly button does not need repositioning, thus, being less extensive.

Recovery periods and the scar are much shorter than for the full tummy tuck, but note that this procedure is not an option for most patients.

Will the procedure leave any scars?

Although scars are the inevitable result of any surgery, every effort is made to make the scars as inconspicuous as possible. Usually, scars can be hidden inside the bikini line where they are easy to conceal.

What are drains?

Drains are plastic tubes sometimes inserted at the time of surgery to decrease the chance of fluid or blood collection in the wound post-surgery. We don’t usually use drains for tummy tuck surgery.

We have found that with meticulous control of bleeding at the time of surgery, drains are not required. When used, drains are uncomfortable and can be a contributing factor to increased stay in hospital.

Will my health fund provide cover for a tummy tuck?

Not necessarily. If your tummy tuck is considered medically necessary it will attract a medicare item number and then your health fund may provide cover for it. We can help you work this out once you have had your consultation.

Will I wear a special garment post-surgery?

Yes. You will be provided with a girdle to wear for approximately six weeks post-surgery.

How long is my recovery post-surgery?

Abdominoplasty surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, usually with a few nights in hospital followed by two to four weeks recovery time off work.

Wearing a supporting girdle during the recovery period helps optimise results and most patients are able to return to vigorous exercise after about six weeks.

NOTE: There is often a feeling of tightness in the lower abdomen and there is usually an area of diminished sensation for several months after surgery.

Medical terms

Abdominoplasty: The medical term for a “tummy tuck” – the surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen

Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness

Diastasis: Condition in which abdominal muscles have separated

Pannus: A large apron of fat causing dermatitis, skin infection, &/or difficulty in walking

Apronectomy: A surgical procedure to remove a large apron of fat (pannus)

Haematoma: Excess blood accumulation beneath the skin

Seroma: Excess fluid accumulation under the skin


Our Surgeons & Anaesthetists charge out-of-pocket fees for surgery done in the private hospital.

Because the length and complexity of the different surgical techniques are so vast, you will be given an estimate of costings after your consultation.

For more information on fees and rebates please visit the fee section on the FAQ page.

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Randwick Plastic Surgery