Abdominoplasty can help remove loose skin and tighten weakened abdominal muscles that occur as a result of weight loss and gain or childbirth.
Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis are highly experienced tummy tuck surgeons in Sydney and Sydney’s South. Age, weight fluctuation and pregnancy can all contribute to a loss of abdominal shape and a bulging waist.
The kind of problems that a tummy tuck can help
- an unsightly sagging or bulging of the tummy, especially after having children or significant weight loss
- a failure to improve tummy contour despite weight loss and exercise
- thrush and sweatiness at the abdominal fold
- having difficulty in finding clothes that fit the tummy well
Abdominoplasty may help you get back to the shape and abdominal strength you are aiming for. During pregnancy, the rectus abdominus muscles, or “six pack” separate in order to allow the uterus and baby to grow. The muscles do not always return to their natural midline position after pregnancy. This leads to the waistline appearing wider and the abdomen bulging out, like you are still pregnant. A tummy tuck therefore removes loose skin and also tightens the abdominal muscles.
Abdominoplasty is an operation to improve the abdominal contour, and not primarily to help weight loss. The operation is more complicated (but mat still be possible) in patients who are smokers and diabetics and those who have major scars crossing the upper part of their tummy.
Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis will first meet you for your tummy tuck consultation at Kogarah or Miranda. During your consultation, our surgeons will listen to your concerns and goals. While abdominoplasty is a safe and commonly performed operation, the consultation will be performed with sensitivity to your opinions and thoughtfulness to your concerns. Any additional health problems that might affect your treatment will be identified. An examination of your body shape and tummy will follow.
We will then discuss the best course of action to address your concerns. Written information will be provided to you, so that you can consider your options. A tummy tuck is a major operation, so a second consultation to discuss the advice you are given will be arranged once you book in your surgical date.
Abdominoplasty is a spectrum of operations and can include liposuction, mini-abdominoplasty (removal of a small amount of skin and fat) or a total abdominoplasty (tightening of the abdominal muscle wall and removal of skin and fat), extended abodminoplasty (to remove hip bulges as well) , corset and fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty (to remove skin as a vertical ellipse from the central abdomen). Dr Kotronakis and Dr Sanki are tummy tuck Sydney specialists that are highly experienced in all techniques.
The operation involves a general anaesthetic and local anaesthetic to numb the muscles and wound for good post-operative pain relief. During a tummy tuck, an incision is made in the lower abdominal fold, so that the resulting scar will be neatly hidden under your pant line. The abdominal skin is then lifted off the underlying muscle layer. The belly button is separated from the tummy skin but kept attached to its underlying stalk. Once the abdominal skin and fat is lifted all the way to the rib cage, your surgeon can visualise and tighten any muscle separation. Your anaesthetist will then bend the bed into a V shape, allowing your abdominal skin excess to be removed. The skin edges are then closed in three layers of dissolving stitches. Drainless tummy tuck is possible in patients with minimal fat excess and normal body mass index.
A compression garment is provided for you and is usually worn for the first three to six weeks after surgery. It can be removed to have a shower and to check your wounds and healing.
Abdominoplasty is a major procedure, so we usually recommend some time in hospital after surgery. Most patients spend 2-6 nights in hospital after their operation. This gives you the best chance for a comfortable, safe recovery and a great result.
Liposuction removes fat from under your skin. A tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat from the lower tummy and tightens the underlying rectus muscles. In addition, liposuction is often used during a tummy tuck to help remove fat from the upper tummy and hip area to help improve your body contour. Liposuction can remove fat, but it does not remove skin. A good result from liposuction therefore depends upon the patient having very good quality, tight skin that will bounce back into shape after the fat has been removed.
Most people having a tummy tuck in Sydney are able to drive one week after surgery, can return to work after 3 weeks and can gently exercise after one week. You can perform stronger abdominal exercises eg heavy lifting, pilates after 6 weeks.
Dr Sanki and Dr Kotronakis are Kogarah and Miranda tummy tuck specialists, and perform their surgery at major hospital facilities including St George, Hurstville, Bondi Junction and St Luke’s private hospitals. We select our hospitals based on their high standards of peri-operative care and their outstanding surgical equipment.
Dr Sanki has an all female surgical team available weekly. Surgery can be a vulnerable time for women, and having the security of an all female surgical team can be comforting and reassuring. Dr Sanki’s team are not picked upon their gender, but are picked for their experience, dedication and skill.
You can usually use your private health insurance for an abdominoplasty if you have recently had a massive weight loss and are suffering from the resulting skin excess. Private health insurance usually pays for all your operating theatre and hospital costs, including the post operative stay. Medicare and your private insurance may also contribute to the doctors’ bills. You can call your health fund and see if you are covered. The Medicare Benefits Schedule codes that are likely to be used are 30165, 30174 or 30177, depending on which tummy tuck is right for you.
A tummy tuck may sound simple but it is real surgery, and should be performed with sophisticated surgical technique for the safest and best results. It carries real risks, and as such should be considered carefully. Fortunately, tummy tuck surgery in Sydney is safely performed by our highly experienced surgeons.
We recommend that you carefully consider your choice of surgeon. Unfortunately doctors without surgical qualifications beyond their medical degree are allowed to perform surgery. Your surgeon should be appropriately qualified with at least a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), which means that they have specialist surgical training. FRACS is the standard qualification required in Australia to perform surgery in private and public hospitals.
Members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons have a FRACS and specialised training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, including tummy tucks.
Our Sydney tummy tuck surgeons, Dr Amira Sanki and Dr Ilias Kotronakis are fully qualified Plastic Surgeons. They are both Australian University trained, having received Honours degree in their medical schools. They both have FRACS qualifications as Specialist Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. They both have extensive experience and training in abdominoplasty, including the most advanced and up to date techniques. They are committed to giving their patients the safest and best treatment available.
A consultation with a qualified Plastic Surgeon is the best place to get the right advice. More information on abdominoplasty is available online at the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons websites. You can view a video of the procedure there.
Plastic surgery, like any other surgical procedure, carries certain risks and potential complications. It is important for individuals considering plastic surgery to be aware of these risks before making a decision. Your plastic surgeon will explain the specific risks of your procedure and your risk profile in the context of your general health and the complexity of your procedure. Here are some of the common risks associated with plastic surgery:
1. Infection: Any surgical procedure has the risk of infection. Surgeons take precautions to minimise this risk, such as sterile operating environments and proper wound care, but infections can still occur.
2. Scarring: Scarring is an inherent risk of plastic surgery. While surgeons strive to minimise visible scarring, some procedures may result in more noticeable or keloid scars.
3. Pain and discomfort: Plastic surgery involves incisions and tissue manipulation, which can lead to post-operative pain and discomfort. The level of pain varies depending on the procedure and the individual’s pain tolerance.
4. Hematoma and seroma: Hematomas are collections of blood that can form under the skin after surgery, while seromas are collections of fluid. These fluid collections may require drainage.
5. Nerve damage: Nerves can be damaged during surgery, leading to temporary or permanent numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area. Nerve damage can also cause muscle weakness or paralysis.
6. Blood clots: Surgical procedures carry a risk of blood clot formation, particularly in the legs. Blood clots can be serious if they travel to other parts of the body, causing complications like pulmonary embolism.
7. Anesthesia risks: Plastic surgery usually requires the use of anesthesia, which carries its own set of risks. These include adverse reactions to anesthesia, breathing difficulties, and, in rare cases, life-threatening complications.
8. Unsatisfactory results: Plastic surgery outcomes may not meet the patient’s expectations or desires. It’s important for individuals to have realistic expectations and to communicate clearly with their surgeon about their goals and desired outcomes.
9. Revision surgery: In some cases, additional surgery may be required to achieve the desired results or to correct any complications or unsatisfactory outcomes. This can increase the financial and emotional burden on the patient.
10. Psychological and emotional effects: Plastic surgery can have psychological and emotional impacts, both positive and negative. While many people experience improved self-esteem and body image after surgery, others may struggle with unrealistic expectations, body dysmorphia, or dissatisfaction with the results.
It’s crucial for individuals considering plastic surgery to consult with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon who can thoroughly explain the risks and benefits specific to their desired procedure. Understanding and carefully weighing these risks against the potential benefits can help individuals make informed decisions about whether to proceed with plastic surgery.