Tummy Tuck Procedure, Recovery and Tummy Tuck Cost in Australia
Is a Tummy Tuck for You?
Regardless of your diet or the amount you exercise, for some of us, the dreaded tummy ‘spare tyre’ also unflatteringly called, ‘muffin top’ can be a stubborn and depressing problem for both women and men.
There are a variety of reasons why a tummy can be persistently loose. A pregnancy, or substantial weight loss, as well as other medical and genetic reasons can make it impossible to reduce excess skin and fat in the abdominal area. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) in conjunction with liposculpting can be an effective procedure that removes persistent and unwanted excess skin and fat.
The Yummy Mummy Makeover – With a Tummy Tuck
A tummy tuck is popular with both men and women, but it is mothers who are the largest cohort enjoying the benefits of this procedure. Multiple pregnancies can result in the separation of the rectus (abdominal) muscles and this can cause a weakening of your core, creating an unattractive tummy bulge.
Specialist plastic surgeon, Dr Dilip Gahankari has vast experience in addressing this issue for mothers effectively. Often the Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) procedure is also accompanied with liposculpting, resulting in the best possible outcomes. It is recommended mothers plan for their tummy tuck surgery only when they know they won’t be having any more of those beautiful babies.
What are the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty Procedure?
The reasons to have a tummy tuck – and the benefits of this procedure, vary widely. An abdominoplasty tightens muscles that may have become loose or split following pregnancy, the procedure can also remove excess skin from the abdomen for those that have lost substantial weight. It is important to realise that a tummy tuck is not a substitute to a healthy diet and exercise, but it can be a wonderful supplement for those that find this region of the body difficult to improve without surgical support.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Benefits Can Include:
The appearance of the abdomen to create a firmer, flatter and smoother profile. Improvement to both the shape and the tone of the tummy area.
The restoration of any weakened or separated muscles.
Alleviation of any associated pain with separated muscles.
Improved stress incontinence caused by weak core-strength due to muscle separation.
Improvement of irritated skin and any skin infections caused by excess skin.
Possible reduction of some stretch marks (in the treated areas).
Reduction of lower backache caused by weakened core-strength due to muscle separation*.
*A recently published multicentre Australian study of which Dr Dilip Gahankari has contributed to, has suggested possible benefits of improvement of stress incontinence and lower backache in post-pregnancy abdominoplasty.
What Does the Tummy Tuck Procedure (Abdominoplasty) Involve?
The abdominoplasty procedure involves an incision at the lower abdomen. Dr Dilip Gahankari also performs liposculpture during abdominoplasty procedures to further contour the tummy and the hip area, creating the best possible ‘sculptured’ results, while also reducing the length of the scar.
Tummy Tuck Recovery
It is important to know that we are all different and that includes how we recover from any surgery. Dr DilIp Gahankari will discuss your surgical options and recovery times at your initial consultation to give you a clearer idea of how long your recovery may take.
As a rough guide, you can return to work and light exercise after three weeks, and to your normal life after six to eight weeks (but still avoiding anything strenuous effecting the abdominal wall). Again, fuller and more personalised details regarding this procedure will be explained to you by Dr Dilip Gahankari during your initial consultation.
Tummy Tuck Recovery Tips Include:
Prepare yourself, get excited and go into surgery in your best possible health – while maintaining a healthy weight prior to surgery.
Follow all the directions given to you by Dr Dilip Gahankari for your best recovery.
Prepare in advance your transport, medication and any help required at home.
Take all medications as directed by Dr Dilip Gahankari.
Manage your expectations. Everyone is different but expect some discomfort. Know that the more you look after yourself in the pre-surgery and recovery period, the sooner you will be out and about, enjoying the results of your Tummy Tuck procedure.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost?
It is important to understand that everyone is different, including their physical circumstances, health and expectations. First, you will need a referral from your GP to see Dr Dilip Gahankari. During your initial consultation, the recommendations specific to you and the costs will be outlined and discussed.
Medicare or private fund benefits may be applicable for you, subject to your private fund’s coonditions and the fulfillment of the Medicare criteria for the Abdominoplasty procedure. Medicare will provide a modest rebate if you satisfy the weight loss criteria introduced in 2016 (see below).
Does Medicare Cover a Tummy Tuck?
To claim the Medicare item number (30177) for a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) procedure you will need to demonstrate a number of physical characteristics:
You have had significant weight loss defined as 5 BMI points or more (unrelated to pregnancy).
For women this would mean a weight loss of at least 15kgs or more, without weight fluctuations for at least six months.
If you have a hernia which can be documented in an ultrasound – it can also assist in seeking coverage.
The level of excess skin is interfering with your daily living.
The use of non-surgical treatment for skin irritation caused by excess skin has failed to work for you.
Gold Coast plastic surgeon, Dr Dilip Gahankari is an experienced abdominoplasty surgeon and will determine if the tummy tuck procedure offers you the best possible result to suit your personal circumstances and expectations.