Cairns Plastic Surgery answers all your tummy tuck FAQs

  • tummy tuck

Are you tired of doing all those ab exercises and crunches almost every day, without result? Fed up with stubborn fat deposits?

If you want a firmer and flatter abdomen and a more contoured waist, and exercise isn’t getting you the results you want to achieve, don’t fret.

It’s still possible to get a toned and flat stomach. How?

The solution is a tummy tuck.

A tummy tuck (also known as abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin from your stomach area which results in a flatter lower and middle abdomen.

The procedure tightens the muscles in your abdominal wall, leaving you with a:

  • Flat stomach
  • More shapely abdomen
  • Narrower waistline

As with any plastic surgery procedure however, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into in advance.

No doubt, you’ve got plenty of questions of your own.

And that’s why we’ve written this blog!

The most common tummy tuck FAQs (and the answers!)

At Cairns Plastic Surgery, we’ve helped countless women get the body they want. In many cases, that has involved tummy tuck procedures.

Over the years, we’ve noticed a handful of questions pop up repeatedly when it comes to tummy tucks.

To save you some time, we’ve collated some of the most common in this FAQ.

Can’t find the answer to your question?

Book a complimentary information session with one of our nurses; during this chat we’ll find out a little more about what you want to achieve and advise you what tummy tuck surgery is right for you.

Am I a qualified candidate for a tummy tuck?

Before going through the procedure, it is important to know if you are indeed a suitable candidate for a tummy tuck. 

That’s because tummy tucks aren’t a cure-all – they can be effective for particular problems, and may not be able to help with others.

The first step is determining whether the shape you want to achieve can be reached using a tummy tuck procedure.

In addition to that, your plastic surgeon will also evaluate your health and make sure that you:

  • Don’t have severe underlying health issues
  • Have no plans of pregnancy in the near future
  • Understand that tummy tuck is not a weight loss program
  • Are a stable weight, and aren’t planning on losing weight in the near future
  • Don’t smoke

How many sizes can you lose with a tummy tuck?

It depends!

Some women report quickly going down a size – others say that they still wear their pre-op size, but that it’s slightly looser. There’s also the question of post-operative swelling.

In short, it all depends on the extensiveness of your tummy tuck, as well as how well the recovery goes.

As a general rule however, many women go down a size or too – just check out our tummy tuck before and after photos to see for yourself!

If you’re planning to go through this procedure, it is highly recommended that you lose as much weight as you safely can the conventional way first. 

What do I have to do after my procedure?

Look after yourself, simple as that.

After-care treatment following a tummy tuck involves:

  • Following post tummy tuck recovery instructions
  • Maintaining your ideal weight
  • Healthy diet and exercise
  • Not getting pregnant in the near future

Thankfully, most of these are pretty easy to follow!

What are the common side effects of a tummy tuck?

Setting reasonable expectations right from the start will help you prepare yourself from any risks and potential side effects of tummy tuck surgery.

So before you go through the procedure, make sure that you fully understand all the risks involved in tummy tuck. This might include:

  • Scarring
  • Numbness of skin
  • Skin discolouration
  • Throbbing pain
  • Swelling

There are several ways of reducing these side-effects. One is to improve your health as much as possible in the lead-up, exercising more and eating healthier.

Another is to choose the right surgeon.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose someone with trustworthy qualifications and certifications who can apply various techniques, as well as minimise the size and visibility of scars

What is the best garment to wear after a tummy tuck?

It’s tempting to slip into your favourite pair of loose trackies.

In our experience however, this can be harmful as they don’t give your stomach the support it needs during recovery.

We recommend holding off on that for a while in order to facilitate a better recovery.

So, what should you be wearing instead in the interim?

Allow us to introduce compression garments, also known as tummy tuck girdles.

Girdles and compression garments are made up of soft, cottony material that is comfortable on the skin and which don’t cause any irritation.

These garments:

  • Improve blood circulation
  • Minimise swelling
  • Flush out potentially harmful acids

What should you eat after a tummy tuck?

Post-tummy tuck surgery requires changing your diet to include foods that promote healing.

In particular, you’ll want to switch over to foods that are rich in antioxidants, protein and amino acids that lessen inflammation and strengthens one’s immune system – all of which can help repair cells and assist in the entire healing process.

Your plastic surgeon will also suggest supplements that you can take throughout the recovery period to further improve your chances of a successful recovery.

Tummy tuck before and after: what does it look like?

Like this!

View our gallery and get in touch with us if you require any more information. 

Can you exercise after a tummy tuck?

In a word, yes. But there are some rules to follow!

Speak to your surgeon to discuss your specific circumstances. 

When it comes to post-tummy tuck exercises, you should stick to light routines such as gentle walking. Going too hard can result in all sorts of physical strain and damage.

One should avoid heavy and vigorous exercises such as weight lifting, curls and hard cardio. 

We also suggest cutting out routines that heavily engage your abdomen, such as sit-ups, which might affect your healing and can even make the swelling worse.

tummy tuck before and after

How safe are tummy tucks?


As with all plastic surgery performed in Australia, there are strict guidelines and procedures that need to be followed during a tummy tuck. All of this ensures that the process is safe, and that no lasting damage is left.

There’s a catch, however – you need a fully-fledged plastic surgeon to carry out your procedure, NOT a cosmetic surgeon.

Yes, there’s a difference between them!

To become a plastic surgeon, applicants need to:

  1. Complete a medical degree
  2. Complete an additional 8-10 years in postgraduate surgical training
    1. Spend 2-5 of these years in surgical training
    2. 4 of these years should be in specialty plastic and reconstructive surgery training
  3. Register with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons

By contrast, becoming a cosmetic surgeon is as simple as completing step 1.

Learn more about the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery.

Thinking hard about tummy tuck surgery?

Talk to Cairns Plastic Surgery!

If you’ve been thinking about tummy tuck surgery, you’ve probably got a couple of questions, queries, and hesitations! The good news is that help is always available. 

If you’re new to the concept or simply want more information, don’t hesitate to contact to get all your questions answered by our friendly and experienced team.

Dr Isolde Hertess of Cairns Plastic Surgery has more than 20 years of experience in all types of surgery, including tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.

We guarantee that we put your health and safety as the top of our priority. Our caring and friendly team is always here to answer all of your enquiries with an eye towards women’s concerns – something that’s a relative rarity in this field!

Find out more about abdominoplasty – organise a no-strings appointment with one of our nurses today by calling (07) 4031 5755.

Alternatively, you can fill in this enquiry form and we will be in touch with you soon.