What is a tummy tuck? Cairns Plastic Surgery explains

Washboard abs. Six pack. Lean, buff, sexy, and clean.

These are the kinds of words we think about when we’re slogging away at the gym or pounding the pavement on our evening jog.

No matter how much you work out or how well you eat, sometimes, it can be near impossible to reduce that stubborn abdominal fat.

You’re working out a couple of times a week.

Your diet is clean and you’re feeling great! The pounds are dropping.

So what else can you do to get rid of that annoying loose skin?

Tummy tuck surgery

Tummy tuck surgery is also referred to as abdominoplasty.

It’s a plastic surgery procedure designed to remove excess fat and skin from around the middle and lower abdomen below the belly button.

It can also help improve and define the contours of the hip and waist area, giving you an improved silhouette.

Types of tummy tuck surgery

Full tummy tuck

A full tummy tuck aims to repair abdominal muscles that may have stretched or lost their contour and tone during pregnancy or weight gain.

During a full tummy tuck, an incision is made around the belly button to isolate it from the surrounding skin. Once the skin has been pulled down and the ab muscles tightened, the belly button is repositioned in its natural spot.

Partial tummy tuck

Partial tummy tuck is also referred to as a “mini tummy tuck”.

It’s ideal for patients who suffer from localised fat or loose skin.

A small incision, similar to that of a caesarian, is made to achieve the desired results of a tighter and more taut stomach.

A mini tummy tuck is often a more suitable option for patients who only want to remove loose skin, not tighten their abdominals. If the latter is required, a full tummy tuck may be advised.

During a mini tummy tuck, the belly button is left untouched. Recovery following a mini tummy tuck is often faster than a full tummy tuck.

What makes a good tummy tuck candidate?

You may be an ideal candidate if you experience the following:

  • Protruding abdomen, particularly around the belly button
  • Abdominal muscles that have been stretched or weakened after pregnancy
  • Loose and sagging stomach skin with stretch marks
  • Stubborn fat that cannot be shifted by diet or exercise

You should also be in relatively good health, lead a healthy lifestyle, maintain a good diet, and be a non-smoker.

As with any type of plastic surgery, scars are a common outcome. Generally, scarring will fade over time. Sometimes existing scars (such as from a cesarean) will be removed and replaced with a new scar.

What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Generally speaking, liposuction is designed to eliminate excess fat. The skin has to retract back. Tummy tuck surgery removes unwanted fat and stretched skin.

Tummy tuck surgery is therefore a more suitable surgery for those who want to tighten the stomach and have a more taut midsection.

What’s involved in tummy tuck recovery?

It is critical that you allow the body adequate time to heal and recover following tummy tuck surgery.

Immediately following the procedure, you should walk while slightly crouched over in order to minimise any pressure on the suture lines. With time, you will be able to gently straighten out and eventually return to walking normally.

Sleeping can be a little hard to get used to: we advise propping your knees up with pillows (so the pillows are sitting against the shins) in order to reduce pressure during the night.

Your surgeon will provide you customised advice based on your specific circumstance.

During recovery, we advise organising a friend or family member to stay with you for a few days. They should help out with tasks like shopping, laundry, and cleaning. They should also transport you to and from your surgery.

Mini tummy tuck recovery is normally quicker.

Tummy tuck from Cairns Plastic Surgery

Cairns’ Dr Isolde Hertess has more than 20 years of experience in all types of plastic surgeries including abdominoplasty.

With a unique female perspective, Dr Hertess prides herself not only on her skill and experience, but her patient and caring nature.

Our entire team prioritises your safety, and are here to answer any queries you may have. There’s no such thing as a silly question!

First step? Chat with a Cairns Plastic Surgery nurse

We always advise prospective patients to take advantage of our complimentary meetings with one of the Cairns’ nurses.

During this no-obligation chat, we learn more about your desires, concerns, and lifestyle.

To book this FREE catch-up, please give us a call on (07) 4031 5755 or fill in this enquiry form and we will get back to you!

Can I see some tummy tuck before and after photos?

Click here to see our tummy tuck before and after gallery.