If your tummy isn’t as flat as you would like for it to be, you may have considered having abdominoplasty, or as it’s commonly called, a tummy tuck. While having this surgery can definitely improve the way you look in tight jeans or a swimsuit, don’t expect miracles. Here’s a realistic guide to abdominoplasty.

What a tummy tuck can do

Abdominoplasty can remove excess skin and fat as well as repairing stretched-out muscles resulting from pregnancy, ageing, weight fluctuations or heredity fat deposits. A tummy tuck can give you a smoother, flatter abdomen.

What a tummy tuck can’t do

While tummy tuck surgery can remove some stretch marks, it can’t get rid of all of them.

Abdominoplasty is not the lazy woman’s shortcut to weight loss. For the best results, the patient should already be at a healthy and stable weight before undergoing the surgery. If you’re planning to get pregnant in the future, this surgery should be postponed until afterwards.

Have realistic expectations

If you look at all those flattering photos in ads for plastic surgeons, you’d think that you could emerge from your abdominoplasty with the toned, flawless tummy of a swimsuit model. You need to have realistic expectations and your cosmetic surgeon should talk you through them.

The abdominoplasty procedure

There will be one incision made between the pubic line and the navel that will leave a scar at the bikini line. If you have a large amount of excess skin and fat, another incision will be necessary around the navel in order to reposition it higher on your abdomen. This is also likely to leave a scar.

Abdominoplasty cost

In Australia, a tummy tuck can cost from $6,000-$10,000. None of that will be covered by insurance unless your doctor considers it medically necessary to repair a condition like an abdominal hernia.

Down time after abdominoplasty

The average down time following a tummy tuck (or before you can drive and go back to work or other moderate activity) is 10 to 14 days. Full physical activity like exercise is permitted after six weeks.

Liposuction and other surgery

In some cases, abdominal liposuction can be more successful than a tummy tuck, so speak to your cosmetic surgeon about both options and which, if any, are best for you.

If you are considering getting other cosmetic surgeries like a breast reduction, these can sometimes be performed at the same time as a tummy tuck. Discuss your plan with a plastic surgeon.

Would you consider getting a tummy tuck?