The Tummy Tuck Guide

November 2, 2017

Thinking about getting cosmetic surgery? Or better yet, an abdominoplasty AKA tummy tuck? Removing all of your unwanted excess fat and skin on your stomach. Sounds like a great idea.

However, before going through with the tummy tuck procedure, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of exactly what you’re getting yourself in to.

Firstly, what is the difference between Cosmetic and Plastic surgery?

 

  • Cosmetic Surgery
    Surgery performed on face/body, elected by the patient with a goal to enhance appearance.
  • Breast enhancement, Face / Skin Rejuvenation, Face / Body Contouring, Tummy tuck
  • Plastic Surgery
    Surgery performed on face/body to fix defects, trauma, burn or disease on the patient to achieve normal functions & appearance.

 

    • Breast reconstruction, burn repair, defect repair, hand surgery, scar surgery, Liposuction for the morbidly obese

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure of the removal of excess skin and fat around the stomach, tightening the abdomen wall at the same time. It is commonly performed on women after pregnancy, or after a significant weight loss, resulting in the skin on the stomach stretched and saggy. It creates a tighter, flatter, contoured abdomen area, also narrowing the waist.

In severe cases, the belly button may also have to be reconstructed. It is quite common that breast augmentations and tummy tucks go hand in hand, making over the whole frontal region of a woman.

Finances
So, now that you know the difference between the two types of surgery, it’s evident that tummy tucks are generally considered a cosmetic procedure. So what does this mean with regards to finances? Will my health fund cover it…?

No, often they are not covered or not fully covered. Health funds tend not to cover cosmetic procedures. Health funds are under more pressure to pay out fewer rebates on cosmetic and plastic surgeries and to charge higher fees based on certain conditions. Health funds will only cover the surgery if it is a medically necessary plastic surgery.

  • Breast cancer implant or removal surgery
  • Skin grafts
  • Liposuction due to being morbidly obese

Cost
So, now to find the money for your tummy tuck, what are the financial implications? How much will it cost me?

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons identified that the average cost of a tummy tuck is $5,798. This is only a rough price as it does not include additional fees you will endure.

  • Anaesthesia & Surgeon fees
  • Hospital fees
  • Medical test fees
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Prescription medication

Considering the procedures not covered by your health fund unless proven a medical need, this would only be applicable in the case of morbid obesity and liposuction is critical, it can be quite pricey.

Ensuring that you are in a financial position to be able to afford this procedure is essential. In the case that you’re accessing a loan to pay for the surgery, it’s important you are financially in a situation that allows you to pay off the loan and have researched cosmetic surgery specific loans.

The Procedure
Safety
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that a tummy tuck has one of the lowest complication rates but increases when combined with another procedure such as liposuction. Those with pre-existing conditions such as obesity or heart problems were more likely to see complications. However, despite it being a major surgery, the complication rate is at 3.1% with abdominoplasty alone a minimum which can leave you with some piece of mind.

Risks
However, like any other surgery, although risks may be small and unlikely, it is essential to be informed of potential what could go wrong.

    • Anaesthesia risk (reacting)
      • Obese patients are at medical risk when undertaking Anaesthesia; this is a problem if your undergoing stomach liposuction due to being morbidly obese
    • Fluid accumulation beneath the skin
    • Scaring
    • Healing implications (delayed wound healing, bleeding & risk of infection)
    • Asymmetry

 

  • Skin loss or numbness
  • Blood Clotting

 

Recovery
The recovery process can be different for everyone. An additional healing factor can also be how extreme you tummy tuck procedure was. However, the approximate recovery time is anywhere between 3-7 days limiting yourself physically.

Your body is going through a healing process, so it’s vital that you keep physical restraints to a minimum and avoid any strenuous activity, long-distance walking and no jogging or running.

Some people may like to apply ointment to the scared area to help with minimising scar damage. Some good scar removal products are Bio Oil, Revitol and BioCoreum Plus.

Still don’t know whether to do it?
After careful consideration of all points above and you’re not entirely convinced you to want to do it, don’t. It is best not to rush surgery, be patient; you can always get it in the future. You be able to simply burn belly fat through a healthy routine but If you suffer from obesity contact your local GP or a nutritionist to help aid you with weight loss before considering a tummy tuck.

 

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