How much is a tummy tuck in Sydney?
The surgical fee for a tummy tuck (full abdominoplasty) is $7200 + GST. There is also a fee for the anaesthetist and assistant. In cosmetic cases there is also a fee for the hospital and theatre costs (which on average for a 3-hour operation and 3-day stay are around $7000-8000). The total fee is therefore around $18000 – 20000.
Unfortunately Medicare changed the item number for abdominoplasty and this is now only available for patients who have lost a lot of weight (BMI drop greater than 5 points), and can demonstrate they have trouble with daily activity, have skin breakdown/rashes or other skin compromise due to their excess skin and fat, AND that this has not resolved after 3 months of non surgical treatments. In some patients, there may be a hernia of the abdominal wall and they may also qualify for a Medicare item number.
The advantage of a Medicare item number is that, with the appropriate level of health insurance, the health funds will pay the hospital and theatre fees associated with the procedure, no GST is applicable on the medical costs, and a small rebate is offered for surgical, assistant and anaesthesia fees. This reduces the out of pocket cost to around $8000-10000.
Tummy tuck surgery is not available in a public hospital.
What is a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck also called an abdominoplasty, is where the skin and fat of the lower tummy from the belly button all the way down to the groin crease and from hip to hip is removed. The remaining skin of the tummy above the belly button is lifted all the way to the rib cage, and the belly button is cut out and left where it was originally. The tummy muscles (rectus muscles) are tightened and their separation repaired. At the same time any umbilical hernias are repaired. The skin is then pulled tight, and the belly button takes a new position on the tummy skin although its physical position has not actually changed.
This procedure takes around 3 hours, and patients generally stay in a hospital for 3 nights. It produces a beautiful flat appearance to the tummy. In addition, there is now also a lot of evidence to say that this increases core strength, improves back pain and may help other things like urinary incontinence (leakage of urine when coughing).
What is a mini tummy tuck?
In a mini tummy tuck, a smaller incision is made along the groin crease. The main purpose of this operation is not to remove skin and fat, but to repair the six-pack or rectus muscles so that they come back to the midline, and improve core strength. A small amount of skin and fat can also be removed. This is the main difference to a full tummy tuck where ALL the loose skin and fat is removed – a mini tummy tuck is therefore not possible if you have a lot of loose skin and fat. In this case, a full tummy tuck is required.
Do I need a full or mini tummy tuck?
Everyone is on a spectrum, and it really depends on what you need to get you the flat tummy you are after.
For example, if you have a lot of loose skin, no amount of liposuction will help. In fact, by doing liposuction you can create more loose skin and this can look worse than where you originally started.
Contrastingly, patients with great skin quality and a mild amount of fat that doesn’t shift from diet or exercise may get away with liposuction alone.
Patients who have a small amount of skin that needs to be removed, but the main reason for surgery is that they need their six-pack or rectus muscles repaired (because for instance they were separated by pregnancy or weight gain and loss) will also probably best suit a mini tummy tuck.
How much for a mini tummy tuck in Sydney, Australia?
The surgical fee for a mini tummy tuck (mini-abdominoplasty) is $4500 + GST. There is also a fee for the anaesthetist and an assistant. Please note, a mini tummy tuck is always regarded as a cosmetic case so there is also a fee for the hospital and theatre costs (which on average for a 1.5-hour operation and overnight day stay the costs are around $3500-4000). The total fee is therefore around $10000.
Who is the best tummy tuck surgeon in Sydney?
You will never hear us gloat about ourselves, or claim that we are the best as we are just not that sort of plastic surgery practice. However plastic surgeon Dr Aggarwal performs many tummy tuck abdominoplasty procedures, and breast surgeries as this is an area of focus for his practice.
His interest is also breast reconstruction and breast augmentation using a patient’s own tissue, where the tissue usually discarded in a tummy tuck is actually transplanted to the chest for breast reconstruction. He will be able to show you many before and after photographs of the spectacular results our patients have achieved from this surgery.
Where can I find tummy tuck before and after photos?
Follow our social media pages (Facebook and Instagram – @modeplasticsurgery) as we post before and afters of our patients every week across all procedures that we perform in our practice. Targeted before and after photographs will be shown to you during a consultation with Dr Aggarwal – as not all before and after photographs are available on our website and social media pages to protect patient privacy and confidentiality.
Do tummy tucks last?
Yes, tummy tucks last!
This is provided that you maintain your weight. Major changes in the tummy area with pregnancy for instance, or massive weight gain or loss will undo all the work of having surgery. Obviously, things age as one gets older and some loose skin will be created, but overall the appearance will stand the test of time if a stable weight is maintained.
Our patients are generally men and women who have lost a lot of weight or women you have completed their families but multiple pregnancies left their core muscles weakened and separated, combined with an excess of skin in the tummy region.
What should I expect after a tummy tuck?
When you wake up your back and legs will be up, and you will be in a bent position to protect the tummy area as this is tight. There is usually a catheter in your bladder so you do not have to rush to the bathroom. You have pain pumps slowly infusing local anaesthetic in the tummy, and we usually place blocks of nerves during the surgery. In addition, the anaesthetist will chart you for lots of pain relief so most patients are very comfortable when they wake up from surgery and in the days after surgery.
The first two days are spent getting used to transferring out of a bed (hunched over), getting the catheter out, and walking hunched over. Most patients go home with drains, a binder on their tummy, and still walking with a slight hunch. We see patients in our rooms a week out from surgery, and again at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and then depending on how your progress is going. We will always see people at 3, 6 and 12 months to see long term results.
You are asked to not drive for 4 weeks (to avoid twisting motions of the tummy area to check blind spots or rear seat passengers such as kids), not lift anything heavy for 8 weeks and to wear the binder for 8 weeks, and resume gym at 3 months post surgery.
How long will it take for the incision to heal?
The scar from a tummy tuck heals within 2-3 weeks. During this time you will not be able to swim at a pool or a beach. The area remains swollen for several weeks and also numb for a few months.
How long will I need to wear a bandage after a tummy tuck?
We use waterproof dressings that are placed along the wound and stay in place for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Other than this no special dressings or bandages are required, and you often don’t need anything on the wound after it has healed.
You are allowed to start showering after a few days out of surgery, but not swim in a pool or beach until all the wounds are healed.
You will be required to wear an abdominal binder around the tummy which is like a corset. This helps support the tummy during healing but more importantly, it is a tool to reduce fluid collections under the skin where the surgery has taken place. We ask patients to reduce their activity and wear the binder for 8 weeks after surgery.
How long will it take me to stand up straight after a tummy tuck?
It takes one week to stand up straight after a tummy tuck. Initially, you will need to walk hunched over as the tummy area will be tight after surgery and each day you can sleep and walk a little straighter than the day before as the skin rapidly stretches. We ask patients to do everything slowly and deliberately especially getting in and out of bed, and in and out of chairs. Most patients are walking straight within 7 days from surgery.