Mini-Abdominoplasty Sydney North Shore

A mini abdominoplasty can offer a range of benefits for those looking to improve the appearance of their stomach area. Unlike a full abdominoplasty, which has a longer recovery time and leaves a larger scar, a mini abdominoplasty is a less invasive procedure that primarily targets the lower part of the abdomen. This means that there is less scarring, less downtime, and usually a quicker recovery period. A mini abdominoplasty can also help to tighten and tone the abdominal muscles, resulting in a flatter and firmer looking stomach.

Overall, the benefits of a mini abdominoplasty can be both cosmetic and practical, allowing you to feel more confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Mini-abdominoplasty involves the excision of loose skin and fat from the lower tummy or abdomen but not to the same extent as a conventional tummy tuck. In addition the underlying muscles are tightened, and any hernias are repaired. This can produce a beautiful, flat shape to the tummy.

Women seek mini abdominoplasty surgery to:

  • Wear tight fitting clothes that may otherwise reveal the loose skin they find embarrassing
  • Wear swimwear they want to wear
  • Feel confident and feminine
  • Restore shape of their tummy after pregnancy and child rearing, in particular the separation of their rectus muscles
  • Remove skin that cannot be addressed through fitness training

The best candidates for mini abdominoplasty are women who:

  • Have some loose skin and fat but not enough for a conventional tummy tuck
  • Have completed their families
  • Are physically and mentally healthy
  • Have a stable weight for at least 6 months (ideally 12 months)
  • Have realistic expectations, and are willing to accept the scar of a mini-abdominoplasty

Mini-Abdominoplasty may not be suitable for women who:

  • Have significant amounts of loose skin and fat that requires a conventional abdominoplasty, or a more extensive body lift.
  • Have not completed their families i.e. Are still planning more children
  • Have not lost the weight they want to lose
  • Have fluctuations in their weight
  • Are very overweight or obese (BMI >35)
  • Have multiple medical problems
  • Have multiple scars on their tummy, or have had a gallbladder removal through a large incision (open cholecystectomy)
  • Are on blood thinning medication
  • Are actively smoking
  • Will not accept the scar of a mini tummy tuck

Women who have mini-tummy tucks are generally some of the most satisfied patients as results can be outstanding.

Some women chose to combine mini tummy tuck surgery with:

  • Breast Surgery
    • Breast Augmentation
    • Breast lift/Reduction
    • Augmentation-Mastopexy
  • Liposuction
  • Facial cosmetic surgery.

For more information on other procedures please read the other sections of this website.

At MODE, Dr Aggarwal will guide you through the planning of surgery and help decide which procedure is best suited to achieve your goals.

Procedure Snapshot
  • Anaesthetic: GA by accredited anaesthetist
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Duration of stay: 1-2 night stay in hospital
  • Hospital: Usually Hunters Hill Private Hospital.
  • Medicare/Health fund rebate: Mini-Abdominoplasty for cosmetic reasons does not attract debates.
    • Part of the abdominoplasty cost is rebateable if you have a symptomatic umbilical hernia.
  • Recovery: Most people stay in hospital overnight, and may go home with a drain in their tummy. Patients start walking hunched over and by the end of the first week they are starting to walk almost straight. Heavy lifting or exercise is disallowed for 8 weeks and strenuous exercise for 3 months. For 8 weeks you will be required to wear a binder (which is like a corset) over the tummy. You can shower after 48 hours, but avoid swimming in a pool or beach for 2-3 weeks until all wounds have healed, and all drains are out.
  • Results: One of the most satisfying procedures for patients but it is important to note that results vary from patient to patient.

Cosmetic Concerns

  • If you are overweight, you should try and reduce as much weight as possible through diet and exercise. Abdominal fat is generally very responsive to this, and losing weight also makes you fitter and healthier, and therefore a better candidate for surgery should you wish to pursue this.
  • If you have significant amount of loose skin and fat that is not responding to exercise the only option is to surgically excise this in a tummy tuck procedure, and therefore have the long scar. Unfortunately any surgical procedure will result in a scar.
  • Patients with only a small amount of loose skin and fat, may be candidates for a mini-tummy tuck – click here to read our section on mini tummy-tuck. While there is a scar it is shorter than that for a conventional tummy tuck and also avoids the scar around the belly button.
  • This is a common concern for women presenting to Mode Plastic Surgery.
  • During pregnancy the belly expands to accommodate the expanding uterus and foetus. Part of this process involves expansion of the abdominal or tummy wall, and therefore the rectus muscles separate.
  • It is variable to what extent this separation repairs itself after pregnancy and unfortunately no amount of fitness training or exercise will completely repair the separation.
  • During a mini tummy tuck procedure we excise some of the excess skin and fat just above the pubic area. Through this incision we lift the skin all the way up to the rib cage, and carefully tighten the muscles and correct their separation. This provides a beautiful definition to the waistline and much flatter tummy.
  • The muscle repair however is one of the main reasons for restricting activity after a tummy tuck and wearing a binder, as they layer on top of the muscles (called the fascia), is slow to heal and scar, and takes at least 8 weeks to strengthen.
  • An outie belly button can be due to the presence of an umbilical hernia.
  • All umbilical hernias are repaired at the time of tummy tuck surgery and should be able to produce a more normal appearance to the belly button.
  • However the larger the hernia, the more the blood supply to the belly button can be at threat when combined with a tummy tuck. In very large umbilical hernias it may be necessary to remove the belly button altogether and come back to reconstruct it in the future after the tummy tuck and repair of hernia procedure.
  • If you have a symptomatic umbilical hernia, you may qualify for a partial rebate of abdominoplasty surgery.
  • The decision of which scar will be employed depends on the amount of loose skin and fat.
  • In a mini tummy tuck the incision is significantly smaller than a conventional tummy tuck.
  • However if you do have significant loose skin and fat it is better to make the scar longer rather than shorter.
  • This is because shorter scars can result in dog ears at either end of the incision line which creates an obvious contour problem noticeable through clothes. Longer scars achieve better contours and can be hidden under clothes or swimwear.
  • It is a common request to remove the excess fat around the sides during a tummy tuck procedure
  • Depending on the amount of fat and skin present around the sides there are different options:
    • It is probably the most common to combine tummy tuck with liposuction of the love handle area which can achieve excellent results in most patients
    • The scar can be extended to go around the sides – this for patients who not only have excess fat but also excess skin around the sides
    • Body Lift Procedure – this is needed when excess skin and fat goes all the way around and is generally needed for patients who have lost a lot of weight.

Procedure Information

The procedure is always performed under general anaesthesia given by an accredited anaesthetist in a fully accredited and licensed facility (usually one of the North Shore’s premier private hospitals). The procedure takes one to two hours and most patients will spend 1-2 nights in hospital.

  • A scar is placed just above the pubic hair line and is much shorter than a conventional abdominoplasty procedure.

Mini Tummy Tuck Options

  • The skin of the tummy is lifted all the way to the rib cage.
  • The belly button is kept with the skin of the tummy, but disconnected from underneath to allow access to the area between the belly button and the rib cage
  • The tummy muscles (rectus muscles) are tightened and their separation repaired. At the same time any umbilical hernias are repaired.
  • The amount of skin to be removed is then calculated, and after it is removed, the incisions are closed. The belly button takes a new position slightly lower down from where it was initially positioned.
  • If there is any suspicion for hernias in your tummy or you have had multiple previous abdominal operations, you may be sent for an ultrasound or CT scan, but this is not routine.
  • Either no drains or a single drain is used at the end of this surgery.
  • Dr Aggarwal will place waterproof dressings over the incisions.
  • When you come out of surgery you will be in bed with your back and legs up.
  • You will be able to walk hunched over (as the tummy will be tight).
  • You will be able to get all areas wet after 48 hours. However you will not be allowed to swim in a pool or beach for at least 2 weeks after surgery.
  • You will be given a script for antibiotics by Dr Aggarwal which you must continue for 1 week or until all drains are removed. You will also be given appropriate pain relief medications.
  • When you go home it is best to have someone look after you as you recover.
  • While most sedentary activities can be resumed when you go home, you must lay low and not exert yourself. You will also not be allowed to do any heavy lifting or exercises for the first 8 weeks. During this period you will also be required to wear an abdominal binder (resembles a corset).
  • Dr Aggarwal will see regularly after your discharge from hospital.

Risks & Complications

Every surgery carries risks, and therefore one must consider if risks outweigh the benefits for your own personal situation. If they do then the surgery may be well worth it. Dr Aggarwal will discuss the pros and cons of surgery with you during your consultation.

  • Risks of anaesthetic – there are general risks of going under an anaesthetic such as a mild stress on the heart and lungs, risk of reaction to anaesthetic drugs and risk of blotting in the legs. These risks are generally low in patients who are otherwise fit and healthy.
  • Bleeding (1-2%) – any bleeding is controlled during surgery however unexpected bleeding can occur in the immediate postoperative period. If this occurs it will necessitate a return to theatre to control the bleeding.
  • Infection (<1%) – this is very rare. However you are given antibiotics during induction (when you are going to sleep), as well as a course of oral antibiotics after your surgery to keep this risk to a minimum.
  • Seroma (2-5%) – A mini tummy tuck raises a large flap of skin which must then scar to the underlying fascia and muscles. This ‘injury’ causes the body to respond with accumulation of fluid, and there is a large potential space in which it can build up. Either drains are inserted during surgery to remove the excess fluid that your body does not absorb and these are only removed when the fluid reduces. Alternatively Dr Aggarwal may avoid drains but will use sutures to close the space during your surgery. Keeping a binder on after surgery, as well as reducing movement is also essential to avoiding the risk of a fluid collection. If a fluid collection develops after removal of drains it may need to be removed via a needle through the skin. The fluid is removed as if it accumulates there is a risk of it getting infected
  • Poor Wound Healing (5%) – Occasionally absorbable sutures used under the skin can be rejected by the body forming a small pustule where the suture spits out. These issues usually resolve with removing the suture and dressings.
  • Umbilicus (belly button) compromise – this is a rare complication in mini tummy tuck surgery as generally there is no incision around the belly button. However if you have an umbilical hernia that requires repair can reduce its blood supply. Similarly if you have had previous abdominal surgery with scars around the belly button. The risk to the belly button higher in patients who smoke or are diabetic.
  • Skin necrosis – this is also a rare complication in mini tummy tuck surgery. By lifting the tummy skin, its blood supply is reduced and it gains it nourishment through blood vessels from near the rib cage. However if you have previous scars on the tummy or have had multiple previous abdominal procedures the blood supply may be reduced even more. The risk of skin necrosis is higher in patients who smoke or are diabetic.
  • Change in tummy sensation – it is common for the lower tummy to be numb after the procedure especially the skin between the belly button and the scar. This area reduces over months after surgery and there may be a small patch that remains numb forever.
  • Asymmetrical scars – There can be a difference in how each side of the tummy behaves to surgery and skin tension, and can produce an asymmetry to the scars, albeit the aim is to get them as symmetrical as possible.
  • Hypertrophic or poor scars – How one’s body behaves to scarring is individual and largely genetic. Some types of skin are more prone to hypertrophic or keloid scarring, and some individuals and families are more prone to this. We will routinely advise you on how to improve the quality of scars over time. You should also discuss any history of abnormal scarring with Dr Aggarwal preoperatively.

Procedure FAQs

  • In general it is not necessary as most cases attract no Medicare or health fund rebate.
  • However we advise patients to obtain a referral for mini tummy tuck as it is possible to claim a Medicare rebate of approximately $73 for the consultation if you have a referral
  • It is also possible that a Medicare/Health Fund rebate may apply to you if you have an umbilical hernia.
  • You can see us at our main practice at Gordon, or at our other locations at Hornsby, Hunters Hill or Camperdown.
  • Please scroll to the bottom of the page to find out more information about these locations.
  • Any of the hospitals where Dr Aggarwal works – but more commonly at Hunters Hill Private or Castlecrag Private hospitals
  • Cease fish oil, and other supplements such as Ginkgo, Ginseng.
  • Please discuss with Dr Aggarwal if you are on blood thinning medications as to when you should stop and recommence those.
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery – Dr Aggarwal does not offer tummy tuck surgery to patients who are actively smoking.
  • You will also be required to wear an abdominal binder for 8 weeks.
  • You will need to walk hunched over initially but you straighten a little day by day.
  • Heavy lifting and exercise will need to be avoided for 8 weeks to allow the abdominal tissues to heal.
  • Heavy gym exercise will need to be discontinued for 3 months.
  • Dr Aggarwal will provide you with the necessary scripts for antibiotics and pain relief. The antibiotics need to be continued for a week or until when the drains are out.
  • No.
  • Yes
  • However we always encourage patients not to be away overseas shortly after having a procedure, so that we can closely follow your recovery and address any concerns that may arise.
  • You may do gentle swimming in a pool or beach after 2-3 weeks once all wounds have healed and all the drains are out. Heavier swimming (like doing laps) will need to be deferred for longer.
  • It is best to not drive for the first 1-2 weeks after mini tummy tuck surgery.
  • No, patients will require a general anaesthetic in an accredited private hospital.
  • Patients also need to stay in hospital for 1-2 nights to allow drain monitoring, pain control and supervision during early stages of walking,
  • Yes it can.
  • Initially a lot of the skin between the belly button and the incision or scar line will be numb.
  • This gradually recovers over month following surgery and can take up to 12 months.
  • There may always be a patch of numb skin just above the incision and below the belly button.
  • Diet and exercise is best to try to lose as much weight as possible.
  • Surgically all procedures will result in some degree of scarring.

Procedure Pricing

  • Please note that for most cosmetic abdominoplasty there is now no Medicare or health insurance rebate (the rules changed in 2016).
    • You may be entitled to a small rebate if you have an umbilical hernia.
  • A quote for this procedure will be provided to you after a consultation with Dr. Aggarwal. You can also call or email our office for our current indicative pricing.

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Mode Plastic Surgery

924 Pacific Highway

Gordon NSW 2072

Consulting time
Multiple options throughout the week


Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

Level 2, Clinic D

119-143 Missenden Road

Camperdown NSW 2050

Consulting time
Alternate Thursdays


Hunters Hill Clinic

Level 1, 6 Ryde Road

Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Consulting time
Once a month Thursday morning.


St Luke’s Private Hospital

18 Roslyn Street

Potts Point, NSW, 2011

Consulting time
One Friday each month.


Hornsby Medical Specialists

Suite 1 / 49 Palmerston Road

Hornsby NSW 2077


1300 80 9000

Suite 13, 924 Pacific Highway
Gordon NSW 2072, Australia

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