Abdominoplasty surgery involves two elements, no matter comprehensive the procedure may be. After designing and customizing your body contouring treatment plan to fit your unique needs, Dr. Perkins tightens the muscles of your abdominal wall and then removes excess skin and fat from your abdominal region.
Abdominoplasty is more commonly called a tummy tuck, and it really covers a wide range of operations. We get patients who come for tummy tucks who may be massive weight-loss patients, which we commonly see now have large hanging abdominal aprons, down to patients who have had a Cesarian and have a little roll hanging over, who have fantastic figures, but have had a Caesarian and have just a little roll of skin hanging over the Caesarian scar. Abdominoplasty really involves two elements no matter how big or small it is. It involves potentially tightening abdominal wall muscles which have been stretched, most commonly from having children, and then getting rid of any excess skin and fat from the abdomen. Almost universally now I would use liposuction in association with abdominoplasty. It just allows you to do that more refined expert job such as around the love handle area or it can tone areas down, reduce fat, and just really sculpt the final result into something which is A1 and better. The great conundrum is always, ‘Can I have liposuction and no scars or do I need a tummy tuck?’ The decision between them is pretty easy. If you’ve got excess fat and good skin, liposuction’s the tool because it’s a tool for removing fat. Once you’ve got excess skin or skin that is of very poor quality, such as stretch marks, the only way to get rid of that is to remove it, so you need a tummy tuck. The recovery for these procedures, because they are grossly different, is grossly different. People who certainly have sub-upper lipo or mini-tummy tucks, they can be done day surgery. There are people who recover very quickly, especially if they don’t need their muscles tightened. Obviously, the bigger operations, which full abdominal lipectomy, then people will stay in hospital. They will stay two to three to four days in hospital. Those sort of operations, all abdominoplasties actually, are considered medical operations by Medicare, and so the Medicare item number is applicable to it, even for mini tummy tucks or the largest tummy tuck. There are Medicare item numbers applicable to it, which means that sometimes up to 50% of the costs are covered by the health fund if you are actually in a health fund, and these are not considered cosmetic procedures. Patients love having it. They tell their friends; their friends come to have the operation. It’s an operation where the pluses are very high and the minuses are very low. Patients like having the operation; I like doing the operation. Very commonly produces very happy patients, and if the patient is happy, I’m happy. So it’s an operation I really like doing.