Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, also referred to as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that corrects the midsection for a slimmer body contour. The surgery reduces protruding fat and excess skin to flatten the abdomen. It may also remove stretch marks from the lower part of the abdominal area, depending on the technique used.

Dr Damon Thomas offers tummy tucks through the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery.


  • Excess, loose skin around the middle due to pregnancy or significant weight loss
  • A protruding abdomen
  • Isolated pockets of fat around the middle that will not respond to diet or exercise
  • Stretch marks across the lower portion of the abdomen; a common by-product of pregnancy or weight fluctuations

A tummy tuck is usually recommended for patients who have achieved a stable weight and are in reasonably good health. Smokers should not undergo this surgery unless they are willing to stop smoking for six weeks before and six weeks after the operation.

Options in Abdominoplasty

Dr Thomas performs abdominoplasty one of two ways, depending on the level of correction required by his patients:

Mini abdominoplasty can be performed when there is not a significant amount of loose skin or stretch marks to remove. This procedure uses smaller incisions to remove fat and tissue while tightening up the underlying abdominal muscles. The smaller incisions mean less scarring after surgery, as well as a shorter, more comfortable recovery process in most cases.

Full or traditional abdominoplasty is advised when the patient has considerable skin laxity interfering with the overall body contour. While the incision for this surgery is more extensive than a mini tummy tuck, it allows for additional correction. The incision will run inside the panty line from hip bone to hip bone to allow for removal of more tissue as well as redundant skin. The navel may be repositioned during this procedure to ensure a proportionate outcome.

Surgery Details

Dr Thomas performs tummy tucks under general anaesthesia. An incision is made across the lower abdomen so that underlying muscles can be tightened, and excess skin and tissue can be removed. Incisions are strategically placed so that post-operative scarring is hidden underneath most clothing and bathing suits. The procedure may take a few hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the procedure.

See Before and Afters

What to Expect after Surgery

Recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery, but the following is a general timeline for the recovery process:

Immediately after surgery:

  • You will be taken to a recovery room where you will be closely monitored by medical staff for a few hours.
  • You may experience some pain, swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the abdominal area.
  • You will have dressings and compression garments applied to your abdomen to help minimise swelling and promote healing.

1-2 days after surgery:

  • You will likely still be in the hospital or surgical centre, and will be given pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • You will be encouraged to start moving around as soon as possible to help prevent blood clots from forming.
  • You may need help with basic tasks, such as getting out of bed, showering, and changing clothes.

1 week after surgery:

  • You may be able to return home from the hospital or surgical centre, but will still need to rest and avoid strenuous activities.
  • You will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to check on your progress and remove any drainage tubes.
  • You may still experience some discomfort and swelling, but these symptoms should gradually improve over time.

2-3 weeks after surgery:

  • You may be able to return to work or other light activities, but should avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.
  • You will still need to wear your compression garment to help with swelling and healing.
  • You may start to see some initial results, but the final outcome of the surgery may take several months to fully develop.

4-6 weeks after surgery:

  • You may be able to resume light exercise, such as walking or yoga, but should still avoid any high-impact or strenuous activities.
  • You may still have some swelling, but it should be improving.

3-6 months after surgery:

  • You should be able to resume all normal activities, including exercise and lifting heavy objects.
  • You should continue to wear your compression garment as directed by your surgeon.
  • The final results of your surgery should be visible by this point, but some minor swelling may persist for up to a year.

It’s important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions for post-operative care, including any medications, dressings, and activities to avoid. Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments as scheduled to ensure that your recovery is progressing as it should.

Potential Abdominoplasty Risks

Before undergoing a tummy tuck, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. These include risks related to anaesthesia, bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, persistent pain, and changes in skin sensation. Additionally, there is a possibility of developing asymmetry, fat necrosis, seroma, skin discoloration, prolonged swelling, skin loss, unfavourable scarring, or a suboptimal aesthetic result. 

In some cases, revisional surgery may be required, or the skin may become loose again over time. Your plastic surgeon will discuss these risks and any others with you in detail before you provide your consent for the procedure. It’s important to ask any questions or raise any concerns you may have with your surgeon directly.

Tummy Tuck Results

To ensure that the results of your abdominoplasty last as long as possible, follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and attend follow-up appointments as directed. Additionally, a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking can help you maintain the results of your abdominoplasty over time.

A Note on Results

The results of any medical treatment, aesthetic or otherwise, will affect patients differently based on various individual, genetic, environmental, diet, exercise and other factors. For that reason, you should always expect to see some variance between the results featured and the results you can achieve. What works for one person may not work for another, and each patient’s unique needs and expectations must be considered when determining the best course of action.

Therefore, it is essential to have a thorough consultation with a qualified and experienced medical professional who can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on your specific circumstances. It is also important to understand that abdominoplasty is not a quick fix and requires patience and commitment to achieve the desired results.

Dr Thomas has experience in tummy tuck procedures and will ensure your surgery is customised to your needs. To learn more about your tummy tuck options, contact Dr Thomas’s office today on 03 9508 9508.