Thinking about a tummy tuck operation?  

Want to know some of the key details around the operation?  

Below, I’ve written about 10 important things to know about before going ahead with the surgery.

1. What is a tummy tuck? A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an operation that aims to restore a smooth, youthful contour and shape to the skin of the abdomen.  

2. How long does it take?  A typical tummy tuck will take anywhere between 2-3 hours to perform.  The exact duration depends on your own unique shape and anatomy and whether any additional procedures, such as liposuction, are being performed.

3. What are the scars like? The main scar runs horizontally across the tummy skin from hip to hip.  I aim to place this as low as possible so that it can be easily concealed underneath underwear or swimwear.  In most tummy tucks, there is a second scar that runs around the belly button.  This is because most abdominoplasties require the belly button to be moved to a new location as the overlying skin gets tightened.

4. Does it hurt? As with any operation, there is some discomfort after a tummy tuck operation.  However, we have a number of ways to help combat this, which include painkiller tablets/liquid and the use of small pumps that slowly release local anaesthetic under the skin around the area that has been operated on.  Most patients are comfortable enough to go home after 2 nights in hospital with tablet painkillers only.

5. How long will I need to be off work?  The time you need off work depends on the type of job you perform.  For desk-based roles, most patients are ready to return after two weeks.  You will need to avoid any roles that require heavy lifting for 6 weeks after your surgery.

6. Is the result permanent? As with the skin of the abdomen before the operation, after tummy tuck surgery your tummy will change shape and size with you.  Significant changes in your weight and pregnancy are the two most common things that can cause a change in the post-operative result.

7. Can a tummy tuck help improve my core strength? It’s not uncommon for the 6-pack muscles (the rectus abdominus muscles) to separate away from one another over time.  This is especially common after pregnancy.  This process is called rectus divarication. An abdominoplasty gives excellent access to be able to restore the rectus abdominus muscles back into the correct position.  Studies have shown that this helps improve core strength and can help reduce problems like back pain arising from core muscle weakness.

8. Does a tummy tuck get rid of love handles?  In isolation, an abdominoplasty operation will not remove the fat found at the side of the waist (the love handles).  However, I often combine an abdominoplasty with liposuction to help reduce the amount of fat in this area.  This helps give a more balanced contour to the torso.

9. How long does it take to see the results? The change is fairly instant after the surgery.  There is some swelling and bruising that can take up to 6 weeks to settle, but you’ll get a good idea on the change in contour from the moment you wake up after surgery.

10. How much does it cost? To see a price estimate, please visit  The quoted price includes the surgical time, anaesthetic time, time in hospital and any post-operative care.

Keen to find out more?  Please contact the team at the Da Vinci Clinic, Tauranga to book in for an appointment.