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Interested in a tummy tuck? UPDATED - TT DONE!
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#1 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:29 AM

I've had two children, one by C/S.  I have severely separated abdominal muscles and an umbilical hernia.  I went to my GP to get a referral about the hernia, and yesterday i saw a plastic surgeon regarding getting it all fixed up.

You know it's bad when the plastic surgeon puts her hand on your tummy and says, "Oh, that's your liver I can feel" because the muscles do not cover up my organs anymore!  sad.gif

I am having the operation in October.  I'm just waiting on the final costs from the surgeon to come through.  It is not considered a cosmetic procedure because of the hernia and the separated abdominals.  Therefore, Medicare offers a small rebate.  They cover the scheduled fee for the procedure, which is close to $1,000 (but plastic surgeons generally charge a LOT more than this for the procedure).  My private health insurance will cover some of it as long as Medicare does, but I'm not exactly sure how much yet.  My plastic surgeon seems to think they'll cover the cost of the hospital.  That means I'll be out of pocket for the surgeon's fees.  However, you have to see a plastic surgeon (not a cosmetic surgeon) for Medicare or health insurance to cover it.

If you are interested, I can come back and update regarding the costing and how the procedure goes.  I am both scared and excited!

Edited by Dinah_Harris, 20 October 2012 - 08:16 AM.


#2 Tankboy

Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

Definately interested in how you get on OP.  I have an abdominal hernia and separation from having DS.  I am pg with number two and hope to have surgery next year after baby is born to fix it all up. Sometimes when I sneeze I pop my hernia out.

I had thought I would have to get it all done privately though. I know lots of surgeons do stomach muscle reconstruction while doing a tummy tuck so that was the path I was prepared to take.  



#3 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

Hi Tankboy,
Yeah, I'm having it done privately.  My surgeon is also a reconstructive surgeon which is another reason I'm seeing her.
Medicare (and thus your PHI) will cover the procedure at least partially as long as your youngest is older than 1 and younger than 7.  You definitely need the Medicare item numbers so that PHI will cover.

#4 greengoddess

Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:27 AM

Definitely keep us informed re costs etc. I also have quite bad abdominal separation, but am hoping to get pregant again before getting it sorted.


#5 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 14 August 2012 - 02:14 PM

The surgeon I saw definitely recommends finishing having kids and losing all the weight you want to, or else you'll just be wasting your money original.gif
I don't know, Evalynn, but I"m guessing the operation wouldn't be quite as big so might be less expensive?
In any case, I got a referral from my GP to see the plastic surgeon.  It cost $104 for the consultation, and I'll get $70 back from Medicare.  So it's not really much to see them, get an opinion and get a quote.  At least you'll know what you are dealing with!

#6 sparkle-tiffany

Posted 14 August 2012 - 05:18 PM

I too have an umbilical hernia and seperated abs. I have been feeling so down about my flabby mummy tummy that makes me look 4 months pregnant, when the rest of me has bounced back into shape.

I have always thought a tummy tuck would cost a fortune, so I would be extremely appreciative if you could update on the cost and your experience!



#7 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

Well, the quote arrived today and I am pleasantly surprised.

The cost is as follows:

* Tummy tuck:     $3,500
* Hernia repair:    $435
* Assistant:         $500
Total:                 $4,435

Less Medicare/Health Insurance Rebates:
* Tummy tuck:    $967
* Hernia:            $200
* Assistant:        $338

Out of Pocket Costs:   $2,930

Plus anaesthetist costs - I don't know the cost of this yet, but Medicare covers 75% of the scheduled fee and my health fund coves 25% of the scheduled fee.  I have to pay whatever is left.

My health fund totally covers the hospital costs.  It is being done in a private hospital.

I am in Queensland by the way.  I'm happy to PM anyone who would like it the name of my plastic surgeon.

If anyone has any other questions, also happy to answer them if I can.
Looking forward to 15th October!

#8 Mummzy

Posted 22 August 2012 - 06:30 PM

Thank you so much fr posting your info.

I also will need surgery to fix my separation once I am done having kids.

Could you pm me the name of your surgeon and does he/she have a website?



#9 Caseymay

Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

Can you also PM me our surgeon's detail please? I have abdominal separation and would also love to get the skin on my tummy fixed. My abdominal separation has improved by doing exercises given to me by a physio. Does anyone know if there is a point where an abdo separation is good enough i.e does not require surgery? Mine is about a 3 finger gap.



#10 ememem

Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:10 PM

I'm 12 days post abdominoplasty. So if anyone wants to speak to someone on the other side i'm happy to ask any questions.

#11 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:14 AM

How has your recovery been, Ememem?  Are you happy with the results?

#12 ememem

Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:25 PM

Recovery has been up and Down. The first 5 days were horrible, but by day 7 I was walking normally, slowly but still normal.

I am beyond stoked with the results.

After having my first at 18 and putting on about 15kg with him, my tummy was stretched beyond belief. With my next two (at 27yo and 29yo, there was no extra stretching as it was already prestretched. With my second I whacked on over 30kg, tipping the scales at 106kg when DS2 was 6 months old.

Over the last 3 years I've lost 35kg and have reduced my abdominal separation gap from 4 finger width to just a under 1 on my own with a lot of hard work.

So my surgeon pulled the muscles together and cut off 10inches of skin weighing 1965g. No fat was removed, there was no lipo at all.

My surgery was covered completely under medicare. I paid for 2 consultations at $85 each. I don't have private cover. I was fortunate that my chosen surgeon operated under Medicare with a GP referral. I had my first consult in June 2011, follow up in June 2012 and was given my surgery date that day, which was two months later on aug 10.

My tummy is not perfect, but I never hoped or expected it to be. My stretch marks were right up to my bra line so there are still a lot there, but I don't care. I'm not looking to become a bikini model lol.

I will now be able to buy clothes that fit me all over, instead of having to allow for the extra spread through the middle!

Oh, and I kept my original belly button. She it around it and fixed it to the skin that was pulled Down.

The hardest bits:
Not being able to lift my children for a cuddle.
Sleeping comfortably
Remembering to rest, even though I feel well enough to do something, I still shouldn't do it.
The scar. Holy sh*tballs. It goes 3/4 the way around me.

Time off work: 2 weeks

If I can help with anything else let me know. I will post before and afters when I'm not on my phone original.gif

#13 bebe12

Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:14 PM

Hi,

Emememe which state are you in and what reason was it all cover by medicare?

I am interested in possibly having it done as muscle separated and lot of extra skin from first, hoping second does not make it worse.

#14 Peridot

Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:23 PM

OOhh yes, please post before and afters! I am looking at having one done next year due to two cesareans and weight loss!

Thank you original.gif

#15 Caseymay

Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:27 PM

I would love to see before and after shots too!

#16 ememem

Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:13 PM

My surgeon offers the surgery fully covered by Medicare if a GP refers a patient for the surgery. The damage to the skin on my belly was pretty severe, as you will see soon.

I'm in SA, things might be different in other states.

Not all surgeons do it.

Will post some pics soon.

#17 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 24 August 2012 - 07:41 PM

This is common (well, relatively) in SA, according to a plastic surgery forum that I did some research on.  Not so here in Qld.

Can't wait to see your pics!

#18 Zozo's Mummy

Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:09 AM

Would also love to see pics. I've been working up the courage to look into getting it done, although my main concerns are being able to look after my kids, especially the youngest, and also the pain as I've read it's far worse than a Caesar.
OP, I'm curious how you plan to look after your kids post op, as your youngest is a similar age to mine? I had just resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be able to get it done for a few years, despite being absolutely miserable about my body.

#19 1/2aDozen

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:32 AM

Very interested in this thread OP. Thanks and good luck to you.

#20 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:42 AM

Hi Zozo,
I will be in hospital for 5 days.  My DH is taking that week off.  Then for the next two weeks my parents will be helping out each day, and my DH is doing light duties at work.  I've already started freezing meals and will stock up the fridge, freezer and pantry right before I go into hospital.  
Hopefully the worst of it will be handled in hospital.  After that - it's going to suck.  There is no doubting that.  But hopefully three weeks of help will get me through.  My plastic surgeon says most people are recovered totally by four weeks.
If you've got young kids, you'll definitely need help.  Hope this helps!

#21 Zozo's Mummy

Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:22 AM

Thanks Dinah. Can't wait to hear how you go- good luck!

#22 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

Hi there everyone,
I am on Day Six following my tummy tuck procedure.  It all went very smoothly, and the surgeon did the most amazing job!
I was up walking around the following day.  I was rather surprised by the pain - it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I made sure I kept walking around as much as I could withstand.  Everything went so well that both my drains came out before going home, which was yesterday.  For me, the pain was NOTHING like a caesar, not even close, but my caesar was an emergency done after 12 hours of labour under a GA and was a pretty bad caesar as far as they go.  I wasn't overweight prior to surgery, and the surgeon removed 700 grams of excess skin and tissue (which is not very much).
I am still taking painkillers regularly, but the pain is manageable.  I'm still walking around hunched over a bit as my tummy is so tight.  I am still very fatigued.  I have to wear a compression garment for six weeks.
BUT - I'm on the other side, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  The results are absolutely spectacular even through the swelling.  And I have lost that loose, everything falling out feeling I had.  My surgeon did say my muscle separation was one of the worst she'd seen, and my internal organs were bulging out of the abdomen.
I am really, really happy with the result and am happy to answer any questions you might have original.gif

Edited by Dinah_Harris, 20 October 2012 - 08:13 AM.


#23 Zozo's Mummy

Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:39 PM

Thanks so much for the update & I'm thrilled its gone so well for you. I'd love to see some before & after photos sometime if you feel up to it.
I've recently seen a dermatologist/cosmetic surgeon about something else and he is going to give me some names of local plastic surgeons that he recommends so I'm hoping that by this time next year I might be on my way to getting it done.
Keep us updated on how you're going!

#24 mumma-duck

Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

So happy to hear how well it went OP! I'm interested to read some further updates on your recovery & if you're comfortable, some before/after pics original.gif
I just had my initial consultation with an RN at Vie Institute on the Sunshine Coast & have made the decision to go forward with a TT & maybe even the breast lift at the same time hehe

As excited and determined as I am about it i'm also very nervous but reading your update after only days following your procedure has added to my confidence that it's the way I want to go.

Hope you bounce back quickly & enjoy your new body to the max!! Looking forward to hearing more updates! original.gif

#25 miinii

Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:13 AM

Thanks for posting this and for the update, I have severe muscle separation from my 3 pregnancies and have been told i need surgery. Its nice to know the pain isnt what i thought it would be




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