How soon before a big event should I plan my abdominoplasty surgery?

Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, surgery is a very popular procedure before major events, such as weddings and milestone birthdays. It’s an exciting period and a tummy tuck can provide both functional and aesthetic benefits.

So you’ve decided to have an abdominoplasty – what next?

At the risk of dampening the excitement of the moment – planning and research is paramount!

  • EAbdominoplasty surgery should only be performed by a qualified plastic surgeon (visit the RACS website or Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons to confirm your surgeon’s credentials) and patients should expect a wait to consult those with extensive experience in abdominoplasty surgery. Waiting periods can range from 6-12 months depending on the time of year to see a plastic surgeon in Brisbane or Ipswich who performs lots of abdominal surgery; so we recommend planning ahead to avoid disappointment.
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  • EDo your research; check their qualifications, view their websites, and if you feel comfortable, talk to friends for recommendations – you might be surprised how many people have had tummy tuck surgery!
  • EBefore and after photos are important, but many patients wish to keep their identify concealed and don’t consent to their images being used online. So ask your surgeon if they have in-clinic images or photo books that are consented for face-to-face consult sharing between surgeon and patient. Some of the most experienced plastic surgeons in Australia have the least-glossy social media accounts, so don’t always believe the hype.
  • EAsk lots of questions at your pre operative initial consult; the surgeon should answer them in detail, and in plain terms.
Pictured, right: Dr Sharp patient – abdominoplasty surgery.

Some things to consider if you are planning a tummy tuck

Dr Sharp recommends having this procedure at least 6 months before a big life event, if possible. In most cases, he doesn’t perform this procedure within 6 months of a milestone, such as a wedding – or performing in a sports event/competition. The reasons for this are:


  1. The deeper swelling involved with a tummy tuck can vary from patient to patient but in some cases, can still be visible up to 6 months. During an active or busy period, increased blood pressure etc can cause parts of the abdomen that are still healing to swell up, and take a few days of light activity (and compression garment when sleeping) to subside. It can be very distressing if the patient is unlucky enough to develop recurrent swelling just before the special event.
  2. Despite being rare, complications do occur sometimes after abdominoplasty surgery. Recovery from serious complications can take 6-24 months and during this time normal activities can be impacted by issues such as scar tightness. Although it is very rare, the risk of this occurring before a special event compounds the stress and disappointment caused.

Most patients recover so quickly, the above aspects aren’t a problem at all by 4-6 months post surgery, but unfortunately we aren’t able to predict who will have a speedy recovery, and who won’t, so we err on the side of caution. Like all big life decisions, planning ahead is key to success!

Want to find out more about abdominoplasty surgery pricing, recovery and results?

Enquire with our helpful team here…

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