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Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Feeling good… you’ve successfully lost weight through diet or weight loss surgery and maintained a stable weight for 6 -12 months.  Eating healthy and keeping up with your exercise is now easy yet you feel like you’re not quite there yet.  Now is the time to complete your journey with some body contouring?

We start with what bothers you the most. For many it’s the extra skin on the tummy, for some it’s the skin on the arm.  We work with you in creating a plan to complete the transformation.

The plastic surgery part of your journey is generally taken in stages using a combination of the procedures outlined here and a plan is made according to the areas you want to addressed.

Restoring Your Body After Weight Loss

Tummy tuck. Medicare recognises that there is a need for a tummy tuck to bring the muscles back to where they were and remove the extra skin after weight loss.  There are reasons other than weight loss for tummy tucks which we discuss separately here – Link to below section

Lower Body Lift. To bring back a more youthful line many people find they also need a Lower Body lift which is like the tummy tuck but all the way around the body where the scar is placed in the swimmer line.

Buttock augmentation. To firm up the buttock and give better definition a buttock augmentation is often planned at the same time.  This is usually accomplished by rearranging your own tissue and removing any excess skin.

Arm lift (brachioplasty). There are different ways of approaching arm lifts and the method chosen is largely depending on your body type.

  • Liposuction – If your skin is good but would like to reduce the size Liposuction by itself may be sufficient to give you back the definition you would like.
  • Skin Reduction. If fat has been exercised away and only stretched skin needs dealing with, the extra skin is removed with the scar placed close to the body. The scaring usually heals well and is not normally noticeable.
  • Liposuction and Skin Reduction. This is the most frequently chosen method. The size is reduced first and then any excess skin is removed.
  • Thigh lift– A Thigh Lift is similar in concept to the arm lift. Extra fat and skin is taken away to reduce the size and lift is completed to give the thigh a better contour.
  • A thigh lift does have a higher complication rate than an arm lift.  Slow healing wounds is the most frequently experienced complication. 
  • Breast lift/Chest work– When a person gains weight skin stretches to accommodate the extra volume. That skin, once stretched, never returns to its original shape. After losing the weight there is frequently extra skin around the chest that you may want to be rid of. A breast lift will tighten the skin and improve the shape and implants are often used here to restore the volume and firm up the shape.
What are some risks of body contouring surgery?

The surgeries undertaken after weight loss can bring about profound change in one’s life and self esteem but they are not to be undertaken lightly. This is why we order and stage the operations so that we can work our way through all the areas that concern you the most.

All surgery has risks such as infection, bleeding, allergic reactions and risks associated with anaesthetics body contouring is no exception, some more specific risks are:

  • Infection– This possibility can be slightly higher for wounds in the armpits and groin due to higher number of bacteria in the area and also in areas where the is a lot of movement.
  • Excessive BleedingThis collection of blood in the wound is called a Haematoma and is the commonest complication and this can happen for many reasons including inherited bleeding disorders. If it happens it rarely causes major problems except the need to go back to the operating theatre to stop the offending vessel bleeding.
  • FluidCollection in the wound (Seroma).  While some fluid retention as fairly normal it is usually reabsorbed into the body. It only becomes an issue if it is excessive.
  • Poor Scar Healing  Scarring largely depends on your genes and operations like these cannot be done without a scar. However the placement of scars are carefully planned so that when it is healed and matured it is less visible.
  • Asymmetry As with eyes and ears, differences between right and left side of the body are usual so although we do our best to match both sides there may be still be some difference after an operation especially if the difference was noticeable before we began.
  • Damage to underlying structures– whenever an operation is performed there is always risk of damage to the nearby structures. One example is nearby nerves and this may lead to change in sensation and rarely damage to nerves that move muscles. Extreme care is undertaken to give you the best outcome possible.

If implants are used, the additional risks associated with implant should be considered. Please refer to the breast procedure page for these.

Is Weight Loss Tummy Tuck Surgery Covered by insurance?

Yes, the hospital and operating theatre cost specifically for tummy tuck and many other surgeries after weight loss surgery is covered if you have the appropriate cover under your health insurance. Please contact your insurance company after consultation with us to check your coverage. Medicare recognises the need for these surgeries and there is an item number for this.

There are certain conditions under which breast lift , breast reduction and eyelid lift may be covered. Contact us to find out the details.

Contact Us for a Timely Appointment

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

The most frequently requested reason for a tummy tuck is to get rid of stretched skin after pregnancy but there is valid functional reasons for this surgery.

According to a recent Australian study published internationally this procedure has been shown to relieve back pain and incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth.

Unfortunately this reason for surgery is not yet covered by Medicare.

In most cases when performing the operation the incision and scar is carefully placed near the bikini/swimmers line and extra skin is taken away.  This coupled with bringing the abdominal muscles back into middle and creating a new belly button in the appropriate position.

The operation typically takes three to four hours under a general anaesthetics and the hospital stay is usually three days. The area will feel tight for a while, which is what we want, and you will need to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercises for around eight weeks.

Are There Different Types of Tummy Tuck

Yes, there are different types of tummy tucks. A tailored plan needs to be made specifically for your body type, no one operation fits all.

  • Mummy make-over– this is limited tummy tuck it is a less invasive procedure with smaller scar incision. The operation is done to remove excess stretched tissue and stretch marks  with the belly button kept in its original location and the lower tummy stretched.  Only skin is removed so this procedure is most suitable for a thinner person whose muscle function is still good and the main concern is excess skin in the lower part of the abdomen.
  • Full Tummy Tuck This is the traditionaltummy tuck where the belly button is repositioned, excess skin taken away and muscles brought back into the middle.
  • “Fleur de lis”– This is the name given to an operation designed for those with excess tummy skin from top to bottom and also side to side. The usual tummy tuck in these cases would leave the side waist line unaddressed.  This operation requires excess tissue to be taken away at the midline so while there is an additional vertical scar but a better contour in the waist line. This is a very common type of tummy tuck done after weight loss surgery.
Are Operating Theatre Costs Covered For Cosmetic Tummy Tucks

Unfortunately at the moment the answer is no. Presently Medicare only supports those who are having abdominoplasty surgery after weight loss.

This is still the case today despite recent media coverage highlighting women in need of abdominoplasty for functional reasons after multiple pregnancies. Hopefully with our Australian research published internationally this will change in the near future.

Contact Us to see how this applies to you.

How is Liposuction Performed

Liposuction only requires a very small incision to introduce the liposuction cannula which is used effectively remove excess fat.

The procedure is usually done under general anaesthetics accompanied by local anaesthetic and adrenaline to reduce risk of bleeding and to make the procedure more comfortable.

Unless there are fairly extensive areas to be worked on are it is usually a day surgery procedure.   The length of surgery depends on number of areas treated. One area of treatment typically takes about an hour or so.

Bruising will last for at least a couple of weeks and then steadily fade over few more weeks.  Down time is typically about a week but can be more for large area treated.

What Are The Risks Associated With Liposuction

Liposuction is often done in conjunction with other body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck or arm and thigh lifts.  However, it can also be done on its own under local or general anaesthetics.  Liposuction is NOT a weight loss solution but rather a great adjunct to a restorative health plan including nutrition and exercise to improve overall well-being and appearance.

  • Surgery Associated Risk. All surgical procedures and anaesthetics carry some risk. The risk is generally low but things like blood clots and allergic reactions can occur.
  • Liposuction Associated Risk. Liposuction is generally regarded as a low risk procedure with liposuction but in extremely rare circumstances afat embolism can occur.  This is like a blood clot except that it involves a clot of fat that works its way into the system. The rare cases that have been documented involve patients with extremely large volumes of fat requiring liposuction.

Accordingly, Dr. Kim will NOT undertake large volume liposuction, we believe this is not safe practice.

  • Excessive BleedingThis collection of blood in the wound is called a Haematoma and is the commonest complication and this can happen for many reasons including inherited bleeding disorders. If it happens it rarely causes major problems except the need to go back to the operating theatre to stop the offending vessel bleeding
  • FluidCollection in the wound (Seroma).  While some fluid retention as fairly normal it is usually reabsorbed into the body. It only becomes an issue if it is excessive.
  • Contour problems– Whilst liposuction is great at addressing local problems of fat that won’t go away there can be unevennessof surface contour afterwards. This can lead to dimpling of the skin and lumps that may need to treated either in surgical or non-surgical ways. There can be areas of change in the skin colour due to the break-down of blood but thankfully this is extremely rare.

Labioplasty and genital surgery in general is often a very emotive topic. Women who undergo this surgery and surgeons, both trained and untrained and ethical and unethical have all been criticised in the past in the media.  Genital surgery still remains a hot topic of discussion today particularly for woman.  

So what is Labioplasty all about?

Labioplasty is surgery designed to change the shape of labia, the inner and sometime outer lips of vulva.  

Our own Medicare system recognises the medical need for this by providing an item number for which you can use your private health insurance to have the cost of the hospital and operating theatre fee covered if it can be demonstrated that some aspect of the labia such as size is causing functional problems.  

A lot of women seek this surgery because of discomfort during exercise, during intimate contact and even just day to day living that interferes with their quality of life.  This is no one else’s business but yours and we will absolutely support your journey.

There is another dimension to Labioplasty in our modern society.  Through its easy availability on the internet ideas and “norms” from pornography have infiltrated into society and impacted the attitudes of men and women, both young and old.  Some women feel that their vagina should look certain way and even feel pressured to seek surgery to “correct” it to an ideal in their mind.

We encourage you to carefully consider the risks of the surgery before making the decision to undergo surgery.  We will ensure all your questions are answered and support you with the decisions you make.

Give yourself plenty of time to carefully consider all aspect of the surgery.  As difficult as it is to define, surgery for purely cosmetic reasons must be, undertaken only when you as the patient and we as surgeons are completely aligned in our thinking.

 Feel free to Ask Us.

What are some risks of Labioplasty?
  • Infection– specific instructions will be given to you for postoperative period but risk of infection in Labioplasty is low.
  • Bleeding and haematoma(collection of blood)- The risk of this is low in Labioplasty provided you’re otherwise healthy and on no blood thinning medication or diet. 
    There are a number of factors that predisposes one to increased risk of bleeding- blood thinner medications, fish oil, many food substance starting with “G“- garlic, ginkgo, ginseng.
  • Change in sensation– Incisions are carefully designed to minimise the risk of this happening but any operation near labia carries this risk.
  • Asymmetry– No 2 breasts, eyes and ears are the same and neither are the lips of your vagina. Perfect symmetry is an unrealistic goal but a matching pair is a realistic and deliverable goal.
  • Poor scarring and wound healing– surgical plan is made in such a way to minimise this risk and the wound is repaired in layers. This risk although present is thankfully low.
What is involved in Labioplasty?

Labioplasty can be done under either general anaesthetic or local anaesthetics, although we recommend you have a quick general anaesthetic in the accredited hospitals that Dr Kim operates in.

The operation takes about an hour and a half and you can head home on the same day. The swelling is expected to last for a couple of weeks and we advise you to have this time off work as it can be uncomfortable sitting down.

It is often helpful to sleep the first few nights after the surgery with a pillow under your bottom to keep the swelling to minimum and an ice compress for fifteen minutes every hour for the first day or two.   

After a few days moving about and getting on with your life becomes relatively normal but any activities putting undue pressure in the area such as bike riding,  intimate contact or intercourse should be avoided for six to eight weeks.

There are two main surgical procedures employed in doing Labioplasty. The traditional method which is to simply trim off the excess with a resulting scar that spans the length of the labia. 

The Newer “wedge” removal techniques involves positioning the scar in such a way that the scar is better hidden and sensation is preserved as much as possible.



Liposuction being used to change the contour of the body is a well known procedure.  It is most used in shaping the abdomen, back, thighs and sometimes the neck.

Liposuction being used to change the contour of the body is a well known procedure.  It is most used in shaping the abdomen, back, thighs and sometimes the neck.

Done well liposuction can provide better definition to the waist line and reduce the amount of fat in unwanted places.

We are also able to use the unwanted fat from one location and relocate it to places where a slightly fuller appearance is desired such as restoring a more youthful appearance to the face.


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Sydney CBD
Main Location

British Medical Association House
Level 6  Suite 603
135-137 Macquarie St
Sydney 2000


7 Ashley Lane
Westmead NSW 2145
Phone 1300 911 151
Fax (02) 9475-1370

© 2019 Dr Leo Kim info@specialistdrkim.com.au