Is a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) considered a cosmetic surgery?

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the abdomen, as well as the tightening of the underlying muscles. It is typically performed under general anaesthesia and can be customised to address specific concerns, such as loose skin, stretch marks, or muscle laxity in the abdominal area.

An abdominoplasty is often considered a medically required procedure.  If it is associated with massive weight loss or post pregnancy rectus diastus (abdominal muscle separation) then it may be considered medically required. Medicare have specific criteria that need to be met. The criteria for Abdominoplasty to be considered medically required includes conditions like significant weight loss resulting in excess, hanging skin that causes physical discomfort or health issues, such as rashes or skin infections. Abdominoplasty following pregnancy may also be covered, provided the patient is 12 months or more post pregnancy and has 3cm or more of rectus diastus muscle separation that is causing physical symptoms.

To determine if you meet the medically required criteria, it is important to consult with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, such as Dr André Safvat, to discuss your medical history and current health conditions.

Some benefits of Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) include:

  • Removal of excess and hanging skin that can be causing issues with daily activity.
  • Provides relief by removing any excess skin that can cause itching and infection.
  • Tightening of loose or weakened abdominal muscles which can significantly improve a patient’s posture and relieve backache.
  • In some cases, tummy tuck improves urinary incontinence post-pregnancy.
  • In both post pregnancy women and weight loss patients, abdominoplasty repairs the rectus diastiswhich improves protruding abdominal muscles.
  • Improve the appearance and contour of the abdomen.

If you meet the medically required criteria, there will be rebates available from Medicare and your Private Health Fund.


Patients should discuss with their GP and Plastic Surgeon as to whether surgery is a good option for them. All surgery comes with risks which will be discussed during consultation. Your final results can take up to 12 months or more to be seen. Before proceeding, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Registered Medical Practitioner, Specialist Plastic Surgeon (specialist registration in Surgery – Plastic Surgery).