What is Fleur De Lis Surgery?
Fleur de Lis Surgery or FDL Abdominoplasty is a type of abdominal surgery. It is more complex and extensive than traditional tummy procedures.
While a traditional ‘tummy tuck’ aims to remove excess skin from the lower abdomen the aim of a Fleur De Lis procedure is to achieve a “tighter” appearance over the WHOLE abdominal area.
Other names for FDL surgery include both vertical abdominoplasty and corset lipectomy. This type of abdominoplasty procedure is suitable for massive weight loss patients.
The procedure gets the name “Fleur de Lis” because it vividly describes the area that the specialist surgeon will operate on. Where a standard abdominoplasty only removes excess skin in a horizontal direction, the Fleur de Lis technique is better in cases where it is necessary to remove excess skin in both vertical and horizontal directions.
The procedure may be suggested for patients whose sagging skin creates a problem not only on the lower abdomen but also on the upper belly and side/hip area.
A Vertical abdominoplasty is typically the procedure of choice for patients that want to achieve more drastic abdominal contours as well as tighter and firmer skin over their whole abdomen.
Am I a Good Candidate for Surgery?
Candidates for an FDL abdominoplasty are people with; loose tissue, caused by either multiple pregnancies, significant massive weight loss due to gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, or those who suffer from sagging skin due to age or even other abdominal surgeries.
Hanging, droopy and saggy skin and loss of contour in the abdomen area can be a huge psychological burden and can lead to physical problems and poor mental health.
In order for your specialist plastic surgeon to determine not only if Fleur de Lis Surgery is the right procedure for you but if you’re a good candidate, you will need to schedule a consultation.
During your consult, your overall general health will be checked. This is to determine the right course of action as well as assessing any potential risks, complications and side effects.
You might make a good candidate for Fleur de Lis surgery if you:
- Are dissatisfied with the appearance of your abdomen and suffer from reduced self-confidence caused by hanging excess skin.
- Have excess skin present on not only the lower abdomen, but on the upper tummy area and sides as well.
- Are in good general health and do not suffer from serious illnesses or medical conditions.
- Do not use medications that could affect the procedure and recovery.
- Have resonable expectations of what FDL surgery can achieve are realistic.
- Are not a smoker, or if you are a smoker your absolutley 100% willing to quit smoking before your surgery and for at least 8 weeks minimum after surgery.
- Understand all the potential risks and complications of vertical abdominoplasty.
Benefits of Fleur De Lis Surgery
FDL, improves body contours through the elimination of loose, hanging skin, leaving the patient with a significantly flatter abdomen and tighter skin. The procedure also improves the waistline and hips in not just one but two directions.
Before surgery, you may have found that in order to feel more comfortable you hid the loose excess skin under baggy clothing. Excess skin can also cause discomfort, skin irritations and infections that prevent you from exercising and other lifestyle options.
After surgery, you can expect fewer skin rashes, skin discolouration, improved self-confidence, mobility and the freedom to not only choose whatever clothes you want but feel more confident in them too.
For those who dream of a more contoured figure, Fleur de Lis Surgery could be a perfect choice!
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If you’d like more information about a particular surgery, please call our surgical support team on 1300 264 811 between 9 am – 5 pm on weekdays.
Fleur De Lis Surgical Procedure
FDL is a complex surgical procedure and as such, it is important to remember and understand that because the removal of excess skin is both vertical and horizontal the procedure creates an additional, vertical scar.
In other words, the Fleur De Lis procedure has two incisions. The first is in the typical location of a tummy tuck, along the pubic bone area. While the second is a vertical incision around the centre of your abdomen.
The length of the vertical incision will depend on both the location and the amount of skin laxity (sagging, loose skin). This second incision lets the surgeon tighten your skin from the sides as well as up and down. Whilst this second incision means additional scarring, thanks to the skill and experience of our specialist plastic surgeon, the scar will generally fade over time and lose most of its visibility.
This technique makes it possible to remove significant amounts of tissue located along the central zone of the anterior abdominal wall.
After this is complete, your specialist plastic surgeon will close the incision site with sutures, and the healing and recovery process will begin.
Recovery after Fleur de Lis Surgery
Recovery often depends on the complexity of the procedure itself. Like any other invasive surgery, FDL abdominoplasty is very individualized. Therefore every patient recovery journey will be different.
However, generally, you can expect the following;
- Moderate pain; Your surgeon will prescribe painkillers to help releave discomfort.
- Redness, bruising, and swelling; while these are normal side effects, you can alleviate them by using a compression garment for the first few days.
If your procedure is more complex or extensive, it is possible that you will need to stay in hospital for observation. This stay will depend on your size and speed of recovery.
Fortunately, under normal circumstances, you will be discharged to home care once Dr Patrick Briggs is satisfied you are healing adequately.
Full recovery depends on the extensiveness of the procedure, as well as your body’s natural healing process.
After 2-3 weeks, you will be able to perform easy tasks. Provided your job is not physically strenuous you can expect to return to work around this time. However, you should wait approximately 6 weeks before resuming sports activities and other strenuous activities.
Minimising Scars after Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars, including ‘so-called’ scarless methods.
Experienced plastic surgeons are extremely careful about scar placement and minimisation. Surgical scars generally fading over time with most scars being barely visible after 12 months.
After your procedure, you will have weekly post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team. This is to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks later for a scar consultation and organise scar minimisation treatments.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customised selection of;
- Skin Needling
- Healite II LED
- Massaging with oils
- Fraxel Laser
- Silicone strips & gels
- Steroids can also help minimise scars.
- Ask the Coco Ruby Team!
Note – The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure as well as your health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person – but ensuring you get enough rest is vital.
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
Fleur De Lis Surgery Cost
Every patient is different, therefore prices will vary. At your first consultation you will be given a price quote with a breakdown of cost, including but not limited to;
- Dr Briggs fee
- Anesthetist’s fee
- Surgical assistant fee
- Hospital fees
If you want to get more information about costs, payment methods, and options, you can visit our price guide
Funding Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty – Medicare, Payment Plans and Super
Some Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty (FDL) procedures may be eligible for Medicare.
Purely Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty procedures are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance. This means you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Many patients ask about payment options and medical finance – You can learn more about payment options for funding your Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty procedure on our Funding Surgery page here.
Your super fund may also be able to help pay for your procedure in certain circumstances. Visit the Super for Surgery page to find out about the early release of super on compassionate grounds.
How to find the best Fleur De Lis (FDL) Surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend on the surgeon you choose. Since Fleur De Lis is a major procedure, you’ll need a top Fleur De Lis plastic surgeon. A reputable Fleur De Lis surgeon has the following qualities;
- A Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is a Member of ASPS5 star online reviews from patients.
- Extensive experience in different types of abdominoplasty.
- Patient Before and After Photos .
- Empathy and caring with recovery and aftercare.
- A great support team with long term follow up.
Complications and Risks of Fleur De Lis Surgery
Fleur de Lis is a complex surgical procedure and as such should only be performed by the best and top plastic surgeons in Australia.
Although it is a more complex procedure than traditional abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), the percentage of cases with developed complications is similar and low.
To reduce possible risks and complications, it is important to choose the best Fleur De Lis surgeon, someone who has enough experience and knowledge to perform the procedure.
Thorough prewashing of your skin before coming to the hospital can aid the prevention of infections.
The most common complications of FDL surgery include:
- Unsightly scars or keloid scars
- Abdomen Asymmetry
- Malposition or Loss of Belly Button
- Dissatisfaction with the results
- And, reaction to anesthesia
Your Fleur De Lis Journey
During the first consultation, the specialist surgeon will talk to you, in detail about your desires and expectations from FDL surgery. You will also be informed about all potential risks and complications that may arise during the surgical procedure and recovery. You will also undergo a detailed medical examination to determine with certainty that you are a good candidate for vertical abdominoplasty.
The FDL Operation
The appropriate anaesthesia will be applied, after which the specialist plastic surgeon will begin the process of removing excess tissue and skin. The incision site will be closed with sutures and the recovery and healing process begins.
Your specialist plastic surgeon and their team will give you strict instructions in the form of a recovery plan. By following the recovery, plan your healing should be relatively quick and painless while ensuring optimal results. Furthermore, you will have a post-op appointment with Dr Patrick Briggs to check on your incision sights, see how you are feeling and advise on any other course of action that should be taken to optimize your results.
Commonly combined /associated surgery
A Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty can be performed on its own or in combination with other surgical procedures like liposuction.
You can also combine a Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty with a procedure on another part of the body. Combining breast and tummy surgeries is so common it has its own name, A Mummy Makeover.
As a guide, it is best not to exceed a total of 4-6 hours in surgery and also to work on associated parts of the breast, body or face. See the BLOG on Combining Different Surgeries.
How do I know if I need a classic Tummy Tuck or Fleur De Lis Surgery?
- Fleur De Lis, is a procedure for patients who have a large amount of excess skin tissue in the lower and upper abdomen.
- While a Tummy Tuck is better for those who encounter this problem only in the lower abdominal wall.
Can I undergo Fleur De Lis if I am obese?
- People who suffer from overweight disorders (morbid obesity) are generally not good candidates for this procedure.
- Contact our specialist surgeon for more information.
Is there an age limit that determines a good candidate for vertical abdominoplasty?
- FDL Surgery is a procedure that can be performed on all adult patients who meet the rules of the professional and the prerequisites to be good candidates for FDL Surgery.
Further Reading – Fleur De Lis – Medical References
- Fleur-de-Lis abdominoplasty: a safe alternative to traditional Abdominoplasty
- Abdominal Contour Surgery for the Massive Weight Loss Patient: The Fleur-De-Lis Approach
- Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty Surgery in Melbourne – Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery
- The History of The Fleur-de-lis Technique: a Review of The Literature and Case Report
- Body contouring surgery following massive weight loss
- TOP 7 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN CONSIDERING A FLEUR DE LIS TUMMY TUCK
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne Plastic Surgeon – FRCS (Plas)
Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Clinic in Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon. Both he and his team are dedicated to excellence in patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Not only does he offer high-quality results he also offers natural-looking plastic and cosmetic surgery results. Furthermore, he is experienced in Breast, Body and Face Surgery having performed over 4500 Surgeries in private practice.
How can we help?
Dr Briggs’ Patient Coordinators take pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.