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 abdominoplasty procedures.

While a traditional ‘Abdominoplasty’ aims to remove excess skin from the lower abdomen the aim of a Fleur De Lis procedure aims to alter the appearance of the entire abdominal area.

Other names for Fleur De Lis (FDL) surgery include both vertical abdominoplasty and corset lipectomy. This type of abdominoplasty procedure may often be suitable for massive weight loss patients.

The procedure gets the name “Fleur de Lis” because it 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 can be used to remove excess skin in both vertical and horizontal directions. 

The procedure may be suggested for patients whose excess, loose skin is not only on the lower abdomen but also on the upper belly and side/hip area.

Am I a potential Candidate for Surgery?

Candidates for an Fleur De Lis (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 excess skin due to age or even other abdominal surgeries.

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 potential 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 potential candidate for Fleur de Lis surgery if you:

  • Have lost a significant amount of weight and have excess skin in the abdominal area
  • Have excess skin present on not only the lower abdomen, but on the upper stomach and sides as well.
  • Are in good general health and do not suffer from serious illnesses or medical conditions.
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) within a healthy range
  • Do not use medications that could affect the procedure and recovery.
  • Have reasonable expectations of what Fleur De Lis (FDL) surgery can do.
  • Are not a smoker, or if you are a smoker your absolutely 100% willing to quit smoking before your surgery and for at least 6 weeks minimum after surgery.
  • Understand all the potential risks and complications of vertical abdominoplasty.
  • Have realistic expectations about the results of the procedure and are committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle after surgery.

Reasons for Fleur De Lis Surgery

This type of Abdominoplasty focuses on removing the loose, skin and stubborn fat around the mid and low stomach area, it can also help change the appearance of the waistline and hips.

Excess skin can 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, altered mobility and comfort.

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 an abdominoplasty, along the pubic bone area. While the second is a vertical incision around the center of your abdomen.

The length of the vertical incision will depend on both the location and the amount of skin laxity (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, the scar will generally fade over time and become less visible.

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.

It is important to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine if you are a potential candidate for body lift surgery and to discuss the potential risks and reasons of the procedure.

Recovery after Fleur de Lis Surgery

Recovery often depends on the complexity of the procedure itself. Like any other invasive surgery, Fleur De Lis abdominoplasty is very individualised. Therefore every patient recovery journey will be different. However, generally, you can expect the following;

  • Hospital stay: You will most likely need to stay in hospital for a few days for monitoring and observation.
  • Moderate pain: Your surgeon will prescribe painkillers to help manage discomfort.
  • Reduced movement: You will likely be unable to stand up complete after surgery. You may need to stay slightly bent to prevent pain and stitches pulling. However, this should not last longer than a few days.
  • Redness, bruising, and swelling: These are normal side effects of any invasive surgery. You can help alleviate them and reduce their severity by wearing a compression garment for the first few days.
    • Cold compresses/Ice packs may also provide relief. Never use directly on to the incision area.
  • Limited activity: for the first few weeks you will need to rest to help facilitate your recovery. After this you will likely be able to resume some/most daily activities. However, it may take several months before your surgeon gives you the all clear to resume more strenuous activities.
  • It is important to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with the surgeon to monitor the healing process and ensure that any potential issues are addressed promptly.

Complications and Risks of Fleur De Lis Surgery

Fleur de Lis is a complex surgical procedure and as such should be performed by qualified plastic surgeons.

To reduce possible risks and complications, it is important to choose 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 Fleur De Lis (FDL) surgery include:

  • Infection
    • Signs of infection can include fever, redness, swelling, and drainage from the incision site.
    • Antibiotics and wound care may be necessary to treat an infection.
  • Unsightly scars or keloid scars
    • Keloid scarring is a type of scar that occurs when the body overproduces collagen at the site of a wound or incision.
    • It is characterized by raised, thick, and sometimes itchy or painful scars that extend beyond the original site of injury.
  • Bleeding
  • Delayed wound healing
    • In some cases, the incision site may take longer to heal than expected.
    • This may be due to factors such as poor circulation or infection.
  • Hematomas or Seroma
    • A hematoma is a pocket of blood that forms under the skin, while a seroma is a collection of fluid.
    • These can cause swelling, discomfort, and delayed healing.
    • They may require drainage.
  • Abdomen Asymmetry
  • Numbness
    • Numbness or loss of sensation can occur in the treated area.
    • This can be temporary or permanent.
  • Malposition or Loss of Belly Button
  • Dissatisfaction with the results
  • And, reaction to anesthesia, which can include;
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Dizziness
    • Respiratory problems
    • Blood pressure changes

It’s important to discuss the risks and potential complications of Fleur De Lis (FDL) surgery with a qualified plastic surgeon prior to the procedure. Proper preparation, aftercare, and monitoring can help minimise the risk of complications and promote successful healing.

 All surgery contains risks, read more here.

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 careful about scar placement and minimisation. Surgical scars generally fading over time with most scars fading after 12 months.

After your procedure, you will have post-op appointments with our 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 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
  • V-Laser
  • Silicone strips & gels
  • Steroids can also help minimise scars.

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:

  • Dr Briggs fee
  • Anesthetist’s fee
  • Surgical assistant fee
  • Hospital fees
  • And, more.

If you want to get more information about costs, payment methods, and options, you can visit our price guide

Funding, Medicare and payment plans for Fleur De Lis Surgery

Funding Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty – Medicare and Payment Plans

Some Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty (FDL) procedures may be eligible for Medicare.

Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty procedures are usually for cosmetic reasons and as such are usually NOT covered by Medicare or private health insurance. This means you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.

Paying for surgery

Patients can pay for surgery through various methods. These methods include:

  1. Payment in full at the time of the procedure using accepted payment methods such as credit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard), buy now, pay-later products (such as Afterpay, Openpay, Zip Pay).
  2. Non-commercial payment arrangements between the medical practitioner and patient, where the payment is made in instalments.
  3. Medicare rebates, if the surgery is considered medically necessary. (this will not cover the total cost and patients will still have out of pocket costs)
  4. Private health insurance, if the patient has an appropriate level of cover. (This is unlikely to cover the total cost and patients may still have out of pocket costs)

It is important to note that we do not encourage patients to take on debt or access their superannuation to pay for cosmetic surgery. Additionally, we do not offer or recommend financing schemes to patients, such as loans or commercial payment plans

How to find a 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 surgeon with experience performing Fleur De Lis procedures.

How to find the best Fleur De Lis Abdominoplasty Specialist Surgeon Melbourne

In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:

  1. An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
  2. A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
  3. Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
  4. Fellowship with the RACS (Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.

You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:

  • Extensive experience in different types of Fleur de Lis abdominoplasty procedures.
  • Available Patient Before and After Photos.
  • Detailed recovery plans
  • A great support team
  • Comprehensive post-surgery care.


How do I know if I need a classic Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) 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/abdominoplasty is for those who encounter this 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 suitable candidate for vertical abdominoplasty?

  • Fleur De Lis (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.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.

Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne

Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.

Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.

Furthermore, he is experienced in BreastBody 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 9 AM – 5 PM on Weekdays.

Phone (03) 8849 1400 Or Email us.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday on (03) 8849 1400.

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.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Briggs’ Consultation fee is $300.
  • A referral from your GP or your specialist is essential (as of the 1st July 2023).
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.