A popular post-pregnancy procedure very often associated with the “mommy makeover”, the tummy tuck or abdominoplasty, removes loose skin and fat from the abdomen and tightens the muscles so that the tummy appears flat and toned. This cosmetic procedure restores a woman’s figure to its pre-pregnant beauty. It is also a procedure that helps patients who have lost an extreme amount of weight in a relatively short period of time.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, tummy tucks rose 87% between 2000 and 2014. While most of these procedures are undertaken for purely cosmetic reasons, what many people are not aware of is that there are several medical benefits to be enjoyed post operatively.
Improved Posture as a Result of Better Abdominal Muscle Tone
Extreme weight loss and multiple pregnancies can cause stomach muscles to become distended. Neither diet nor exercise can help either of these situations. However a tummy tuck surgically tightens weak muscles and removes excess skin and fat. The result is a flatter abdomen and stronger muscles.
In addition, weak abdominal muscles are often associated with sway back. Abdominoplasty actually serves to help tighten the muscles supporting the spine. The improved support and better posture may also relieve certain types of back pain.
Ventral Hernia Correction
A ventral hernia occurs when the intestine or abdominal tissue breaks through the abdominal wall and forms a pocket or sack. Often this occurs as a result of abdominal weakness caused by massive weight loss or surgeries like C-sections or appendectomies.
Once a ventral hernia develops, it is very easy for it to happen again. Often, your surgeon will weigh the benefits of adding an abdominoplasty procedure to the hernia repair to strengthen the abdominal wall and prevent future occurrences. Combining the procedures is not only safe, but very practical, as it can reduce medical expenses and recovery time.
There are Risks as Well as Rewards
Even though the phrase “tummy tuck” sounds cute and simple, the procedure is anything but. A tummy tuck is a major operation lasting from two to three hours under anesthesia. Although our patients feel comfortable immediately, full recovery can take several weeks, and just like any other surgery, there are risks of infection and other complications.
If you are considering a tummy tuck, discuss the procedure in detail with a board certified plastic surgeon. Make sure the surgeon has experience with abdominoplasty surgery. Consider the cosmetic and medical benefits as well as any inherent risks before deciding whether to move forward with the surgery or not. But remember that it is an operation that makes people feel great, allows them to wear the clothes they really want to wear, and truly helps restore self-confidence!