People looking to lose extra inches around their waist may be considering a tummy tuck from the Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL, This procedure, also referred to as an abdominoplasty, is designed to remove excess skin and fat in the abdominal area, and while it’s not generally meant for weight loss, you can lose some extra pounds during the procedure.
How Much Weight Do You Lose With a Tummy Tuck?
Weight Loss Is Not the Goal of an Abdominoplasty
Even if you’re bound to lose some weight during an abdominoplasty, it’s not a procedure that’s meant to help you lose weight. This surgery is a body contouring procedure that’s designed to flatten and tighten the stomach and provide a smoother body line. However, because we’ll be trimming extra skin and some fat from the area, you can expect to lose up to 10 pounds during this surgery, though the actual amount depends on how much we have to remove.
Medical Reasons for an Abdominoplasty
While abdominoplasty is never recommended as a method of weight loss, there are several medical reasons to consider getting this procedure that can be related to your weight. You’re not going to see improvement in your cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings, or A1C levels by getting an abdominoplasty, but you’ll see a thinner waistline, which can be beneficial for your mental health and overall well-being. The following medical conditions can also be corrected with this procedure.
Following childbirth or extensive weight loss, people often experience back pain related to weakened abdominal muscles. An abdominoplasty tightens the stomach muscles, which then strengthens the core. A strong core is vital for relieving back pain because your body is more balanced rather than your back taking on more stress than your abdomen. Of course, you’ll have to continue to keep these muscles strong, but the relief you get from back pain will be immediate after tummy tuck recovery.
If your intestines or abdominal tissue breaks through your abdominal wall, a ventral hernia develops. This can occur due to weakened abdominal muscles related to childbirth, weight loss, a Cesarean section, or an appendectomy. A ventral hernia is painful, especially when lifting or straining, so getting an abdominoplasty can strengthen the abdominal muscles and correct the hernia to eliminate the pain. Exercise also strengthens your abdominal muscles, but with the pain from the hernia, surgery may be the better option.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
When there’s too much stress on your bladder and urethra from excess weight or being pregnant, you can develop stress urinary incontinence. This condition is characterized by uncontrollable urine leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, exercise, or perform any forceful action. It’s normally treated without surgery, but if you’re going to have an abdominoplasty anyway, you’ll likely also find relief from this embarrassing and frustrating condition, since the abdominal muscles are tightened and excess weight in the area is removed.
People who have weak abdominal muscles often also have poor posture because they tend to slouch to allow the weakened area to take on less stress. Tightening your stomach muscles will allow you to sit and stand up straighter to provide more support to your spine. This is another reason why you may experience less back pain as well since poor posture can be a cause. You may even see a reduction in knee and ankle pain, too.
In addition to the medical benefits of abdominoplasty, you’ll discover some other advantages as well. For example, a more well-defined abdominal area can increase your self-confidence, especially when wearing revealing clothing like bathing suits. You’ll also find that exercise is easier because your core is stronger. Most exercises require at least some core strength, but when your back hurts because of weak stomach muscles, it can be hard to perform enough exercise to make a difference.
Moreover, your clothes will fit better. As much as we may not like it, many articles of clothing are designed for people with flat and contoured stomachs. You’ll discover that the clothes you have may even be too large for you once you get your stomach to the size you want it. This means you may need to go on a shopping trip to buy new clothes for your new body, which can be a lot of fun!
Before getting an abdominoplasty, you should understand what happens during the procedure to ensure it’s the right solution. A small incision will be made near the pubic region between your hips. This will allow us to access the abdominal area and to reposition your belly button to keep its natural appearance. We’ll repair any stretched or separated abdominal muscles and pull them tight toward your pelvis. Prior to closing the incision, we’ll trim any extra skin from the area.
The procedure usually takes between one and two hours, but if you add liposuction to the surgery, it may take longer, depending on how much fat you are having removed. You should plan to be at our facility for most of the day on your surgery day, since preparation can take a couple of hours, as can recovery. In some instances, we may even have you stay overnight to monitor your post-surgical condition, but this is rare.
In most cases, this procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, which means while you’ll be under general anesthesia during surgery, you can expect to go home on surgery day. You will need someone to drive you home from your appointment and stay with you for 24 hours to ensure you have no adverse effects from the anesthesia. You may want to have someone help you out at home with chores and tasks for the first few days following your procedure.
Many of our patients elect to add liposuction to their tummy tuck procedure because you can get better results from the abdominoplasty by removing pockets of stubborn fat in the stomach region. Since it limits the number of times you have to undergo anesthesia, adding liposuction to an abdominoplasty means only having to have one surgical procedure to get the best outcome. Additionally, removing extra fat through liposuction can improve your abdominal contour from your abdominoplasty as well.
Patients who add liposuction to their abdominoplasty procedure can expect to lose a few more pounds than those who elect to have the abdominoplasty alone. This is because more fat is removed from the abdominal area during liposuction. However, as with the abdominoplasty, liposuction is not meant to be a weight loss plan, and should only be used to eliminate that last bit of stubborn fat that you are having difficulty losing through diet and exercise alone.
While individual results vary from patient to patient, you can expect your abdominal area to be slimmer, smoother, and more contoured following an abdominoplasty. Your stomach muscles will be tighter, providing more core support when sitting and standing. You can expect these results to be long lasting if you keep your weight within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight. Gaining too much weight can reverse the results of your abdominoplasty, so it’s important to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Candidates for Abdominoplasty
The ideal candidate for an abdominoplasty is someone who is within 20 pounds of their ideal weight and has excess fat and skin in the abdominal area that is no longer responsive to exercise and diet. They also usually have weak abdominal muscles that could be causing other medical conditions like back pain, stress urinary incontinence, and ventral hernias. They may have undergone significant weight loss or have given birth, which further weakened the stomach muscles.
Patients should be in good overall health and not smoke. If you’re a smoker, you’ll be asked to quit smoking for six weeks before surgery to ensure your body is able to properly heal from the procedure. Moreover, we recommend that, if you’re a woman, you are finished having children because giving birth can reverse the effects of an abdominoplasty as your muscles and skin will be required to stretch again during the gestational period.
During our initial consultation, we’ll perform a full examination and take a complete medical history to be sure you’re healthy enough to undergo the procedure. We will also confer with your physicians if you have other medical conditions that could interfere with the procedure itself or the recovery process. Finally, we’ll discuss your expectations for the outcome of the surgery to make sure they’re reasonable, since it’s important to understand that no cosmetic surgery is a magic bullet.
Schedule a Consultation
The next step toward getting a tummy tuck is to schedule a consultation with our expert surgeons. After understanding what you’re looking to achieve through cosmetic surgery, we’ll answer any questions you have and explain the options available to you. An abdominoplasty is an excellent option for strengthening your abdominal muscles, contouring your stomach area, and getting rid of excess skin, but it’s not ideal for everyone. Our job is to make sure you get the treatment you want and need.
If you’ve been struggling with that last bit of stubborn fat and excess skin from weight loss or childbirth, let us show you how we can get you the rest of the way there. Contact Plastic Surgery Specialists of South Florida in Hollywood, FL, and book your initial appointment today to complete your journey.