Having a slimmer stomach may be a confidence booster, but there are other benefits and reasons for having a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. Some women and men have a tummy tuck because they are uncomfortable moving around while going about their daily life. Others have it to reduce discomfort and therefore increase their mobility.
Most tummy tucks are associated with postpartum women or people who have experienced extreme weight loss. No matter what the specific reason, abdominoplasty benefits can go beyond cosmetic improvements.
What Is an Abdominoplasty?
An abdominoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that involves tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess skin around the stomach, which can occur as a result of pregnancy or significant weight loss.
Up to 10 pounds of stomach fat can be removed during a tummy tuck by disconnecting the skin from the underlying tissue, suturing the abdominal tissue and cutting away the extra skin.
While it may be easy to think that the reason to have a tummy tuck is purely due to vanity, this is not always true. Here’s a breakdown of 3 health benefits that may result from a tummy tuck procedure.
1. Easier Exercise
The cosmetic benefits of abdominoplasty are a bonus in addition to feeling better physically.
We all know how important it is to exercise regularly, but abdominal weakness and the excess skin that can result from childbirth or extreme weight loss can make exercise more difficult. A tummy tuck can remove the extra skin, making movement much easier. Exercise is important to maintain your core muscle strength, especially after giving birth. It will also help you maintain your weight and figure after surgery.
Keep in mind that the full recovery time after a tummy tuck can take a few months and will vary depending on the person, so be sure to ask your doctor when you are clear to exercise again. He or she will most likely have you focus on the muscles around the spine and pelvic floor including core strength training and aerobic exercise.
2. Relieve Postpartum Back Pain
Some postpartum women experience abdominal muscle separation, also known as diastasis recti. When this happens, the muscles in the lower back try to compensate for the weakness of the abdominal muscles, resulting in discomfort.
After giving birth, back and pelvic pain during pregnancy often subside, but that’s not always the case for every new mother. Between 5 and 21 percent of women experience chronic back pain more than two years after childbirth.
A tummy tuck strengthens and tightens abdominal muscles, which leads to the relief of back pain since the spine is now supported and the back muscles no longer have to do all of the work.
3. Treat Incontinence
Women who deliver their babies vaginally sometimes develop urinary incontinence as a result of the fascia, or connective tissue, between the abdominal muscles stretching and expanding to make room for the growing baby. This tissue usually retracts after giving birth, but not always.
Some women experience postpartum symptoms well after giving birth, especially after pregnancies involving multiple or bigger babies. This is a result of abdominal muscle separation, which leaves the lower back unstable and unsupported. About 25 to 38 percent of women experience incontinence 10 to 12 years after pregnancy.
Fortunately, there’s good news. A tummy tuck could potentially return some of the tension distribution through the network of connective tissue that was lost in order to lengthen the urethra and improve urinary incontinence.
Weighing the Benefits of a Tummy Tuck
When considering a tummy tuck, remember that abdominoplasty benefits can go well beyond your physical appearance. Talk to your doctor to see if an abdominoplasty could be an option for you. Be sure to do your research and seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon at a reputable practice for your tummy tuck. And finally, always remember to follow your physician’s instructions during the recovery process to ensure a successful surgery.
Dr. Frank Campanile is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is also fellowship trained in hand and microsurgery. Dr. Campanile knows that making a lasting change to your appearance is a big decision. His calm, professional approach and deep caring for his patients set a tone that will help you feel confident and relaxed while reviewing your options and learning all about the procedures that can benefit you. Request a consultation today to meet with Dr. Campanile in person.