If you think you could benefit from losing a few inches from your waist, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck at Finesse Cosmetic Surgery in Waltham, MA. This procedure, known in the medical community as abdominoplasty, can tone up your tummy by tightening your abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With a Tummy Tuck?
Abdominoplasty Isn’t a Weight Loss Procedure
While a tummy tuck results in weight loss, it is not a weight-loss procedure. It is a body contouring procedure designed to improve the contours of the abdominal region. That said, you can expect to lose up to 10 pounds following this procedure due to the removal of excess skin and fat.
We can advise you on how much weight you should expect to lose post-op during your initial consultation. However, you should be aware that only a small amount of excess abdominal fat is excised during this procedure. Most of the weight loss comes from the removal of excess skin. If you have quite a bit of abdominal fat you would like to eliminate, you may need to combine this procedure with liposuction to achieve your desired aesthetic.
Medical Reasons for Abdominoplasty
Even though abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure rather than a weight loss procedure, there are still a number of medical benefits you can enjoy post-op. While your A1C levels, blood pressure readings, or cholesterol levels won’t benefit from a tummy tuck, your mental health and overall wellbeing will improve once you see your trimmer waistline. You can also expect this procedure to correct the following medical conditions.
Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is often the result of weak abdominal muscles. Since the primary purpose of abdominoplasty is to tighten weak stomach muscles, back pain will fade after receiving this procedure. When your abdominal muscles are strong, your posture is better. Additionally, your back muscles aren’t being overused to keep you upright. Your back and stomach muscles should share the responsibility of keeping you upright equally.
Ventral hernias develop when abdominal tissue or your intestine penetrates your abdominal wall. It is most commonly caused by weak abdominal muscles following childbirth. However, ventral hernias can also occur following a Cesarean section because pregnancy alone is enough to weaken your abdominal muscles.
Other potential causes of ventral hernias include significant weight loss and an appendectomy. Ventral hernias are painful, particularly when you strain or lift objects. At the same time as you get abdominoplasty, your hernia can be corrected. Furthermore, tightening weak abdominal muscles will mitigate the risk that you develop another ventral hernia in the future.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence can develop due to pregnancy or excess weight. When too much stress is put on your urethra and bladder, you may leak urine when forceful actions occur. For example, you may find you leak when you work out, laugh, cough or sneeze.
Abdominoplasty treats stress urinary incontinence in a couple of ways. First, some of the weight exerting excess pressure on your urethra and bladder is removed. Second, we can tighten your pelvic floor muscles during this procedure to prevent future leaks.
As noted above, poor posture usually leads to back pain. Furthermore, this problem is usually caused by weak abdominal muscles. You may slouch now to minimize the amount of work your weak abdominal muscles have to do. Once they are tightened and strengthened, you will stand up straighter and provide your spine with extra support.
Additionally, you may notice a reduction in knee and ankle pain after this procedure. You will have a much more natural gait and up to 10 pounds will be removed during this procedure. It is unimaginable how much better your leg joints will feel once 10 pounds is removed from your abdominal region.
There are a number of other benefits you can expect from abdominoplasty besides the medical benefits. For instance, you can expect your self-confidence to increase significantly once you have achieved the well-defined abdomen you worked for years to achieve. You may even find yourself particularly self-confident and proud when you wear revealing clothing such as swimwear.
Additionally, you will find exercise to be far easier and more enjoyable without your excess abdominal skin getting in the way. You will also find all sorts of activities are easier with a stronger core. Furthermore, you will find your clothes fit better and feel more comfortable. Finally, you may find your clothes don’t do your new contours justice and have a fun-filled afternoon buying more flattering clothing.
Before you receive your procedure, you should understand what to expect during the procedure to help you decide whether it will be right for you. We will make a tiny incision between your hips near your pubic region. This provides us with access to the abdominal region. Depending on the scope of the procedure and your personal preferences, we may move your navel to keep your natural appearance.
We will tightly pull any stretched or separated abdominal muscles toward your pelvis. We will also repair any ventral hernias you may have. Once your muscles are taut, we will eliminate excess skin from the region. Furthermore, a bit of excess fat may be excised at this time. Your procedure may take anywhere from one to two hours. That said, your procedure may take up to three hours if you are also receiving liposuction.
What To Expect Immediately After Your Procedure
Immediately after your procedure, you should expect to feel pretty groggy. This is a natural result of receiving either general anesthesia or sedation. We may observe you for a while after your procedure to ensure you are fully awake. Before you leave, we will review your post-op recovery steps with you to ensure your recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
Note, this procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. This means that you can go home once you’ve woken up fully and reviewed your post-op care instructions. However, you should be aware you cannot drive within 24 hours of being sedated. Make sure you have someone drive you to and from your procedure. It is also advisable to have someone stay with you during this period to help you stay fed and hydrated.
What to Eat After Your Procedure
We strongly recommend preparing reasonably-portioned, healthy meals before your procedure. These healthy meals should be high in soluble fiber and lean protein. It is okay if you don’t have much of an appetite after your procedure. If you don’t feel like eating, we urge you to consider drinking a nutritious, protein-packed smoothie.
Smoothies are great after abdominoplasty because they are hydrating and high in protein when made with yogurt instead of ice cream. Furthermore, it is easy to sneak some fiber into your smoothie by adding a green, leafy vegetable to your fruit and yogurt concoction. You won’t be able to taste the veggies, but you’ll get all of the nutritional value they have to offer. Other great foods to incorporate into your post-operative diet include legumes, nuts, and eggs.
As noted above, you may need liposuction added to your tummy tuck to achieve your desired results. If you need to tighten your abdominal muscles and remove quite a bit of excess fat, combining abdominoplasty with liposuction may be the perfect option for you. If you’re on the fence about liposuction but know you could benefit from abdominoplasty, we encourage you to strongly consider combining the procedures. You’ll only need to prepare and recover for a body contouring procedure once.
If you combine liposuction with abdominoplasty, you can expect to lose a few extra pounds. Depending on your starting weight, we may be able to remove roughly 11 pounds of fat safely with liposuction. That said, it is important to be as close to your goal weight as possible before you get liposuction. If you have too much excess fat, your results won’t be as dramatic.
You can expect your abdominal region to be smoother, tighter, and more contoured after your procedure. You can also expect a reduction in lower back pain and an improvement in posture. You may even find you look taller.
You can expect your results to last as long as you maintain your weight within 10 to 15 pounds. If you gain too much weight, you may need a maintenance procedure one day. Furthermore, you may need a maintenance procedure if you get pregnant in the future regardless of how much weight you gain during pregnancy.
Candidates for Tummy Tuck Procedure
The best candidate for this procedure is within 20 pounds of their goal weight and has excess abdominal skin and fat that is unresponsive to diet and exercise. Good candidates for this procedure may also have weak abdominal muscles that are affecting their quality of life. For example, they may be living with back pain, a ventral hernia, or stress urinary incontinence. Often, good candidates for this procedure have given birth and lost a significant amount of weight.
To be considered a good candidate for this procedure, you should be in fairly good overall health and not smoke. If you smoke, you should stop for six weeks before your procedure and six weeks after your procedure. Abstaining from tobacco products ensures your procedure and recovery will go smoothly.
A Note on Family Planning
As mentioned previously, you may need a maintenance procedure if you get pregnant after receiving this procedure. We’d like to note there is nothing wrong with getting pregnant after abdominoplasty. That said, we recommend women hold off on this procedure until they are done having children. This gives the best possible chance for maintaining the results for life.
Additionally, you should know you can’t receive this procedure while you are breastfeeding. In fact, it is advisable to wait several weeks after breastfeeding to consider this procedure. Both breastfeeding and post-operative recovery take a great deal of energy.
Learn More Today
You can lose up to 10 pounds after a tummy tuck, but you should keep in mind that it is not a weight-loss procedure. Most of the weight you lose will be due to the removal of excess skin. That said, tightening up your core can change your life in unimaginable ways. Contact us today at Finesse Cosmetic Surgery in Waltham, MA to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about this life-changing body contouring procedure.