Do you wish you could lose a bit of your waist circumference and tighten loose, sagging skin? If so, you may be a good candidate for a tummy tuck at MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA. Known in the medical community as abdominoplasty, this procedure can help you tone up by tightening loose muscles and removing excess skin. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With a Tummy Tuck?
You can lose up to 10 pounds with a tummy tuck. However, this procedure was not designed to facilitate weight loss. Rather, it was designed to tighten and strengthen your abdominal muscles and remove excess skin. Furthermore, your contours are improved by the tightening of loose skin and a small amount of excess fat removal.
Since most of the weight loss comes from skin loss rather than fat loss, you may need to combine liposuction with your abdominoplasty if you have a large amount of excess abdominal fat to achieve your aesthetic goals. How much weight you can lose from liposuction depends on your body fat distribution and your BMI. Typically, people can lose between nine and 11 pounds safely during a single liposuction session.
Medical Applications of Abdominoplasty
While abdominoplasty is a body sculpting procedure, it also has medical applications. You shouldn’t expect your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, or A1C levels to improve drastically after this procedure. However, you can expect your overall well-being and mental health to improve significantly once you feel confident in your own skin. That said, there are other medical benefits associated with receiving this procedure. Here’s a brief overview.
Back Pain Relief
Weak abdominal muscles often result in back pain, especially lower back pain. When your abdominal muscles are weak, your back muscles are forced to work much harder to support your core and keep you upright. Since abdominoplasty tightens weak abdominal muscles, you will notice a significant reduction in back pain shortly after your procedure.
Note, it is very important to always work your pushing and pulling muscles when you exercise. For example, you may want to bulk up your biceps (pulling muscles). However, you should also work your triceps (pushing muscles) when lifting weights so muscle imbalance doesn’t occur. You may not feel pain in the backs of your arms if you only do bicep curls on arm day. That said, it is not good for your body to have such muscular imbalances.
Ventral hernias form when your intestine or abdominal tissue penetrates the wall of your abdomen. Women most commonly experience ventral hernias after giving vaginal childbirth because the abdominal walls are significantly weakened and susceptible to damage after childbirth. That said, pregnancy alone can be stressful enough on the abdominal walls to lead to a ventral hernia after a Cesarean section.
Men most often develop ventral hernias after an appendectomy. Men and women alike are very susceptible to ventral hernias following significant weight loss. If you have a ventral hernia, you will experience chronic pain and extreme acute pain when you strain or lift objects. Abdominoplasty is a great ventral hernia correction method because it corrects the ventral hernia and mitigates the risk of a future ventral hernia by tightening weak abdominal muscles.
Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is often triggered by excess weight or pregnancy. This type of urinary incontinence occurs when an excessive amount of stress is placed on your bladder and urethra. For instance, you may notice urinary incontinence when you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, or run.
There are two ways a tummy tuck treats SUI. Primarily, the risk of future leaks is mitigated by tightening your pelvic floor muscles. Secondarily, the procedure removes a small amount of excess abdominal fat so less pressure is being exerted on your urethra and bladder even when stress occurs.
You probably know poor posture can cause back pain. Unfortunately, poor posture is commonly caused by weak abdominal muscles. The reason you slouch may be because you need to give your weak abdominal muscles a break from supporting your core. Once your abdominal muscles are tightened and strengthened thanks to abdominoplasty, you will find it far easier to stand and sit up straighter and provide extra support to your spine.
Furthermore, it is common to experience a reduction in ankle and knee pain following this procedure. Your gait will be a lot more natural and 10 pounds or more will be removed from your abdominal region depending on whether you also opt for liposuction. This will make an unimaginable difference on your leg joints, particularly when you run.
Besides the medical, mental health, and overall wellness benefits you get from this procedure, there are several other benefits you can expect. For instance, you should expect a significant increase in self-confidence once you finally have the visibly toned abdominal muscles you fought to achieve for years. You may even find you love bikinis when you swore revealing swimwear was silly just a couple of years ago.
Additionally, you may find new hobbies you enjoy, such as swimming or playing lacrosse. Everything you do in life will be easier thanks to your stronger core. Furthermore, physical activities will be a lot more enjoyable without several pounds of excess skin getting in the way of spinning, running, or pumping iron. Moreover, your clothes will fit you much better and feel more comfortable. Finally, you may enjoy spending an afternoon shopping for more flattering outfits that suit your style.
What To Expect During a Tummy Tuck
During abdominoplasty, a tiny incision will be made near your pubic region between your hips. This allows us to access your abdominal region. Be advised, if you opt for a full tuck, we may lift your navel to help you keep a natural appearance. However, if you opt for a mini tuck, your navel will most likely not be moved. If your abdominal muscles are stretched or separated, we will pull them together tightly.
At this time, we will also repair any ventral hernias you have if applicable. Once your muscles are tightened, we will excise excess abdominal skin. Additionally, we may excise a small amount of excess abdominal fat. You should expect your procedure to take between an hour or two depending on the scope. However, you should expect your procedure to take three hours if you opt for liposuction in addition to your abdominoplasty.
What To Expect Shortly After Your Procedure
You should expect to feel fairly groggy immediately following your abdominoplasty. This is a natural effect of getting sedation or general anesthesia. You should expect to be observed for a while so we can make sure you are fully awake before we send you home. Additionally, it is important for you to be fully awake because we need to review your post-op care instructions.
It is essential that you follow all post-op care steps so your recovery is as short and smooth as it can be. Be aware, you may not drive within 24 hours of sedation. Therefore, you need to arrange for someone to drive you home once your procedure is complete. If possible, have someone stay with you for at least the first 24 hours post-op to help you remain hydrated and nourished.
What To Eat Post-Op
After your procedure, you should focus on eating plenty of lean protein and soluble fiber. However, it is also important to eat insoluble fiber. Note, if you’re not hungry, we strongly recommend trying to sip on a protein-packed smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to boost your hydration if you include ice and yogurt instead of ice cream and water-dense fruits and veggies.
For more protein, we recommend using Greek or Icelandic yogurt in your smoothie instead of traditional yogurt. You may even find you prefer the texture of your smoothie using one of these yogurt options. Additionally, spinach is a great source of protein to add to your smoothie. You’ll only taste the fruit and yogurt, but you’ll get all of the water, protein, fiber, and micronutrients in the spinach. Great solid foods to incorporate into your post-op diet include:
- Small portions of nuts
- Nut butters
After your procedure, you should expect your abdominal region to be tighter, smoother, and more contoured. You can also expect an improvement in your posture and a reduction in chronic back pain, particularly lower back pain. Once poor posture is corrected, you may notice you look an inch or two taller.
Furthermore, you can expect to maintain your desired contours if you maintain your weight within 10 to 15 pounds. If you lose any more than 10 or 15 pounds, loose skin may occur.
Who Is a Good Candidate for This Procedure?
The ideal candidate for abdominoplasty is an individual who is within 20 pounds of his or her ideal weight and wants to tighten the abdominal wall. He or she may also be concerned about a large amount of excess skin, loose skin, and abdominal fat. Great candidates for this procedure include individuals who are suffering from medical consequences of weak abdominal muscles, such as chronic lower back pain, stress urinary incontinence, poor posture, or a ventral hernia.
Additionally, many people who qualify for this procedure have given birth or lost an extreme amount of weight and have a great deal of excess skin. Note, to qualify for this procedure, you must be able to adhere to all pre-op and post-op guidelines. For instance, you must be able to refrain from consuming tobacco products for six weeks before and after your abdominoplasty. Nicotine will elevate your blood pressure during your procedure and slow your recovery.
A Word on Family Planning
You may need a follow-up procedure if you get pregnant after your abdominoplasty. There’s nothing wrong with getting pregnant after you receive this procedure. However, you should be aware that your abdominal muscles can weaken during pregnancy and loose or excess skin may occur. Additionally, you may gain abdominal fat that you can’t lose post-pregnancy. In such a case, liposuction may be necessary after a future pregnancy.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
You can expect to lose up to 10 pounds following abdominoplasty due to the removal of excess skin and fat. You can expect to lose more weight if you combine a tummy tuck with liposuction. However, you should keep in mind abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. To find out if this procedure is right for you, contact us today at MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center in Milford, PA to schedule your initial consultation.