Abdominoplasty surgery, often referred to as a "tummy tuck," can substantially improve the tone and contour of the abdomen. Weak abdominal muscles due to weight gain or pregnancy can often cause an excess of skin and fat tissue to accumulate around the stomach. Oftentimes, diet and exercise are not enough to correct the problem because the skin and underlying muscles have been stretched out and are not able to retighten.
As with most of my patients, people in Orange County choose a tummy tuck for a wide range of reasons, but their goal is always the same: to tighten, slim, and flatten the abdomen. Although the surgical reshaping that occurs as part of an abdominoplasty is permanent in the sense that the repair of skin and muscle will not "undo" itself over time, certain post-surgical events and influences can cause re-separation of the abdominal muscles or re-formation of loose skin, negating the positive benefits of this procedure. Substantial weight gain, pregnancy, and a sedentary lifestyle are all factors that can negatively affect the longevity of a tummy tuck result.
Gain Weight, Lose Results
Much like liposuction in Orange County, abdominoplasty is not a method of weight loss and does not prevent future weight gain. Failing to adhere to an appropriate exercise program and maintain an adequate diet can greatly diminish the advantages of this procedure. Remaining at a stable weight will ensure that the results of a tummy tuck are long-lasting. The following are general guidelines regarding weight fluctuations before and after a tummy tuck:
If a patient is planning to lose a substantial amount of weight, it is often advised to postpone abdominoplasty. Usually, it is best for an individual to be within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal body weight before surgery.
Weight gain in the stomach area is still possible following abdominoplasty; however, if a patient gains weight, the abdominal contour should look better than if the weight gain occurred without first having surgery.
Because genetics determine weight distribution, excess fat will redistribute as it did before abdominoplasty. However, if liposuction was used to remove excess fat in the abdomen, there will be permanently fewer fat cells in this area.
Plan for Pregnancy
Post-operative pregnancies can have detrimental effects on the results of a tummy tuck. Pregnancy forces the abdominal muscles to stretch and tear, causing the muscle tone that was restored with surgery to diminish. When this happens, additional body contouring procedures may be required. Therefore, although a tummy tuck does not interfere with pregnancy, it is generally advised that women considering surgery should wait until they are not planning to have any more children before having abdominoplasty.
A person who has recently had a tummy tuck may be advised to exercise less during their recovery period in order to allow the muscles to heal properly. I usually suggest that my patients limit any strenuous activity during the first 1 to 2 weeks following their operation. After a few months, however, regular aerobic exercise is permitted and even encouraged. In fact, the results of a tummy tuck can be enhanced through specific exercise techniques that help keep the newly tightened abdominal muscle toned and firm.
Avoiding or forgoing exercise does not always have an adverse effect on surgical benefits, nor does it necessarily guarantee weight gain. However, following a regular exercise program and healthy low-fat diet will help patients ensure that they are getting the most from their surgical investment.