Over the past couple of decades, the tummy tuck surgery has become one of the most common procedures a plastic surgeon is asked to perform. But did you know that these procedures do more than just improve shape and figure?
What is a Tummy Tuck?
According to PlasticSurgery.org, “Tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and skin and, in most cases, restores weakened or separated muscles creating an abdominal profile that is smoother and firmer.” During the procedure, a board-certified surgeon makes an incision from hip to hip (between the navel and pubic area) and removes excess skin and fat. Abdominal muscles are tightened and any sagging skin is pulled together to leave a flatter midsection that’s more toned than before.
The ideal candidate for a tummy tuck procedure is someone who is at or near their ideal body weight and is relatively healthy (non-smoker, minimal health complications, etc.).
4 of the Most Important Benefits
While most people think of a tummy tuck as tightening up the appearance of the stomach for a slimmer, more attractive aesthetic appeal, the benefits of the procedure extend far beyond this. Here are a few additional health benefits patients often enjoy as a result of a properly performed tummy tuck:
1. Correcting a Ventral Hernia
Hernias can form in numerous areas of the abdominal region. A ventral hernia is formed when abdominal tissue or intestines break through your abdominal wall and create a small sack or pouch that you can see and feel. Ventral hernias can develop for a variety of reasons and could follow a cesarean section or appendectomy. They can also stem from massive weight loss (which results in abdominal weakness). Over time, hernias tend to get larger and larger, with more tissue breaking through the abdominal wall. A tummy tuck procedure, when performed correctly, can correct the hernia and strengthen weakened abdominal muscles. This eliminates the hernia, reduces pressure on the skin, and lessens the chances of future hernias.
2. Improving Posture
In a day and age where people spend hours of their days doing things like sitting at office desk chairs and watching TV, maintaining the proper posture can be challenging. It’s made even more difficult when there are weak abdominal muscles and excess skin. This is known as “lordosis” or “sway back.” Because a tummy tuck tightens and strengthens the abdominal muscles, this provides better support for the spine. This results in the patient’s ability to stand straighter and experience less slouching. Another benefit is reduction in lower back pain (which is common in people with lordosis). Most individuals notice immediately relief and long-term alleviation of lower back discomfort.
3. Reducing Stress Urinary Incontinence
In some cases, women who undergo vaginal birth develop something known as stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This is a condition where the bladder has a tendency to empty itself at unwanted times – typically when there’s sudden and unsuspected pressure (like a cough, sneeze, laugh, or exertion during exercise). In most cases, SUI can be treated without the need for surgery. However, in situations where there’s prolonged uncontrollable leakage, a tummy tuck can be used to relieve some of the pressure and offset the negative side effects of this inconvenient condition.
4. Increased Exercise Tolerance
The combination of weak abdominal muscles and excess skin makes exercise difficult. (There are both physical and psychological factors in play.) A tummy tuck helps by strengthening the stomach area and giving the individual more excitement and motivation to exercise. Whether it’s walking, running, playing sports, or light weight lifting, there’s increased exercise tolerance, which typically results in improved overall health.
Prioritize Your Health
Beauty over health? Or health over beauty? With a tummy tuck, you might not have to choose. While most people initially look into tummy tuck procedures as a way of flattening a flabby stomach and reclaiming a toned midsection, the reality is the benefits extend far beyond aesthetics. In addition to making you look better, a tummy tuck can positively impact your overall health, reduce pain, and help you live the life you’ve always wanted. Consider exploring the procedure in more detail by speaking with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.