Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery can truly transform patients’ lives and is one of the most effective methods to improve the appearance of your midsection. The surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat to restore appearance in the abdomen leading to a smoother-looking, firmer, and more youthful body shape. The ability of a tummy tuck to transform your body cannot be underestimated.
RELATED: What does a tummy tuck involve?
We commonly get asked whether a tummy tuck is good for weight loss. Here at Centre for Surgery, our surgeons recommend that you should view a tummy tuck as a procedure for improving the shape of your body and not as a method of losing weight. Having a surgical procedure should not be viewed as a replacement for eating a sensible diet and exercising regularly. Many patients often find despite eating well and exercising plenty; they are unable to achieve the results they are looking for. In these cases, a tummy tuck could be a highly effective treatment that may provide some degree of weight loss as a secondary benefit.
How does weight loss occur after a tummy tuck?
Potential weight loss actually occurs during the abdominoplasty procedure itself with the surgical removal of excess skin and fat. The removal of this extra tissue is permanent and does not come back. This should therefore be viewed as one of the long-term results of a tummy tuck that will help you to feel much better about yourself. A tummy tuck in itself should not be viewed as a primary method of losing weight. If you view losing weight as the main reason for seeking a tummy tuck, your surgeon may decide not to carry out the procedure.
The ideal patients for tummy tucks are those who have maintained a healthy diet and exercised regularly over a long period of time with no success in improving the appearance of the middle section. Other patients may be near achieving their body goals and just need that one final push which a healthy lifestyle alone cannot achieve as these are not effective treatments for removing loose skin. Many people will already have lost a significant amount of weight before having a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck procedure then becomes an extremely effective way to sculpt the body as the surgeon will be removing loose and sagging skin from successful weight loss. We would generally recommend adopting healthy lifestyle habits and achieving some gains with this, however minimal, before embarking on an abdominoplasty procedure.
SEE ALSO: 5 Tummy Tuck myths
How can a tummy tuck help with weight loss?
We recommend patients view a tummy tuck as supplementary to achieving overall improved health and potential for weight loss. Eating healthily and exercising regularly both before and after the procedure will help to maintain your tummy tuck results so that you do not gain weight after surgery. Patients who continue to eat unhealthy before and after the procedure will often notice sub-optimal results.
Many patients who have had a tummy tuck with us at Centre for Surgery often tell us they have been successful in achieving long-term weight loss as they often find their appetite has decreased after a tummy tuck. We carried out a recent survey of over 100 patients who had had tummy tuck surgery and found patients felt full after eating their meal and throughout the rest of the day compared with before the procedure. We believe that without feeling the constant need to eat, losing weight becomes a much easier process.
Other scientific studies have suggested that hormonal factors could be linked to weight loss after tummy tuck surgery. Part of the surgery involves removing fat cells with liposuction, and it has been postulated that levels of certain hormones responsible for causing hunger are also removed at the same time. These hormones may play a factor in increasing appetite and the frequency of hunger pangs. Patients may feel less need to eat so much when the level of these hormones is lower.
The ability to lose weight after tummy tuck surgery may also be related to a patient’s body mass index before the procedure. Patients who have a BMI just below 25 may have a greater chance of maintaining weight loss after having a tummy tuck. Many patients may have had bariatric surgery such as a gastric bypass or gastric sleeve to reduce significant amounts of weight which may have been causing them health problems. If your BMI is over 40, your surgeon may recommend weight loss surgery before having a tummy tuck. The complications of tummy tuck surgery increase significantly when the body mass index is over 35.
The key with tummy tuck surgery is to go into the procedure with healthy lifestyle habits which you are able to maintain after the procedure. If you are able to do this, the ability to lose weight after the surgery may be significantly greater than if you had not had a tummy tuck.
Is a tummy tuck permanent?
Tummy tuck results are permanent, and patients can expect to see results that are visible immediately after the surgery with an improvement in body shape and a flatter, more toned stomach. The results will continue to improve over the first few months. Patients who previously had significant amounts of loose skin can now look forward to wearing fitted items of clothing which will help them to feel much better about how they feel about themselves.
The long-term results of a tummy tuck will depend on a number of factors including well you are able to maintain a stable weight over time. If patients return to eating unhealthy foods before they undertook successful weight loss may find any excess weight to return relatively quickly. Patients who have a tummy tuck before completing the family may also notice their tummy tuck results be adversely affected. We would recommend completing your family before considering having a tummy tuck procedure.
How to maintain your tummy tuck results
By maintaining a stable weight over the long term, you can look forward to enjoying the incredible results of a tummy tuck for many years. Many patients who successfully lost weight before having a tummy tuck often view the tummy tuck procedure as the second part of the successful journey to achieving a much improved body silhouette. We congratulate patients who have persisted and shown great willpower in losing weight and you can now look forward to perfecting your parents with one of the most effective cosmetic surgery procedures available in the UK. By removing excess skin and fat, your self-confidence and sense of emotional well-being will be boosted significantly.
The best way to make sure your tummy tuck results last is to follow all of your surgeon’s post-operative instructions in full. This will ensure you have a smooth healing process after surgery with minimal risk of complications. You should continue to eat healthily with plenty of nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables and avocados. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to prevent any tightened skin from stretching significantly.
If you are keen to learn more about a tummy tuck and how it could help with weight loss, please get in touch with us today at 020 7993 4849 to schedule in-depth tummy tuck consultation at our state-of-the-art Baker Street clinic in London.