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 the appearance of 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.
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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.
Differences Between a Tummy Tuck and Liposuction
Tummy tucks and liposuction are distinct procedures that can be used individually or together to improve body contouring. Liposuction is a quick and safe surgical procedure designed to remove stubborn or unwanted fat deposits, resulting in a more sculpted body appearance.
During liposuction, fat cells are liquefied using a speciality. designed vibrating handpiece called MicroAire, and a cannula is inserted to extract the liquid. Patients who are at a healthy weight, have elastic skin, and possess firm abdominal muscles are ideal candidates for liposuction. Although liposuction is highly effective at eliminating fat deposits from the abdomen, it does not address issues with the abdominal muscles or skin.
In contrast, a tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, focuses on tightening the abdominal muscles and removing excess, sagging skin. This procedure is a popular choice for individuals experiencing excess skin after significant weight loss. Even minor weight loss in older people can result in excess skin around the abdomen. Women who have been through pregnancy and C-sections, which often lead to extra skin and weakened abdominal muscles, are common candidates for tummy tuck surgery. Stretch marks may also improve following a tummy tuck, as they are often removed along with the excess skin.
A tummy tuck primarily targets excess skin and lax muscles; it does not address additional fat and is not intended for substantial weight loss. However, an abdominoplasty can be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat. This is known as a Brazilian abdominoplasty.
While liposuction and abdominoplasty are popular cosmetic procedures for women, men can also benefit from male abdominoplasty. Your surgeon will be able to discuss with you whether you are a suitable candidate for one or both treatments.
How does weight loss occur after a tummy tuck?
Potential weight loss 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 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 significant weight before having a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck procedure becomes an extremely effective way to sculpt the body as the surgeon removes loose and sagging skin after 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.
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How much weight is usually lost with a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, typically results in a weight loss ranging from 1.4kg to 2.3kg (3 to 5 pounds). If you opt for a mini tuck, commonly referred to as an apronectomy, you can expect to shed approximately 0.8kg (1.8 pounds) of surplus skin and fat. In the case of an extended tuck, which is a more comprehensive abdominoplasty, the expected weight loss from excess skin and fat is around 2.3kg (5 pounds).
It is important to note that the weight loss experienced after a tummy tuck is different from weight loss achieved through exercise or dieting, as it primarily consists of the removal of excess skin and fat.
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 to 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.
Will I need a tummy tuck after weight loss?
After reaching your weight loss goal, you may be dissatisfied with the loose or sagging skin on your abdomen, which unfortunately, cannot be addressed through diet and exercise alone. In such cases, a tummy tuck can be an effective method to contour the body and enhance its shape. However, it is important to understand that a tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. Before considering a tummy tuck, it is crucial that you are close to your desired weight.
Maintaining a stable weight is essential before undergoing a tummy tuck, as significant weight fluctuations after the procedure can negatively impact the results.
Will I need a tummy tuck after liposuction?
The need for a tummy tuck after liposuction depends on your individual circumstances and aesthetic goals. Patients with localized areas of stubborn fat and relatively elastic skin may benefit from liposuction alone, while those with loose abdominal skin after significant weight loss or pregnancy might benefit more from a tummy tuck. For some patients, a combination of liposuction and tummy tuck, often referred to as a Brazilian tummy tuck, may be the most suitable approach to address their specific concerns and achieve the desired results.
Patients with moderate to severe skin laxity and persistent fat deposits, for example, may benefit from liposuction to remove the fat cells, followed by a tummy tuck to eliminate the remaining excess skin. After weight loss, patients might also have a considerable amount of loose skin and stubborn fat pockets that did not respond as effectively or uniformly to diet and exercise as the rest of their body. In such cases, both procedures can be combined to address these concerns.
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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 several factors, including how 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 to be adversely affected. We would recommend completing your family before considering having a tummy tuck procedure.
How long does a tummy tuck last?
The outcomes of a tummy tuck are generally considered permanent, as the skin and fat cells removed during the procedure do not regrow. Likewise, internal sutures used to repair the abdominal muscles are designed to be long-lasting.
However, substantial weight fluctuations can impact the longevity of tummy tuck results. If you gain a significant amount of weight, the remaining abdominal skin may lose its elasticity and start to sag again. Additionally, substantial weight gain can cause the body to create new fat cells in the treated area as well as other regions, altering the body’s contours.
To maintain the results of your tummy tuck, it is essential to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stable weight management. Pregnancy after a tummy tuck can also affect the results, so it is advisable to discuss your plans for future pregnancies with your surgeon before undergoing the 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.
Will I need a revision tummy tuck?
The necessity of tummy tuck revision depends on several factors and individual circumstances. Patients may seek a tummy tuck revision surgery for various reasons, such as postoperative weight gain or loss, pregnancy after the initial procedure, poor healing, or dissatisfaction with the final outcome. However, if you maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stable weight management, the likelihood of needing a revision for your tummy tuck is generally low.
Thinking about getting a Tummy Tuck in London?
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is an excellent solution for eliminating excess weight and sagging skin in the abdominal area. The procedure can be combined with liposuction for those seeking additional fat removal. The surgery typically takes two to three hours to complete under general anaesthesia. To minimise visible scarring, an incision is made along the underwear line. The abdominal skin is then lifted, allowing the surgeon to tighten (and repair, if necessary) the underlying weakened muscles. After the skin is repositioned over the abdominal wall and any excess skin is removed, it is sutured back to the original incision line with increased tension.
Your surgeon will discuss the different tummy tuck options (Full, Mini, and Extended) with you and help you choose the procedure that best suits your needs. You will also discuss potential risks and complications, as well as what to expect during the recovery process. If your surgeon determines that you are a suitable candidate for the surgery, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you wish to proceed. You are welcome to return to the clinic as often as needed during this time to discuss your upcoming procedure(s) with your surgeon.
At our clinic, tummy tucks are performed regularly, and our surgeons are renowned experts in body contouring surgery. If you are considering any of the mentioned procedures, contact us today at 0207 993 4849 to schedule a consultation with an experienced surgeon at our conveniently located clinic.
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