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Plastic Surgery Blog

The Medical Reasons for Tummy Tuck & Benefits

medical reasons for tummy tuck

When swimsuit season arrives, our tummy tuck inquiries skyrocket, as men and women look for solutions to achieve a tighter, flatter tummy. A tummy tuck tightens up the abdominal core, removes loose skin, and sculpts excess fat. It offers a dramatic and long-lasting transformation for the entire belly area. For many of our patients, a tummy tuck is the difference between hiding under a shirt and walking the beach in a swimsuit with confidence. The aesthetic benefits of abdominoplasty, the technical name for a tummy tuck, are many, but for some of our patients, it’s the medical reasons for tummy and benefits of this procedure that are truly life-changing. Look your best and feel better than ever after your tummy tuck in Charlotte, NC

Medical Reasons for Tummy Tuck Surgery

Did you know that a tummy tuck can offer medical benefits, in addition to cosmetic ones? A tummy tuck tightens abdominal muscles, removes excess skin, significantly reduces unwanted fat, and restores a flatter appearance to the abdominal area, but that isn’t all this procedure can do. Discover the many medical benefits of tummy tuck surgery, also called abdominoplasty, in Charlotte and Huntersville, NC.

Tummy Tuck Basics

What is a tummy tuck? What’s recovery like after surgery? If you’re thinking about this popular cosmetic procedure, you likely have questions. Learn more about tummy tuck surgery on our website or call our offices to schedule your consultation with Dr. Hunstad, Dr. Kortesis, or Dr. Bharti, our board-certified plastic surgeons. We offer several different abdominal surgeries including a drainless tummy tuck, drain-free abdominoplasty with TissuGlu, and revision surgery.

To help you get more familiar with the procedure, here is some necessary information about abdominoplasty.

  • A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgical procedure that shapes and reforms the abdominal area.
  • It is popular with both men and women.
  • Abdominoplasty addresses common abdominal complaints including loose skin, stretched out, separated, or damaged abdominal muscles, excess fat, and more.
  • Abdominoplasty is often included in a mommy makeover or post-bariatric surgery.
  • During your surgery, a long incision will be created, extending from one hip to the other. During the procedure we tighten the paired abdominal muscles, using internal sutures to add strength. Excess skin and fat are removed, and the incisions are carefully closed.
  • Full recovery after a tummy tuck takes about six weeks. Most patients miss 1-2 weeks of work.
  • Common symptoms during recovery include discomfort, bruising, swelling, and tenderness. Pain medications are often used to increase comfort.

Is an abdominoplasty right for you? Come into our offices for a consultation to learn more about your options.

Explore the medical benefits of a tummy tuck below. Could you benefit from any of these? 

Less Back Pain

A study published last year in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, found that back pain was significantly reduced after abdominoplasty in a group of post-childbearing moms. At the beginning of the study, 51% of the respondents reported moderate to severe disability from back pain. These women were carefully monitored, and after tummy tuck surgery, only 9% reported moderate disability from back pain. This report shows a significant improvement in post-pregnancy back pain for a majority of women in the study. 

How does abdominoplasty reduce back pain? Often back pain is caused by abdominal and pelvic weakness. These areas are repaired during a tummy tuck, offering patients long term relief and dramatically improving quality of life. 

Improved Posture

Bad posture can be a sign of a weak core. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and connective tissues stretch dramatically to accommodate a growing baby. After delivery, these tissues may not contract sufficiently. Loose muscles in the core can make it hard to stand up straight and maintain good posture. Many of our patients find that their posture improves after abdominoplasty. 

Easier Exercise

When you’re working hard on your core, but still only see flabby skin, keeping motivation high can be difficult. After a tummy tuck, many patients find exercise more satisfying. Their body looks better, and they want to maintain their new look. Some exercises will also be easier due to the core strengthening that this procedure provides. 

Motivation to exercise is typically high after abdominoplasty, but make sure you’re fully healed before heading back to the gym. While you wait for full exercise clearance from your plastic surgeon, enjoy gentle walking. Light weightlifting and cardio are usually safe to resume about six weeks post-surgery. Those crunches and abdominal exercises may need to wait a bit longer. We’ll let you know when you can safely resume these activities and how to slowly ramp your exercise routine so you don’t get injured. 

Repairing of Abdominal Muscle Separation (Diastasis Recti)

That post-baby pooch could be caused by diastasis recti, or abdominal muscle separation. There are two paired vertical muscles running up the center of the abdomen. When these muscles stretch or separate, they can cause the belly to stick out. This separation is very common in post-pregnancy and may resolve on its own. A tummy tuck can tighten these muscles up if the separation doesn’t resolve on its own. 

Men can get diastasis recti too. Common non-pregnancy related causes of this condition include weightlifting incorrectly and yo-yo dieting. 

Hernia Repair

A ventral hernia occurs when abdominal tissue breaks through a weak abdominal wall. Abdominal surgeries, including c-sections and appendectomies, and massive weight loss increase the risk for this condition. 

Hernias are treatable with surgery, but once you’ve had one, you’re more likely to have another. A tummy tuck strengthens the abdominal wall, preventing future hernias from occurring. 

Reduction in Urinary Incontinence Symptoms

Moms often joke about little “accidents” when jumping, coughing, or laughing, but the truth is, these accidents aren’t funny. They can cause significant embarrassment and frustration. The condition is called stress urinary incontinence (SUI) and is very common. 

A tummy tuck can significantly improve bladder control and relieve SUI symptoms. The same study that showed back pain reduction after a tummy tuck also evaluated urinary incontinence in study participants. They found that less than 2% of women still reported urinary incontinence as a significant problem after their tummy tuck. 

Call H/K/B or schedule a consultation to learn more about the medical reasons for tummy tuck and cosmetic benefits of abdominoplasty in Charlotte, NC.