For excess, stretched out skin and stubborn belly fat caused by rapid weight gain and loss, pregnancy or aging, many women and men choose to undergo a tummy tuck. A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a popular procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area, and for many patients, tightens and restores the stomach muscles to their former shape and positioning. The benefits of a tummy tuck include a smoother, firmer midsection with improved overall contour. Most patients leave their tummy tucks with a flat, washboard tummy. But the question lingering in many patients’ minds as they leave their procure is, does belly fat come back after a tummy tuck?
The question is valid, as most patients want to ensure their results last a lifetime. The good news is, if patients follow their postop instructions and maintain a healthy lifestyle after their procedure, they should expect to keep their new, washboard tummy forever. But a tummy tuck can’t do everything – maintaining realistic expectations will allow for prospective patients to feel more confident going into surgery and to be happier with their results.
Below is a list of what a tummy tuck can and can’t do:
A Tummy CAN’T Correct Being Overweight
A tummy tuck is specifically designed to target stubborn belly fat and excess skin in patients who are otherwise, of a healthy weight. But it cannot bring down the weight of a person who is overweight. Many patients have the misconception that a tummy tuck is a weight loss procedure, when that is actually not the case. A tummy tuck is done for aesthetic reasons and to make a person feel more comfortable in their skin. Trimming off a little excess fat and skin may cause the patient to lose a few pounds, but not a significant amount of weight. Additionally, patients who are overweight will not see great results from a tummy tuck procedure, as there will still be excess fat around the body. Most plastic surgery centers require a patient to be below a specific body mass index (BMI) to be approved for a tummy tuck to ensure they will see tangible results from the procedure.
A Tummy Tuck CAN be Customized to Create a Flat Tummy in Patients of a Healthy Weight
For patients who are of a healthy weight, a tummy tuck is extremely successful in creating a flat, washboard tummy. There are variations of the tummy tuck procedure, allowing your plastic surgeon to customize the procedure and your unique surgery plan to suit your anatomy and body goals. One of the variations available for this procedure is the ability to choose between a full tummy tuck and a mini tummy tuck. Regardless of whether you and your doctor choose a full tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck, the basics of the procedures are similar. Both procedures are typically performed under general anesthesia, allowing patients to return home the same day. In both procedures, once the incision is made, excess skin is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened. Your doctor can create a specialized plan for you that addresses your unique needs and will give you the flat tummy you have always wanted.
A Tummy Tuck CAN’T Prevent Future Weight Gain
A tummy tuck can get your body to a desirable aesthetic, but as mentioned before, it is NOT a weight loss surgery. If you plan to have a tummy tuck, it will be your job to maintain a healthy diet and a consistent exercise regimen going forward to maintain your results. Additionally, many surgeons advise women who are interested in a tummy tuck to wait until they are done having children to do so. This is to ensure that your newly flattened tummy won’t be stretched out again later on, compromising your surgical results.
A Tummy Tuck CAN Increase Confidence and Body Image
For patients who have dealt with stubborn excess fat and skin for a long time, a tummy tuck can provide a tremendous boost in confidence and self-esteem. Your body will look completely transformed following a tummy tuck. Most patients say that even with a long recovery time and discomfort after the procedure, getting a tummy tuck is completely worth it, and that they would do it again if they had to!
A Tummy Tuck CAN’T Remove all Stretch Marks
Most people carry at least a few stretch marks around their abdomen, hips and thighs – which is totally normal! A tummy tuck can remove many stretch marks around the belly area by cutting off excess skin, but typically, there will still be some remaining stretch marks after the procedure. Patients should have a realistic expectation of what their results will look like before deciding to undergo a tummy tuck to ensure they will be pleased with their results.
A tummy tuck is an excellent, long-term way to get rid of excess skin and fat around the belly area to create a flat, washboard tummy. While the procedure is extremely effective, it is not for everyone. Good candidates for a tummy tuck should be at a healthy weight and understand that their results could be compromised if they gain more weight or have children following the procedure. If you decide you are interested in having a tummy tuck, be sure to time your procedure correctly and commit to maintaining a healthy and consistent weight afterward for the longevity of your newly flattened tummy!