Tummy tuck – also referred to as abdominoplasty – is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), more than 118,000 individuals had this treatment in the US in 2019. The number of abdominoplasty procedures completed in the US in 2020 was 97,988, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the best things about a tummy tuck is that it helps alleviate aesthetic imperfections that do not respond to exercise and diet – such as stubborn fat and loose skin. If you have considered the possibility of having this treatment, this page highlights key motivations why people undergo abdominoplasty.
Cosmetic reasons to have a tummy tuck
Below are some cosmetic reasons people have abdominoplasty surgery.
- Tighten abdominal muscles – the ‘six-pack’ abdominal muscles may stretch or get damaged due to pregnancy or other reasons. These muscles are unable to correct themselves and may sometimes spread apart in a condition that is referred to as diastasis recti. While possible in men, diastasis recti commonly affect women who have been through childbearing. Abdominoplasty surgery can help pull back the separated muscles and tighten them to create a flatter and firmer midsection appearance.
- Remove excess skin – aging, pregnancy, or fluctuations in weight may cause abdominal skin to lose its elasticity. This may in turn result in folds of excess skin that distort your entire contour and make it impossible for you to wear certain items of clothing. Abdominoplasty is an excellent procedure choice for removing this unwanted skin to create a smoother and youthful abdominal contour.
- Remove excess fat – many men and women have pockets of stubborn fat in the abdominal area that hardly respond to diet or exercise. During a tummy tuck, plastic surgeons typically integrate liposuction in order to get rid of this excess fat. Liposuction is a highly effective cosmetic procedure that is able to extract unwanted fat tissue without impacting the blood vessels or lymph tissue.
- Remove past scars – midsection scars resulting from procedures such as hysterectomy or c-section may leave women embarrassed and unable to wear their favorite swimsuits or other revealing clothing. Similarly, scars from hernia or appendectomy can stand out and ruin the appearance of your abdominal skin. During a tummy tuck, plastic surgeons can remove or hide these scars to result in a smoother abdominal contour.
- Increase self-confidence – imperfections around the midsection area may leave you feeling less confident about yourself. This may be more so true particularly when you are spending time at the pool or at the beach. Undergoing abdominoplasty surgery helps alleviate these concerns to reveal a firmer, flatter, and more desirable abdominal profile. This in turn improves the patient’s sense of self-image and buoys your confidence level.
Medical reasons to have a tummy tuck
Abdominoplasty may also be performed to alleviate medical conditions.
- Repair a hernia – hernias occur when an organ protrudes through a hole in tissue or muscle. They are most common in the abdomen and are usually non-life-threatening. Still, they need to be repaired so that they do not pose further health risks. Plastic surgeons sometimes use abdominoplasty to correct certain types of hernias (e.g. ventral hernia). In addition to alleviating the medical problem, the procedure also results in aesthetic benefits.
- Decrease back pain – back pain is a common complaint particularly among women who have weakened abdominal muscles resulting from pregnancy. Individuals who have undergone significant weight loss may also suffer from this problem. Since abdominoplasty tightens weakened abdominal muscles, it provides the support needed to alleviate back pain.
- Improve posture – a tummy tuck strengthens separated abdominal muscles and decreases back pain, two outcomes that can naturally help improve posture.
- Improve urinary incontinence – stress urinary incontinence is a bladder control issue that occurs when the bladder and urethra are exposed to too much pressure. This results in the uncontrolled leakage of urine following forceful and sudden actions such as exercising, sneezing, laughing, and coughing. This problem is common amongst women who have heard a normal delivery but may also affect men. While this condition is commonly treated without surgery, studies have demonstrated that abdominoplasty can help.
Different patients have varying needs and requirements. During your abdominoplasty consultation with Dr. Ruston Sanchez, the surgeon will listen to your concerns and examine your problem areas before determining whether tummy tuck is for you. The surgeon will also discuss the cost of this treatment, recovery, and your expectations. Because abdominoplasty is a highly individualized treatment, Dr. Ruston recommends that you have this treatment out of your own volition, not because someone asked you to.