The physical transformation created by tummy tuck surgery is among the most dramatic of all cosmetic surgery procedures. On the RealSelf website, 96% of patients rate a tummy tuck as “worth it.” We believe the number of our tummy tuck patients in Houston who would rate a tummy tuck as worth it is probably closer to 100%.
The highly popular tummy tuck surgery — also called abdominoplasty — creates a flatter stomach for people who have excess skin in their midsection. The procedure is most commonly associated with women whose abdominal skin has stretched during 1 or more pregnancies. A tummy tuck can also address excess skin that results when someone loses a significant amount of weight. For example, both men and women who undergo bariatric surgery are often good tummy tuck candidates.
This procedure remains in high demand because there really is no alternative for patients who have excess skin or “belly pooches” that resist physical activity and a healthy diet. Exercising on a consistent basis and eating well can’t tighten the loose stomach skin that makes people self-conscious about wearing revealing clothes or even undressing in front of their spouses.
Even though the desire for having a flatter stomach is the primary reason women and men get tummy tucks, a recent study found that the procedure produces other important health benefits that most people aren’t aware of. The study, published in the journal Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery®, involved 214 women who underwent tummy tuck surgery that included repair of the abdominal muscles. These muscles are often separated during pregnancy, creating a condition called rectus diastasis, which can only be repaired through surgery.
In addition to aesthetic benefits, the researchers found that women in the study experienced other health-related benefits, including:
- Reduced back pain: Many women report lower back pain following pregnancy and childbirth. The study’s participants reported a significant reduction in back pain for up to 6 months after their surgeries.
- Reduced urinary incontinence: Similarly, the women who participated in the study said they noticed they were less incontinent after having a tummy tuck.
These findings are in line with earlier case studies showing improvement in back pain and urinary incontinence after abdominoplasty. These functional improvements may result from restoring strength and stability in the abdominal and pelvic region when the operation incorporates repair of the abdominal muscle separation that can occur after pregnancy.
Although not reported in the study, tightening and repairing weakened abdominal muscles can also improve the posture of tummy tuck patients. Improved posture can lead to additional physical benefits, such as reduced shoulder and neck pain associated with poor posture.
In Houston, our board-certified plastic surgeons customize tummy tuck surgery based on each patient’s physical characteristics and personal preferences. For example, not all women need abdominal muscle repair after having children. Additionally, some people are good candidates for a mini tummy tuck, which involves making a shorter incision and is limited to the area below the belly button.
In some cases, we also perform what’s called a “drainless” tummy tuck. Traditionally, surgeons use surgical drains to remove fluid that sometimes builds up internally during the first few days after surgery, which can be inconvenient for patients. In a drainless tummy tuck, surgeons use a special kind of internal suturing to close the internal “open space” so the fluid does not accumulate. The absence of drains can be helpful to a patient’s recovery.
These are all issues that you can discuss during the consultation if you’re considering a tummy tuck. You can use our contact form or call us at (281) 282-9555 to schedule a consultation.