Having a tummy tuck can be transformative in so many ways. The procedure itself physically transforms the midsection to be more toned and sculpted. As a result, self-confidence and a sense of satisfaction can return. While enjoying the results of a tummy tuck, many patients also grapple with simmering worry that they may gain weight and ruin their new physique. Plastic surgeons do advise their patients to implement habits that will prolong their abdominoplasty results. Patients understand that weight gain is a possible threat to those results. Here, we discuss this issue in more depth so, if you have or have had a tummy tuck, you know exactly what you can do to prevent disruption to your new shape.
How Tummy Tuck Surgery Works
Abdominoplasty is the body contouring procedure that sculpts the midsection via muscle tightening and skin removal. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. It involves a hip-to-hip incision below the pant line. Through this incision, fatty tissue and loose skin are pulled into a taut position. Excess is trimmed. Incisions are closed. It sounds simple, but it requires the eye of an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon. After the recovery period, which lasts 10 to 14 days, patients can enjoy long-lasting results from their procedure. However, it is possible that fat cells can enlarge and skin can stretch. There are several factors involved in these two concerns. They include:
- Lifestyle. The primary reason people gain weight is that they have unhealthy lifestyle choices. A sedentary lifestyle can result in weight gain. As can eating a high-calorie diet. As can drinking alcohol. One of the primary steps in preventing post-abdominoplasty weight gain is to develop the lifestyle habits that work. Every person is different in this regard. Some prefer intermittent fasting and a whole-food diet. Some prefer strenuous workouts. You have to find what works for you and stick to it.
- Hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers between the body and the brain. They are involved in several physiological processes; and, they fluctuate. For women, hormones fluctuate monthly and then more dramatically around age 50, when they may enter menopause. Men also experience hormone fluctuations as they age and enter andropause. While hormone fluctuations are normal, they might need some management. A healthy diet and regular exercise are easy habits to support hormonal balance. In some situations, it may be beneficial to consult with a primary care physician about hormone testing and supplementation.
- Stress. We all live with stressors. The task is learning to manage them. Stress can cause sleeplessness and bring on unhealthy cravings. It also affects our hormone production and balance. Therefore, stress management is integral to weight management and the maintenance of tummy tuck results.
What if I Gain Weight?
Gaining weight after abdominoplasty or liposuction can be alarming. Know that most patients can fluctuate within 10 to 15 pounds of their ideal weight without significant disruption to their shape. Passing the 15-pound mark can be problematic. Here, we might see skin and muscles start to stretch. A belly bulge may develop and impact tissue elasticity. If weight is not brought under control, the effects of the tummy tuck could be lost. The good news is that it is not immensely difficult to reverse 10 to 15 pounds without major lifestyle changes. Patients can do so by revisiting healthy habits such as watching carb intake, drinking plenty of water every day, taking a fiber supplement, eating fresh foods, and moving the body every day.