In today’s health-conscious society, we’d all like to look down and see a flat stomach or a solid six pack of abs. Unfortunately, diet and exercise alone can’t always give us the physical result we’re looking for.
Enter the plastic surgeon and an increasingly popular procedure called a tummy tuck, which now ranks number five on the most-performed procedures list published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
According to a fact sheet by a local tummy tuck Seattle WA practice, the procedure “removes excess abdominal skin and fat [to achieve] a flatter stomach.” Of course, this isn’t something you can just do on your lunch break: the surgery takes about two to three hours to perform and requires about two weeks post-op recovery time. And while that may seem like a lot to go through just to look better in a bikini, the results are not purely cosmetic. In fact, healing—both physical and emotional—can happen in the wake of this surgery. Here’s a closer look at some of these health benefits.
Keeping those extra pounds off
Losing weight, and then keeping it off, is difficult for all of us. Recent research has shown that patients who undergo weight loss surgery were more likely to keep the weight off when they combined diet and exercise with a tummy tuck procedure. While the value of proper diet and an adequate exercise regimen cannot be understated, tummy tucks may occupy an equally important role in the patient’s long-term weight management plan.
A more active lifestyle
A tummy tuck can accompany other operative procedures, such as hernia repair. Hernias are not uncommon after an appendectomy or following a cesarean section. By combining procedures such as this with a tummy tuck, the physician can offer the patient a safe and practical way to save on recovery time and medical expenses.
Removal of excess skin and a tightening of weak abdominal muscles can make it easier to exercise. This can, in turn, breathe new life into a patient’s love of walking and running, or motivate him or her to engage in other forms of aerobic exercise. Not only can frequent exercise help maintain weight loss, its beneficial effects on the heart are undeniable. It can also help promote a general sense of well-being.
Looking great and feeling better
An improvement in appearance is generally an overall “pick-me-up,” but the benefits of a tummy tuck go even further. The abdomen is a difficult area to tone, especially for people who suffer back pain. Pain in the lower back can be caused by carrying an excess of skin, especially when combined with weakened abdominal muscles. This condition can result from extreme weight loss or multiple pregnancies. A tummy tuck can support the spine and tighten the abdominal muscles, thus reducing or alleviating back pain. With decreased pain comes improved posture and a motivation to get up and get moving.
Women expect stretch marks and loose skin after giving birth, but another common problem following vaginal birth is stress urinary incontinence. These are the women who live in fear of coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising because of uncontrollable bladder leaks. A tummy tuck can help with this problem, as well. Discussing this with your plastic surgeon before undergoing your tummy tuck can determine if help for this condition can be included in your individual procedure.
Go for it
A tummy tuck is still considered a major operation, and thus has associated risks involved. All of these should be discussed when you consult with your plastic surgeon. Cost must also be considered, as it is likely your insurance will not cover all the charges. With the medical benefits that the tummy tuck can offer, and the boost to self-esteem it can provide, it is easy to see why it is on the ASPS list of most popular cosmetic surgical procedures.