Many people expect to lose a lot of weight immediately after a tummy tuck. This maynot be the case, however, as a tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure. It is a body contouring procedure whose aim is to repair stretched out abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat, but not to reduce one’s weight. The weight lost from a tummy tuck is not much. Many patients lose between one and two pounds on average. They do, however, experience a drastic loss in dress size since the surgery gets rid of excess fat and skin around the stomach area while tightening abdominal muscles.
Patients who lose a significant amount of weight are those who have a lot of fat and sagging skin around the stomach region. As such, some people have lost up to 20 pounds after a tummy tuck. Cases of people losing between 55 and 90 pounds have also been recorded, but these are rare. Those who record these large numbers are those who were obese and, therefore, had a lot of fat deposited in the abdominal region. When coupled with liposuction, a tummy tuck can result in significant weight loss. Patients are, however, advised not to use this procedure as a weight loss method.
A pilot study in the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has reported that long-term weight loss following an abdominoplasty may be due to increased satiety (feeling full after eating). The study attributes that neuroendocrine mechanisms may promote weight loss after a tummy tuck. The study goes on to hypothesize that removal of fat cells from the abdomen may result in reduced levels of hormones that affect appetite. These hormones are secreted from fatty tissues. After studying short-term and long-term weight loss in 20 women, the study found that 14 of the women lost more weight than the weight than the tissue that was resected. A BMI of 24.5 or greater maintained long-term weight loss a year after the procedure. The women in the study reported that after undergoing a tummy tuck, they experienced an increased feeling of satiety either after eating or throughout the day. The study, therefore, provided preliminary evidence that most of the patients who have lasting weight loss are those who are overweight and obese before undergoing a tummy tuck.
Because excess fat and skin is being removed from one area during a tummy tuck, this is what makes people think that they have lost a lot of weight. The excess folds of skin that they were previously seeing around their abdominal region is significantly tightened. Psychologists say that many people tend to exaggerate how bad their body looks in their head. Because of this, most people add excess pounds to their midsection, yet the weight around this region could not be as much as they think. Self-perception, therefore, makes many people believe that they have lost a lot of weight following a tummy tuck. This is, however, not the case and people are encouraged to love themselves. This way, once you go for a tummy tuck, you will still not view your body image in negative light.
Ideally, one should go for a tummy tuck once they have reached their ideal weight. The abdominoplasty will, therefore, only be used to shape the body and get rid of excess skin across the midsection. This way, once you undergo the procedure, your body image will improve significantly. For many patients, an improved body image boosts their self-esteem and is a strong motivator for them to keep on exercising and maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. This lifestyle is what makes most of them lose more weight after the procedure is performed.
Dr. Gregory H. Croll is the owner of his own practice, and the leading doctor for tummy tucks in Columbia, MO.