What If I Gain Weight After A Tummy Tuck?

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woman's abdomen marked for tummy tuckHere’s the good news: tummy tucks often lead to significant and sustained weight loss for patients, according to studies by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The average woman lost five pounds of fat during the tummy tuck procedure. Overweight patients with pre-operative BMIs of 24.5 or greater decreased their weight by 4.5 percent of their original BMIs one year later.

Three-quarters of patients report greater satiety after undergoing abdominoplasty. Researchers believe changes in hormones and neuroendocrine mechanisms triggered by the removal of fat cells are responsible for diminished appetites and greater propensity for weight loss. Manhattan Plastic Surgeon Dr. B. Aviva Preminger and goes the extra mile to counsel tummy tuck patients who have concerns about how future weight gain might affect their results.

Will I gain weight in different places after a tummy tuck?

We’ve all heard this myth before – that if you remove fat from the abdomen, you’ll end up with fat ankles or a fat derriere. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Researchers from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons examined more than 300 patients for at least three months after their liposuction and tummy tuck procedures. They found that the fat cells in treated areas did not regrow. Furthermore, upper body and lower body dimensions remained measurably unchanged, even when small amounts of overall weight gain were reported.

The benefit of the tummy tuck procedure is that it effectively reduces the number of fat cells in a particularly troublesome area. If you continue to eat more calories than your body needs and do not exercise, fat will inevitably deposit in genetically and hormonally determined patterns. For one of the best results, Dr. Preminger recommends maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating nutrition-dense food, weightlifting twice a week, and getting at least 75 minutes of weekly vigorous exercise like aerobics, running, cycling, rollerblading, or jumping rope.

What if I become pregnant after a tummy tuck?

Many patients wait for a tummy tuck until they are done having children. Pregnancy will loosen the abdominal wall to some degree. Some women do bounce right back to having a flat stomach after pregnancy and never need a revision surgery. One study demonstrated safe pregnancy to term in 24 women following tummy tuck.

Women who have had a tummy tuck should tell their OBGYNs in case a cesarean section is needed. Often, surgeons can use the same incision site to minimize the risk of scarring. Studies have evaluated the possibility of combining abdominoplasty with a c-section, but the high complication rates have led surgeons to recommend postponing future tummy tucks until initial healing is complete.

One exception to the rule is women who do not plan to have children for five to 10 years. The benefits of having a flat stomach and attractive contour during those “prime years” may outweigh the consequence of possibly requiring a revision surgery down the road.

Is a second tummy tuck possible?

Dr. Preminger works with patients to find one of the best solution in the event they gain weight after an initial tummy tuck. Most of the time, positive results can be realized simply through a renewed focus on diet and exercise. If it has been at least six months since the last surgery or live birth, a physical exam can be completed to assess fat accumulation levels, skin laxity, and overall health prior to clearance for surgery.

Contact Dr. B. Aviva Preminger to discuss the full range of body contouring options available to you, whether you’ve had work done in the past or are first starting to explore the possibility of a new you.

Additional “weight gain after tummy tuck” resources:

  1. ASPS, Many Women Have Long-Term Weight Loss after ‘Tummy Tuck,’ Reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/many-women-have-long-term-weight-loss-after-tummy-tuck-reports-plastic-and-reconstructive-surgery
  2. ASPS, Fat Cells Don’t Return To Treated or Untreated Areas After Liposuction, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/fat-cells-don%E2%80%99t-return-to-treated-or-untreated-areas-after-liposuction
  3. International Journal of Women’s Health, Feasibility of Abdominoplasty with Cesarean Section, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325006/
  4. Real Self, Pregnant Again – Is A Second Tummy Tuck Possible?, https://www.realself.com/question/pregnant-tummy-tuck-after-baby