An abdominoplasty, more often called a tummy tuck, is a procedure normally associated with a drastic weight loss, or with women who are hoping to get a flatter stomach post-pregnancy. While improving the appearance of the abdominal area, by removing excess skin and fat and by tightening the muscles, the surgery has a few other benefits, that may come as a surprise.
A tummy tuck alleiviates back pain and improves posture.
People associate a flabby stomach with weak or out-of-shape abdominal muscles. While that can certainly be the case, a fair number of people may be dealing with stomach muscles that are have stretched to a degree that they can’t bouce back to their original shape – no matter what. Over extended abdominal muscles can develop after pregnancy or after a person loses a considerable amount of weight.
Since this musle looseness is due to laxity, and not weakness, exercise or diet won’t help. Along with creating a saggy abdominal area, the elongated muscles can also affect a person’s posture. These people can find it difficult to sit or stand up straight. They may even might develop a “sway back,” or a spine that curves in too much, causing pain or discomfort. During a tummy tuck, a surgeon can tighten the over extended muscles, improving the tone of the tummy and significantly improving a person’s posture.
A tummy tuck can help with incontinence.
One of the unwanted effects of childbirth is the development of stress urinary incontinence. Unlike other types of incontinence, stress incontinence can cause a small amount of urine to escape when there is any sort of pressure or force in the bladder area. For example, after a person laughs, coughs or sneezes, a small amount of urine might leak out.
People typically develop stress urinary incontinence when the muscles of the pelvic floor or the urinary sphincter become weak. Childbirth can be a triggering incident for many women, as the process of delivering a child puts a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor and sphincter.
Although for some people it is possible to treat stress incontinence without surgery, with Kegel exercises for example, there are cases when a tummy tuck can be particularly helpful. How a tummy tuck helps incontinence isn’t quite clear, but it is thought that the process of tightening the skin and the abdominal muscles puts enough force on the urethra that incidences of leaking are reduced. It’s worth pointing out that your surgeon most likely won’t perform abdominoplasty to correct stress incontinence. If you’re dealing with incontinence and are also a good candidate for a tummy tuck for other reasons, this may be an added benefit.
A tummy tuck can be combined with hernia repair.
When part a person has a ventral hernia, a portion of the abdominal or intestinal tissues push through the abdominal wall, leading to a painful bulge. A number of factors can increase your risk for developing this type of hernia, including a weakening of the abdominal muscles after childbirth or after a large weight loss.
Traditionally, the best way to repair a ventral hernia is through surgery. The procedure to repair a hernia can be combined with an abdominoplasty. As the abdominal muscles are tightened, the chance of the hernia occuring again is greatly reduced.
A tummy tuck reduces chances of infection.
Having a considerable amount of excess skin in the abdominal area doesn’t just make it difficult to fit into clothing, or reduce a person’s self esteem. Extra skin hanging down over other tissues can also increase a person’s risk for bacterial infection. It’s considerably more difficult to wash areas with excess skin, so bacteria is more likely to grow or build up. Removing the lax skin considerably cuts down the risk for infection.
Whether you want your flat stomach back after having children, or after loosing a large amount of weight, a tummy tuck may be the procedure of choice for you. To learn more about the added benefits of a tummy tuck, call 281.484.0088 to schedule a consultation with Houston’s Dr. Paul Vitenas. A Board Certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Vitenas has more than 20 years of experience with the abdominoplasty procedure.