A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, removes fat and excess skin from the abdomen to create a firmer and flatter torso. The procedure can also restore separated or weakened abdominal muscles to help the stomach look more toned.
Many people who get a tummy tuck have trouble obtaining a flat stomach on their own, even if they’re at a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Some people feel self-conscious about excess skin after they’ve lost a significant amount of weight. A tummy tuck can help you achieve your cosmetic goals and feel more confident about your body.
The results of a tummy tuck are usually permanent, but large weight fluctuations can reverse some of the effects. Most people maintain their weight or even lose weight after the surgery. However, some people do gain weight and see that the excess weight diminishes the results of the surgery. Gaining a few pounds won’t make a noticeable difference, but gaining 20 or more pounds may start to affect the tummy tuck results.
Fat Gain in Other Areas
The tummy tuck procedure removes some of the fat cells in the abdominal area. When you eat excess calories, the fat cells throughout your body grow. Because there are fewer fat cells in your abdomen after the surgery, you may notice that you gain weight more noticeably on other areas of your body.
However, seeing the number go up a few pounds on the scale doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gaining fat. Muscle weighs more than fat, and if you’ve been exercising, you may have gained some weight from building muscle.
If you’re concerned about gaining fat after the procedure, you can record your measurements every few weeks by using a measuring tape. Regardless of any weight fluctuations you see on the scale, your measurements will tell you for sure whether your abdominal area has gotten bigger or smaller. A few pounds of muscle can make you look much more toned, but it won’t increase your measurements as much as a few pounds of fat will.
A tummy tuck will remove some of the fat cells in your abdominal area, but some will remain. The remaining cells can still expand if you overeat. Although other areas of your body might be more affected by weight gain, overeating will eventually cause your stomach area to get larger, too.
Your skin will stretch out as your abdominal area expands, especially if you stay at a larger size for a long time. Some people find that their stomach flattens out quickly and easily after losing weight they gained after a tummy tuck. Others find that after weight loss, their skin sags almost as much as it did before the procedure.
Loss of Muscle Tone
Unfortunately, if you gain fat around your stomach after your tummy tuck, your abdominal muscles won’t look as toned, flat, or defined. If you exercise regularly, you may still have strong abdominal muscles, but they won’t be visible through a layer of fat on your stomach. Stretched skin from weight gain can prevent your abdominal muscles from being noticeable, too.
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Pregnancy After Tummy Tuck
Most doctors recommend that you wait to have a tummy tuck until you’re done having children, unless you plan to wait five to 10 years after the surgery before having kids. However, you may want to achieve and enjoy a flat stomach with a tummy tuck before getting pregnant. Also, you may change your mind about pregnancy or unintentionally become pregnant.
Everyone’s body is different, so it’s difficult to know how a pregnancy will affect your tummy tuck results. Some people bounce right back to a flat stomach after pregnancy and don’t need their tummy tuck redone. However, you do gain a significant amount of weight during pregnancy, especially in your abdominal area, so stretched skin is very common. If the tummy tuck results don’t last after your pregnancy, you do have the option of getting the procedure done again.
How to Avoid Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck
Gaining weight after a tummy tuck may have an effect on the results. Fortunately, you can have another tummy tuck after losing weight to restore your flat stomach. The easiest option, though, is to avoid weight gain after the surgery.
Following a healthy diet and exercise plan is the best way to prevent weight gain after a tummy tuck. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients but low in calories, like vegetables, fruits, legumes, and lean proteins will help you stay satisfied while avoiding overeating.
Many people find that eating smaller meals throughout the day stops them from getting too hungry and impulsively overeating. Eating slowly and focusing on your food while you eat can help, too. It takes some time for your body to realize that it’s full, so it’s important to take your time and pay attention to your hunger cues while you eat.
An exercise routine can help prevent fat from accumulating and can build up your abdominal muscles, which will make your stomach look even better. Finding a balance of cardio and strength exercise in your routine will help you maintain your weight while also toning up.
If you’re interested in a tummy tuck, contact Doctors Plastic Surgery for a consultation. They have offices in New York and Chicago, and they employ an expert team of doctors, including Dr. Lin, Dr. Everett, Dr. Blaine, Dr. Ghersi, and Dr. Altman.
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