Weight Gain After Tummy Tuck

The Blog
Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


Weight Gain After Tummy Tuck

Tummy tuck – also referred to as abdominoplasty – is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures today. In 2019, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that there were more than 123,000 of these procedures in the United States alone. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that most people who receive a tummy tuck are satisfied with the outcome of the treatment. According to realpatientratings.com, 95 percent of patients who received a tummy tuck said that the procedure was worth it. The key is to work with a seasoned plastic surgeon in order to ensure a successful procedure outcome.

It is recommended that you spend the time to learn as much as possible about any plastic surgery procedure before you make the final decision. In addition to helping alleviate some of the anxiety associated with surgical treatment, this can also help you prepare for a successful procedure outcome. There are also questions that come up after you have heard your tummy tuck. For instance, most tummy tuck patients are worried about weight gain or getting pregnant after this procedure. While your surgeon will encourage you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is important that you get all your post-procedure questions answered.

Your Weight Before a Tummy Tuck

Your pre-procedure weight can have an impact on whether or not your tummy tuck will be successful. You should be near your ideal weight goal before you go in for the surgery. Most plastic surgeons will in fact refuse to perform the procedure if you do not meet this requirement. It is important to keep in mind that a tummy tuck is not a treatment to help you lose weight. Rather, it gets rid of excess abdominal skin and fat in order to reveal a flatter and well-contoured abdominal appearance. If you are not within your ideal weight when you attend your tummy tuck consultation with Dr. LaBarbera, the surgeon may recommend that you wait to have this treatment at a later date.

Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck can be the motivation you need to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Your plastic surgeon will ask that you focus on a healthy diet and exercise regularly in order to get the most out of your abdominoplasty. Nonetheless, it is possible for people to still gain weight following their tummy tuck. Below are some of the key reasons why people may gain weight following a tummy tuck.

  • Lifestyle choices – adopting healthy habits is no doubt the best way to look and feel great. Even after you have had abdominoplasty plastic surgery, you still need to ensure that you’re going for the job and putting the right foods into your mouth. If you ignore what you eat and abdicate regular exercise, there is no doubt that you’ll put on extra weight, undoing the result of your tummy tuck.
  • Hormones – hormones tend to change throughout our life, from puberty all the way into adulthood. If your hormones become unbalanced, you can expect your weight to be affected as well. So, if you are adopting healthy lifestyle choices and still putting on weight, talk to your doctor regarding your hormone levels.
  • Stress – many people eat more as a way to cope with stress or outside pressure. This can in turn result in weight gain. Stress may also lead to hormonal issues that can cause our bodies to store more fat. It is important that you find healthy ways to get rid of stress, such as journaling and meditating.

Keep in mind that small weight fluctuations less than 15 pounds may not be a problem and will have no impact on the result. However, anything above 20 pounds may stretch your skin and abdominal muscles. Since stubborn fat cells are already removed during the abdominoplasty, you may find that your weight gain is concentrated in other areas such as the back, lower abdomen, and thighs. If you gain a lot amount of weight, then your intestines or skin may also continue to store fat, bringing the appearance of a ‘flabby’ tummy into the picture again.

Getting Pregnant After a Tummy Tuck

Most plastic surgeons will advise that you wait until you have completed childbearing before choosing to undergo a tummy tuck. However, you can still have abdominoplasty if it will be 5-10 years before you want to have a child. This is usually the case with younger patients who wish to enjoy the benefits of a tummy tuck while they are still in their prime. It is important to note that an individual body will react differently to pregnancy. Talk to your plastic surgeon if you plan to get pregnant in the foreseeable future. It may be possible to maintain a healthy weight and eliminate the need to have a revision abdominoplasty. If you are planning to have a cesarian birth, let your OBGYN know about it. They may be able to utilize the same incision site as the tummy tuck in order to reduce the risk of scarring.

Should I Get a Second Tummy Tuck?

If you have started gaining weight following a tummy tuck, your surgeon may recommend that you start exercising and change your diet immediately. This can help make sure that you stay in shape and possibly avoid the need for a revision procedure. If you have already put in too much weight after your tummy tuck, due to one reason or the other, then a revision tummy tuck may be a likely option. The surgeon will examine your skin laxity, accumulation of fat tissue, and assess other factors before determining if this is the best way forward. In some cases, alternative procedures such as liposuction alone can help achieve your body contouring goals.  

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