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A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that removes excess stomach skin, tightens abdominal muscles and leaves behind a flatter, firmer abdomen. Tummy tucks are a very popular elective procedure among those struggling with stretched-out, loose or saggy stomach skin. Most people opt to have the body contouring procedure for cosmetically-motivated reasons, but you might be surprised to learn some of the other health benefits that are associated with a tummy tuck.

1. Relieve Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence can develop as a result of childbirth or age and can be a daily source of embarrassment. Doctors have discovered that a tummy tuck can help relieve or reduce urinary incontinence in as many as two-thirds of those treated, with the best results seen in women who had vaginal deliveries during childbirth.

During a tummy tuck, the soft tissues that support the pelvic floor, bladder and urethra are reinforced and tightened which creates pressure on the passage from the bladder to the urethra to help keep it closed and prevent leaks.

2. Improve Abdominal Muscle Tone

When a person becomes very overweight or becomes pregnant, the abdominal muscles can become stretched, distended and weakened. Even when a person loses weight or delivers their child, those muscles remain damaged and cannot be repaired with diet or exercise. A tummy tuck involves more than removing and tightening the stomach skin and addresses the stomach muscles as well. The muscles are tightened and repaired to create a stronger, more stable abdominal wall.

3. Improve Posture

When the abdominal wall is weak, the strength and integrity of the entire core is affected. This can lead to bad posture, but a tummy tuck helps to restore stability to the entire midsection. Sure, your mother always told you to stop slouching, but you may not realize the many benefits of having good posture. Standing up straight reduces stress on your spine, opens airways for better breathing, alleviates back and neck pain and makes you look thinner and more confident.

4. Correct Ventral Hernia

A ventral hernia occurs when part of the intestines pokes through a weak point in the abdominal wall and forms a sack. This condition commonly occurs in individuals who’ve experienced massive weight loss or had stomach surgeries like appendectomies or C-sections. Ventral hernias can be painful and lead to dangerous infections and can only be repaired surgically.

During a tummy tuck, plastic surgeons can repair hernias that they know about before surgery or find during the course of the procedure to further strengthen the stomach.

5. Positive Lifestyle Changes

When you’ve lived with embarrassing and sometimes debilitating folds of heavy, excess stomach skin, a tummy tuck can truly be a liberating and life-changing experience. Finally feeling confident and comfortable showing your body, wearing form-fitting clothing or swimwear or being in intimate situations can feel like you’re finally free to live life again. When you’re able to look in the mirror and actually love what you see, it can be a great motivator to maintain healthy habits so you don’t lose that firm, flat stomach.

Many studies have shown that people who have tummy tucks often avoid future weight gain by developing and sticking to a balanced diet and committed exercise regimen. Sure, these habits will help to maintain your tummy tuck results, but also contribute to overall health and longevity.

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