Summary: A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a procedure designed to improve the midsection by treating baggy skin, removing excess fatty tissue and repairing loose or separated abdominal muscles. The most common tummy tuck patients are women who have undergone multiple pregnancies or anyone who has lost significant weight. While the surgery is typically thought of as a cosmetic procedure, recent findings reveal that a tummy tuck might have medical benefits, helping men and women recover from a variety of health problems. A better understanding of the medical benefits of a tummy tuck may help a wider range of candidates achieve both their health and cosmetic goals.
Urinary Stress Incontinence
Urinary stress incontinence occurs when the pelvic floor muscles and urinary sphincter are weakened, often as a result of childbirth, prostate surgery or other health issues. Urinary stress incontinence results in a loss of control over the bladder, especially when sneezing, coughing, lifting or laughing, and can lead to feelings of embarrassment and even social isolation.
Studies have indicated that a tummy tuck can relieve urinary stress incontinence, especially in women who have not undergone a C-section. This may result from pulling abdominal skin and tissue away from the urethra, relieving some of the pressure that can cause involuntary urine release.
Posture and Abdominal Tone
One of the primary cosmetic benefits of a tummy tuck is improved abdominal tone. Men and women who have mild to severe diastasis recti, typically as a result of pregnancy or a previous episode of weight gain, often have trouble repairing their abdominal muscles without surgery. While improved muscle tone can certainly enhance the appearance of your midsection, repairing the abdominals also has health benefits.
Distended stomach muscles can result in hyperlordosis, or a swayed back. Hyperlordosis leads to poor posture and unhealthy spinal support, the effects of which can contribute to long-term back problems. By improving the position of the abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck can help correct patients with a swayed back and encourage a healthier posture, reducing the chances of developing chronic back pain.
A ventral hernia is a condition caused by abdominal tissue or intestine pushing through the abdominal wall to form a visible bulge. Ventral hernias are most frequently associated with weakened abdominal muscles or surgical procedures such as C-sections. Ventral hernias often cause discomfort in addition to some degree of organ dysfunction, especially in the case of a twisted intestine.
While a standard abdominoplasty will not necessarily correct a ventral hernia, a tummy tuck specialist can easily combine ventral hernia correction with your abdominoplasty. Typically, hernia repair fixes openings in the abdominal wall to push the tissue or intestine back into place. However, ventral hernia repair on its own does not correct any extended tissue or skin resulting from the hernia. For this reason, combining an abdominoplasty with ventral hernia repair is a common choice for patients who wish to not only resolve the health risks associated with hernias, but also treat the visible bulge.
In addition to the numerous potential health benefits of abdominoplasty, most patients who choose to get a tummy tuck report a high level of emotional satisfaction with their cosmetic results.
A tummy tuck can help post-weight loss patients move forward with a new and improved body shape, while the procedure can also help mothers regain their youthful figure as they age. While a tummy tuck can have definite cosmetic advantages, the benefits of the procedure can extend far beyond the superficial.