There are many reasons why the abdominal skin sags. Pregnancy, weight loss or age factors are three most common causes for abdominal skin excess. A tummy tuck has become a go-to procedure for all such people to get a toned and flat stomach.
A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove the excess sagging skin from the stomach and tightening the abdominal muscles. It is a popular surgery among women wishing to eliminate the flabby stomach post-pregnancy.
Most people associate tummy tuck with cosmetic surgery but there are several medical benefits behind it.
1. Reduction in Lower Back Pain
Most women experience back pain during and after pregnancy. There have been several studies regarding this suffering and approximately and an estimated 50% of pregnant women suffer from lower back pain. This back pain could last for years together after childbirth and the severity of the back pain may increase after a second pregnancy.
The main reason for lower back pain in pregnant women and postpartum women is due to the increase in the body weight especially in the stomach region, which affects the lower back. If not attended, this lower back pain issue can develop further and present severe complications in the future.
A study published in 2017 by a group of plastic surgeons from Australia found that the tummy tuck procedure could relieve the lower back pain for women post pregnancy. The study included 214 women from nine different plastic surgery centres across Australia. The average age of the women was 42 years with an average of 2.5 deliveries.
The study compared the lower back pain in women before and after undergoing the procedure of tummy tuck. Post treatment, the researchers recorded the feedback of the women after six weeks and six months. Nine different surgeons from different plastic surgery centres conducted the procedure involving various methods of abdominoplasty. Six months after the surgery, a whopping 85% of women reported an improvement in their lower back pain.
By removing the extra weight from the stomach, the total weight of the person reduced significantly, which contributed to the reduction in the lower back pain.
2. Reduction of Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI) is a condition that refers to uncontrollable leakage of the bladder when sneezing, coughing, laughing or while involving in any activity that gives a short and quick shake to the body. SUI happens when there is extra pressure on the bladder and urethra, which leads to unexpected urine leakage. Most commonly, women are likely to suffer from urinary incontinence due to delivery, while some others may experience this condition due to some accident or birth defect.
Notably, A tummy tuck procedure can solve SUI in various people. In the same study by the Australian plastic surgeons, the tummy tuck procedure infused a vast improvement in solving the problem of urinary leakage. After the tummy tuck, around 73% of women noted a visible improvement in their urinary incontinence.
Due to the removal of the excess skin and fat from the stomach and the abdominal region, the pressure on the pelvic muscles and urethra reduced appreciably. Moreover, the functional improvements of the tummy tuck procedure also helps in restoring the strength of the abdominal muscles and the pelvic region thereby helping in better bladder control.
3. Correcting a Ventral Hernia
The ventral hernia is a condition where the intestine or the abdominal tissue breaks through the abdominal wall and hangs outside. A ventral hernia could happen for several reasons:
● Weak abdominal wall,
● Sudden weight loss, and
● Caesarean section during pregnancy.
The hernia hangs out like a pouch outside and it could lead to several complications in the future. Once a hernia occurs, there are chances that it may happen again.
A combination of tummy tuck procedure along with hernioplasty can correct ventral hernia and prevent its future occurrences as well. In this combined procedure, the surgeon places the hernia back into the abdominal wall. Evidently, it strengthens and corrects the weakened abdominal muscles thus avoiding the intestine from coming out again.
Eliminating the Condition of Rectus Diastasis
Rectus Diastasis is a condition found most commonly in women post pregnancy. This is caused due to excess weight gain, injury or ageing in both men and women. This condition causes the recti muscles present on the outer abdominal wall to separate.
In pregnant women, as their stomach diameter increases, the recti muscles get isolated to accommodate the growing size. However, for most women, these muscles move to the size of the stomach and do not join back after the pregnancy. This causes weakening of the abdominal muscles and can lead to a visible bulge on the side of the stomach where the muscles have separated.
Exercises and dieting alone cannot solve the condition of Rectus Diastasis. Tummy tuck procedure can repair the muscles by removing the excess skin and fat in the section where the recti muscles have to join. During the procedure, the surgeon will bring the recti muscles together and tighten the abdominal muscles making the core stronger.
Improved Posture and Better Abdominal Tone
A direct benefit of the tummy tuck procedure is an improvement in the tightening of abdominal muscles. This helps the person to exercise better and involve in physical activities without the hindrance of bulging and sagging stomach.
As tummy tuck can relieve back pain, it can also help in the treatment of Lordosis. Due to this condition, a person won’t be able to hold a straight posture and may often sway back to compensate for the extra weight around the stomach and the lower back pain. With the removal of excess skin, tummy tuck procedure helps to attain a better posture by supporting the spine that allows the person to stand up straight easily.
Apart from these medical benefits, the tummy tuck procedure can also help with improving the mental and emotional health of a person by boosting the confidence and self-esteem of their physical appearance.
If you are going for a tummy tuck procedure for any of the above medical benefits, make sure to inform the plastic surgeon about the main reason for undergoing this procedure. This will further ensure that you get the best optimal results.
The information is being provided by plasticsurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Bibilash Babu, Plastic Surgeon on: 12-JUN-2020.