Everyone knows that a tummy tuck removes the unwanted skin and fat from the lower abdomen, and this is an amazing instant-gratification kind of result. You go to surgery with all the extra pudge but wake up in the recovery room—it is gone, and your abdomen is flat in a way that is just too good to be true. Flat like a board!
And so this makes the tummy tuck operation the one that patients are the most happy after. Most of them have done everything they can do to address this. They have gotten as fit as they can, following a healthy lifestyle of exercise and clean eating, but they still had the pudge. And it would not budge. But with a tummy tuck, all the excess skin and fat is removed and the result is immediate. So amazing! But did you know there are some other less well-known benefits of tummy tuck surgery? In this blog, I will address some of the less well-known perks of the abdominoplasty—or tummy tuck—operation.
The Sad Bellybutton
The bellybutton is the center, and focal point of the abdomen, but after pregnancy and other life changes, the contour of this focal centerpiece can be less than happy. In fact, it often assumes a horizontal downward curving semi-circle, imitating a frowning mouth. This may also be how you feel about your umbilicus and abdomen in general.
One of the hidden benefits of abdominoplasty is you get a rejuvenated bellybutton, and the contour changes back to a youthful one, rounded and small and happy. The end result is really your bellybutton, just in a new spot on the abdominal wall skin. Take a look at the cute bellybutton my patient pictured below has now.
Depending on your anatomy and the life changes you have had, you may have a few extra pounds of skin and fat—the pudge—around your midsection that will be removed with the tummy tuck. This gives the fantastic flat contour of course, but also, those extra pounds hanging off the front of you can be causing a sneaky, chronic low back discomfort. It is usually not the type of pain that is severe or that causes major issues, but it is real nevertheless. The mild but chronic nature of this type of back pain is cumulative as well; the longer you have had the extra pounds, the more likely you are to have this. So when the tummy tuck is done, the weight is removed, giving another type of immediate response to a long-term issue. Just imagine wearing a 5-pound kettle ball around your waist for a few years … and how it would feel when you removed it!
Standing up straight with your shoulders back and head held high—this is the way tummy tuck patients walk into my office at their 6-week checkup. They tell me their posture has improved along with their confidence. The tummy tuck tightens the core muscles like a corset, which is one of the reasons it’s a popular component of a mommy makeover procedure. This muscle tightening just makes it natural to stand up straighter. The “sucking it in” feeling is not something you have to think about—it is just IN! With larger amounts of skin removed, patients will tell me they can even be a little off balance for a few days—it is just such a new feeling to have the weight removed from the front of the abdomen, they actually have to adjust to it.
Many patients who are interested in having a tummy tuck have other scars on their lower abdomen, often from C-sections, hysterectomies, or appendectomies.
One of the worst examples of a bad scar is the vertical C-section or exploratory surgery. This scar down the middle usually resembles … well … a bottom on your front side. So getting rid of this type of scar is a huge improvement and added bonus. A tummy tuck removes lower abdomen scars and tattoos with the ellipse of skin that is removed.
I don’t know about you, but anything that helps with urinary incontinence is welcome! And patients often report less incontinence after a tummy tuck. This little-known but scientifically backed fact is just plain wonderful. All of us ladies know that to do a Kegel properly, you must squeeze all the core muscles along with the pelvic floor, pulling in and up to the bellybutton. So when the tummy tuck tightens the core, it is replicating a strong, sustained Kegel. If you want to read more, please check out the article published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
We all want to exercise more. But it is really hard when the excess pudge around the middle is weighing you down and not budging. And don’t even get me started on the sweat in the skin folds. So when the extra skin is removed, and a flat contour results, it is easier to exercise and see the results of your efforts—minus the gross sweaty area under the skin fold. Many of my patients will have new motivation and find they want to put on their workout leggings and head to the gym. They report losing the extra pounds from the skin that is removed and then going on to lose another 5 to 10 pounds. It is just easier and more satisfying to do the work when you can see the results. (Be sure to check out my earlier blog post for more motivation on getting fit and building a healthy life.)
Clothing May Be the Same Size but It Fits better (and Adding Belts!)
How many of you have what I call “aspirational clothing” in your closet? These are the items that used to fit but not so much anymore. You haven’t given them away YET because you know you are getting back into them—right??!! Well, after a tummy tuck, you will likely have more than a few happy moments reuniting with your old clothes that now fit. Of course, some are really NEVER going to fit again, but those items that were too snug around your abdomen are going to go back into circulation! And what about all your belts? Now you will be able to tuck your shirt into your skinny jeans and add a belt.
You have done your part to get fit and to trim that belly, and it is still pudgy and squishy. But a tummy tuck changes all that—and that’s why this operation has the highest satisfaction. If you have been thinking about this procedure, call us at (614) 569-2649 to set up your personal tummy tuck consultation at my plastic surgery practice in Columbus, OH, to learn more. Or use our online form to request a consultationThe entire A-team is ready to help you on this journey.