a woman emerging from water; why you might need surgery after your weight loss journey

Tummy Tuck surgery has a reputation for being, well, uncomfortable. But if that’s the case, why would anyone get a tummy tuck knowing that they’re in for that kind of discomfort? Well, there are two basic reasons. The first is that any discomfort is usually incredibly well managed. Your surgeons know it’s coming, after all, so they prepare for it.

So Why Would Anyone Get a Tummy Tuck? Is it That Bad?

And the second reason is the results. Tummy tuck is one of those plastic surgery procedures that can lead to incredibly bold transformations. And when patients want a tummy tuck, it’s usually because of those transformations.

Of course, what those transformations entail usually changes from patient to patient. That is, the motivations for a tummy tuck are usually a little more complex. The answer to the question, therefore, of why would anyone get a tummy tuck takes a little bit longer to answer than you might expect.

Common Motivations for Undergoing Tummy Tuck Surgery

There are a wide variety of motivations behind each and every patient’s decision to undergo a tummy tuck procedure, though the objectives are most often the same: the elimination of excess skin.

Contrary to popular belief, a tummy tuck is not designed to eliminate unwanted fat (that’s what a liposuction procedure is for) or to slim you down, necessarily (though that does sometimes happen as a result). Instead, tummy tuck is designed primarily to get rid of excess skin that develops due to a wide variety of factors, from pregnancy to weight loss.

The motivations of patients often form as a result of that excess skin. For example, patients may wish to:

  • Reclaim some lost youth; in many cases, pregnancy can lead to the formation of a significant amount of excess skin. Some patients may feel that this excess skin ages them prematurely. A tummy tuck is a great way to feel as though you can get this youth back–and actually enjoy it this time.
  • Complete a weight loss journey: Many weight loss journeys are long and arduous. It makes sense, then, patients might be discouraged when they’re left with a significant amount of excess skin at the end of that journey. For many patients, a tummy tuck is the last step in that transformation.
  • Aesthetic reasons: Some patients might not be all that concerned with what caused excess skin–they’re just more interested in getting rid of it. Those patients, then, are motivated most significantly by aesthetic considerations. They just want that tummy area to look a little leaner and fitter.

Why Do People Go Through That Recovery?

Tummy tuck recovery tends to be uncomfortable for a few different reasons. First, the belly is a surprisingly sensitive area of the body. There are a fair number of nerve endings and all that. Second, to make matters worse, the belly tends to be pretty integral to movement. Every time you sit up or sit back, you’re using those stomach muscles.

And finally, there’s the fact that there isn’t a whole lot surgeons can do to make the incision much smaller. The effectiveness of tummy tuck, in many ways, depends on the length of the incision. And that’s what dictates just how much excess tissue your surgeon will be able to remove.

However, there are ways in which surgeons can work to help mitigate discomfort during your recovery. A pain pump, for example, is often employed as a way to help patients manage pain that pops up. In other instances, an injectable numbing agent is used to help minimize discomfort. You’ll have to talk to your surgeon about the best way to proceed with your specific tummy tuck procedure.

The Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

Most tummy tuck patients end up looking and feeling significantly more youthful and fit. Excess skin around the belly can be a downer–especially if you have no desire for it to stick around. So if you want to eliminate unwanted tissue from your tummy, a tummy tuck just might be the best procedure choice for you.

But be sure to talk to your surgeon about what to expect moving forward with your tummy tuck–both in terms of what it will change and in terms of your own personal recovery. A surgeon will be able to give you personalized information unique to your goals and your physiology.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over four years. This article was written in conjunction with the team of Dr. Michael Ogilvie, a Chicago area plastic surgeon.

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