Tummy Tucks Can Lead To Long-Term Weight Loss
Anyone who’s struggled with their weight knows that shedding excess fat is only half the battle. For many people, keeping weight off over the long term is the most challenging aspect of dieting. Fad diets have a very high failure rate (over 95% of these diets fail within three years), and even medically-supervised weight loss doesn’t work for everyone. As such, any tool that might encourage lifelong weight stabilization is very much worth investigating.
Abdominoplasty for Sustained Weight Loss
Though it cannot replace a healthy lifestyle, emerging evidence shows that abdominoplasty (tummy tuck surgery) can help eligible candidates maintain a healthy weight. According to a study published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, women who undergo tummy tuck surgery after successful weight loss are much more resistant to subsequent weight gain than women who have had no plastic surgery.
The 20 patients examined in this study had an average BMI of 30 (indicating obesity) before they began preparing for tummy tuck surgery. One year after recovering from surgery, an impressive 14 of those patients had achieved an average BMI of 23, which is safely within the “healthy” range. This is significant when you consider the fact that the normal odds of recovering from obesity are just one in 124 for females (and one in 210 for males).
The amount of weight loss experienced by the study group greatly exceeded the amount of tissue removed during abdominoplasty. (Only five to ten pounds of tissue are removed during tummy tuck surgery.) This indicates that most tummy tuck patients continue to lose weight even after having surgery and therefore clearly buck the trend of weight regain.
How does Tummy Tuck Surgery Aid in Weight Maintenance?
The role that abdominoplasty plays in long-term weight loss is more than just psychological. Researchers believe that having tummy tuck surgery may actually increase satiety (the ability to feel full after eating a standard portion of food). Three fourths of all patients who have undergone abdominoplasties say they experience greater satiety after meals. They also report that they’re less likely to snack during the day.
Researchers aren’t completely sure why abdominoplasty improves appetite regulation. This effect may be linked to the realignment of patients’ abdominal muscles and connective tissues. During tummy tuck surgery, the linea alba (the band of tissue that joins the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles) is strengthened and repaired. This allows the abdominal muscles to exert a strong “corseting” effect on the stomach, potentially reducing its capacity. Another theory suggests that removing abdominal tissue alters the neuroendocrine system, lowering the amount of appetite-promoting hormones excreted by the body.
Regardless of the mechanism of action behind it, this reduction in appetite has powerful implications for weight maintenance. Most people who diet experience an increase in appetite that’s directly proportional to the amount of weight they’ve lost. (The human body prompts the consumption of 100 extra calories for every two pounds of fat lost.) Circumventing this inevitable surge of hunger is probably key to preventing weight regain.
It’s far too early to recommend tummy tuck surgery to all patients who have struggled with obesity in the past. However, eligible candidates who require abdominoplasty (to repair damaged abdominal muscles and remove loose skin) should take these facts into consideration when assessing the pros and cons of surgery.
To learn more about the benefits of abdominoplasty, contact Dr. Florence Mussat to arrange a personal consultation. She can assist you surgically and provide safe, effective medically-supervised weight loss to help you maintain your results.