Abdominoplasty, frequently referred to as a tummy tuck, is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to tighten abdominal muscles and remove excess skin and fat. Commonly requested as part of a “mommy makeover,” the most obvious benefit of abdominoplasty is its ability to restore a patient’s figure by tightening and toning the tummy.
In addition to its cosmetic benefits, a tummy tuck may have a number of other medical benefits, including reduction of stress urinary incontinence (SUI), tightening of abdominal muscles, improved posture, and hernia correction.
Reduction of SUI
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI), also known as involuntary urination, is a bladder control issue, which is a result of increased pressure to the bladder. Some women experience SUI, which can be triggered by sneezing, coughing, exercising, or laughing, after childbirth due to a weakened pelvic floor. While in many cases SUI can be treated non-surgically, it is now believed that a tummy tuck can improve urinary incontinence, particularly if patients have not had a caesarean section.
When the abdominal skin and muscles are tightened, the tissue surrounding the bladder, pelvic floor, and urethra are supported which puts pressure on the passage from the bladder to the urethra, thereby encouraging it to stay closed and reducing incontinence.
Tighter Abdominal Muscles
Many individuals seek abdominoplasty after significant weight loss or multiple pregnancies, at which time their stomach muscles may be weakened. In addition to removing the excess skin often resulting from drastic weight loss, a tummy tuck can also tighten and strengthen weakened muscles, helping to tone and contour the abdomen.
Weakened abdominal muscles can result in lordosis, characterized by an inward curve of the spine. Over time this condition can cause lower back pain and poor posture. When the abdominal muscles are tightened during a tummy tuck, however, they are better able to support the spine, reducing lordosis. As a result, many individuals have improved posture and a reduction in back pain following abdominoplasty.
Ventral Hernia Correction
Extreme weight loss or surgeries such as caesarean sections and appendectomies can lead to the development of a ventral hernia, which occurs when the abdominal contents protrude through the abdominal wall, forming a pocket and visible bulge. In addition to the pain caused by this condition, a ventral hernia poses the risk of a number of serious complications.
Individuals with a weakened abdominal wall are also likely to develop future hernias. Luckily, abdominoplasty can allow for repair of the hernia while also strengthening the abdominal wall, preventing future problems. Individuals who choose to combine the two procedures save the time and expense of having two separate surgeries.
The main benefit of a tummy tuck is its ability to transform an individual’s appearance. If you feel that you could benefit from abdominoplasty and would like to learn more about the procedure and its various benefits, please contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our expert surgeons.
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