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How Long Do Results From A Tummy Tuck Last?

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By Jerome Edelstein, MD

While diet and exercise can be excellent weight loss tools, in many cases, they are not enough to improve skin elasticity or eliminate the excess skin that results from significant weight loss and multiple pregnancies. As a result, many patients turn to abdominoplasty surgery – a cosmetic procedure designed to contour the stomach, tighten weakened abdominal muscles and remove loosened skin.

While this procedure is an excellent option for many who seek to tone and tighten their midsection, the results are only long-lasting if patients work to preserve them by following all aftercare instructions carefully, maintaining a consistent weight, healthy diet, and regular exercise routine.

Follow Aftercare Instructions

In the days and weeks following the procedure, it is crucial that patients follow all aftercare instructions provided by their surgeon in order to achieve optimal, long-lasting results. For example, while it may be slightly uncomfortable, patients are required to wear a compression or support garment for approximately six weeks following the procedure in order to reduce swelling and prevent seroma formation (fluid accumulation).

Strenuous physical activity such as cardio and heavy lifting must be avoided initially in order to minimize the likelihood of additional swelling or the creation of fluid. Hot tubs, swimming pools, and baths must also be avoided until incisions are healed, to reduce the risk of infection.

Consistent Weight

One of the most important steps that patients can take to prolong the results of a tummy tuck is maintaining a consistent weight both before and after the procedure. Weight fluctuations following surgery may re-stretch the skin and cause fat to return to the abdomen (although the abdomen does become more resistant to fat accumulation than before the surgery).

In addition, while pregnancy is safe after abdominoplasty, it is not advisable as it stretches the repaired abdominal muscles and skin. In some cases, this may result in the need for revision surgery. Thus, patients should only undergo a tummy tuck when they have reached an optimal, stable weight in order to encourage long-lasting results.

Healthy Diet

While a tummy tuck can drastically improve a patient’s waistline and, when combined with liposuction, a significant reduction in fat cells, a healthy diet is required following the procedure to prevent future weight gain. Although it may be difficult at times, it is crucial to make healthy food choices and avoid a calorie increase to ensure your long term satisfaction with your new shape. A diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains will help you to sustain the results of your tummy tuck.

Regular Exercise Routine

Although strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first three to six weeks following your procedure, once your surgeon has given you the go-ahead, it is important to follow a regular exercise routine in order to optimize your tummy tuck results. A consistent workout regimen that includes regular cardio will help to prevent future weight gain, thereby prolonging the results of your surgery.

A tummy tuck is a transformative body contouring surgery. Before undergoing this procedure, it is crucial to understand what is required post-operatively in order to maintain optimal results. To learn more about this procedure, please contact our clinic to schedule a consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons who will explain the aftercare instructions and lifestyle requirements following a tummy tuck.

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