If you have tried unsuccessfully to achieve flat, toned abs through diet and exercise, you might want to consider a tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty. One frequently asked question about this surgical procedure is: Does stomach fat reappear after a tummy tuck and/or liposuction?
The answer is usually no, but under certain circumstances it could be yes. It all depends on what happens before, during, and after the procedure.
The Tummy Tuck Procedure
As with any form of surgery, it is good to develop a relationship with your plastic surgeon and openly discuss all your questions and concerns. Although a tummy tuck removes excess skin and fat, and will tighten the abdominal muscles, it is not meant to be a weight-loss procedure. Dr. Troy Pittman, a board-certified plastic surgeon, will stress that you should already be at a reasonable weight before undergoing a tummy tuck.
There are two common types of abdominoplasty. One is the full tummy tuck which tightens muscles throughout the abdominal region. The other type is a mini tummy tuck which is a bit less invasive and targets excess skin and fat below the belly button. Proper maintenance after both procedures is roughly the same.
During an abdominoplasty, an incision is made directly above the pubic area and another incision is made around the belly button. Dr. Pittman will lift the abdominal skin and suture the ab muscles closer together to produce a firm belly. After being pulled taut, extra skin is removed at the bottom, and a new belly button is made.
Sometimes liposuction will be used with a tummy tuck to remove even more fat cells in the abdominal area. This procedure is known as lipo-abdominoplasty. Regardless of whether or not liposuction is used, there will be some fat cells remaining in this region.
After Your Tummy Tuck
The improvements that patients see after a tummy tuck are usually permanent. Ab muscles should remain firm and tight and the loose skin will usually not redevelop, as long as you maintain your weight.
However, some life events may reduce the positive effects of this procedure. Future pregnancies and significant weight gain can cause the abdominal muscles to stretch again. Situations like these can lead to the return of excess skin and relaxed muscle tone.
Maintaining Your Flat Stomach
Research has shown that the number of fat cells in our body is set during adolescence. The removal of fat cells from the abdominal area during abdominoplasty or liposuction ensures that those cells will not return. However, any remaining fat cells, including those in other areas of the body, such as the buttocks, legs, arms, and breasts, can definitely increase in size with a weight gain.
Because of this possibility, it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle after an abdominoplasty. Small fluctuations in weight (less than about 15 pounds) should not negatively impact results from a tummy tuck. More significant fluctuations could result in the need for a second surgery called a revision tummy tuck.
Speak with Dr. Troy Pittman About the Results of a Tummy Tuck
If you are frustrated with your efforts to achieve a flat tummy, arrange a consultation with Dr. Troy Pittman, a board-certified and experienced body sculpting surgeon. You can use that time to gather facts and weigh the pros and cons of the procedure.
Does stomach fat reappear after a tummy tuck? The short answer is maybe. Provided that you remain diligent in leading a healthy lifestyle after the tummy tuck procedure, you should not expect to see the stomach fat come back. Your post-operative body is ultimately in your control.