Tackling the Top 5 Myths about Tummy Tuck Surgery

Published: December 13, 2021
Category: Dr. Nathan Leigh, Body Lift, Tummy Tuck

Tummy Tuck, or Abdominoplasty surgery, can be truly transformational to a patient’s body and self-confidence. Year after year, it consistently makes the top five list of most requested plastic surgeries in the world. Perhaps due to this popularity, Tummy Tuck surgery is also ridden with myths and disinformation that may leave some patients questioning if the procedure is right for them. Here are some of the most common misconceptions surrounding Tummy Tuck Surgery and the insights of a board-certified plastic surgeon to set the record straight.

Myth #1 – Why get a Tummy Tuck? You can just diet and exercise the flabby skin on your stomach away.

Tummy Tuck surgery is designed to remove loose, excess skin that has lost its elasticity and can no longer snap back into place,” explains Dr. Nathan Leigh, a board-certified plastic surgeon and partner at Edina Plastic Surgery. “When our skin has reached this degree of sagging due to pregnancy or weight loss, no amount of diet or exercise will fully re-tighten it.”

Tummy Tuck surgery can accomplish three things:

  • Remove excess skin from the abdominal area
  • Remove stubborn pockets of fat (when accompanied by Liposuction)
  • Repair split abdominal muscles (Diastasis recti) after pregnancy

“Although a patient can have some control over their body’s overall weight loss, no exercise or diet can specifically target an area of the body like the midsection,” says Dr. Leigh. “Unfortunately, that’s just not how metabolism works. Someone who is well within their BMI and visibly quite slim may still struggle with excess skin in their abdominal area. They are, in fact, the ideal candidate for Tummy Tuck surgery.”

Myth #2 – Tummy Tucks are just for women – especially after pregnancy.

“If a man loses a significant amount of weight, he may end up with drooping, excess skin in his abdominal area that hangs over his beltline,” says Dr. Leigh. “If he is in good general health, at a stable weight, and a non-smoker, this loose abdominal skin makes him just as good as an abdominoplasty candidate as a woman. A Tummy Tuck is definitely NOT exclusive to mothers hoping to gain their pre-baby bodies back.”

Myth #3 – You always need to have Liposuction with a Tummy Tuck to get the best result.

In some cases, adding Liposuction surgery to your Tummy Tuck procedure can give more balanced and harmonious results – but it is NOT always needed or recommended.

“During your Tummy Tuck consultation, your plastic surgeon will assess your entire midsection to see the degree of sagging skin and the presence of excess pockets of fat,” explains Dr. Leigh. “At Edina Plastic Surgery, we are very transparent and honest in our recommendations and will recommend that Liposuction be added if it is evident that it will enhance your result. But, we won’t recommend it if we think that the Tummy Tuck alone will accomplish your goals and desired aesthetic. The benefit of adding Liposuction to a Tummy Tuck is that it can achieve heightened smoothness and contour to your midsection by removing pockets of fat and reshaping the hips, flanks, and back area.”

Myth #4 – A Tummy Tuck will remove all of the stretch marks on your abdomen.

Stretch marks in the abdominal area are very common after pregnancy. They can also occur from weight gain as the skin stretches to accommodate the new fat volume. Unfortunately, Tummy Tuck surgery is not that magic wand that will remove all stretch marks from your midsection.

Abdominoplasty will only remove stretch marks that fall within our incisions for skin removal,” says Dr. Leigh. “This is almost exclusively on the lower abdominals. Many people have stretch marks that extend well beyond that region. Your surgeon’s goal is the safe and aesthetically pleasing removal of excess skin during this procedure – NOT making sure that they remove as many stretch marks as possible. I refer my patients who are concerned about stretch marks to our medical spa, Skin Artisans, to discuss options like SkinPen® Microneedling and HALO™ laser resurfacing to fade them with one of our Advanced Practice Estheticians.”

Myth #5 – You might as well get a Tummy Tuck with your scheduled C-Section.

The idea of having a Tummy Tuck during a scheduled C-Section may seem convenient, almost like a “killing two birds with one stone” approach. But it is not advisable both for the mother’s health and the quality of your results.

“A woman is generally at her highest weight at the end of her pregnancy, and the skin across her abdominal area will be at its greatest degree of strain and stretch, making this the less than ideal time for a Tummy Tuck,” advises Dr. Leigh. “We can’t see into the future to assess how quickly and thoroughly a woman’s abdominal skin or muscles will bounce back and repair themselves. A woman may also not be close to her ideal weight and want to lose some of her ‘baby weight’ to see how her midsection recovers. Plus, a woman’s energy and resources should go towards healing from her C-Section at this time, and not an additional procedure that can put extra stress on the body.”

“I encourage women to give their body time to recover after a C-Section and then assess the skin quality of their abdominal area and how they feel about its appearance after they have reached a stable weight they feel comfortable at,” shares Dr. Leigh. “If she still feels that she would like to improve this area with surgery, then we can proceed and know that she has her full strength to focus on recovering from her Tummy Tuck and will have set the foundation for the best result!”

Would you like to learn more about Tummy Tuck surgery? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Leigh or another board-certified plastic surgeon at Edina Plastic Surgery by calling (612) 688-3177, texting (952) 925-1765, or CLICKING HERE.

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