Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo — MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)
Many men and women seek to undergo a tummy tuck to achieve a more toned, slimmer abdomen by removing excess skin and some fat.
In this article, we will discuss what happens if you gain weight after surgery, and how you can get the most out of your newly taut tummy.
How Long Does a Tummy Tuck Last?
A tummy tuck is a permanent procedure in which the excised skin is removed from the abdomen completely.
However, patients may develop lax skin and fat deposits once again, should they gain weight or as a result of the natural ageing process.
Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck
Patients are advised to be at their ideal weight prior to their tummy tuck and should be able to maintain a stable weight following surgery. This requires patients to stick to a healthy lifestyle, consisting of a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise.
In doing so, patients are able to enjoy the full effect of their noticeably slimmer and more contoured abs in the long term.
Factors that Impact Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck
There are several different factors that can affect weight gain after your tummy tuck:
A healthy, balanced diet is important in ensuring that your body gets all the nutrition it needs while helping to regulate your weight. In turn, this prevents the body from developing extra fat deposits and lax skin around the abdomen, which can negatively affect the results of your tummy tuck.
Your hormone levels naturally fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle, as well as with age. When your hormone levels are out of balance, your weight can be impacted as a result.
If you find that you are unable to control your weight through diet and exercise, consider speaking to your doctor to ensure that your hormone levels are normal. They will then be able to advise you so that you can better manage your weight and get the most out of your tummy tuck.
After your tummy tuck, your body may retain water, causing a bloated appearance. This can be both localised at the surgical site (i.e., the abdomen), in extremities, or around the body more generally. Overall, this may give the appearance of weight gain.
It’s important that any post-surgical swelling is temporary and will gradually dissipate over time, allowing you to enjoy the full effect of your freshly slender and contoured abdomen.
What Happens if You Gain Weight After a Tummy Tuck?
During a tummy tuck, the lax skin is permanently removed. If your weight fluctuates slightly (around 10-15 pounds lost/gained), it is unlikely that it will have a negative effect on the results of your surgery.
However, if a patient gains a more significant amount of weight after surgery, the tightened skin can become lax as it stretches to accommodate any additional weight gain and fat deposits after surgery.
In addition, patients often gain weight in other areas of the body, such as the buttocks, legs, breasts, and arms. This can upset the natural proportions of the figure, causing patients to seek a tummy tuck revision which is a more complex surgery.
Tips to Avoid Weight Gain After a Tummy Tuck
There are several ways to prevent gaining weight after your tummy tuck, so that you can enjoy the results to the full:
Work with a Dietician
If you are struggling to maintain a stable weight alone, you may find that working with a nutritionist can give you insight into your eating habits and how these can be regulated to keep a steady weight.
At the CREO Clinic, we work with nutritionists to ensure our patients are able to reach and maintain a stable weight, both before and after surgery. Overall, this helps patients feel confident to maximise the results of their tummy tuck for longer.
Get Some Exercise
Your surgeon will advise you to begin walking slowly as soon as possible after your tummy tuck to help promote circulation and the body’s natural healing process. It’s important that you wear your compression garment and don’t overly strain the abdomen to prevent tearing any stitches at the incision sites.
After 3-4 weeks, you should be cleared to recommence light exercise and more strenuous activities after 12 weeks. Engaging in a mixture of cardio and strength training can help to regulate your weight and further contour your abdomen.
Prioritise Sleep and Mental Health
Getting enough sleep and regulating stress can help you to maintain a stable weight. Those who get less sleep and struggle with their mental health may find it more difficult to stick to a healthy diet, which can have a huge impact on weight management. In addition, stress can cause hormones to become imbalanced, which can also affect your weight.
Therefore, making sure you get a sufficient amount of sleep, which is usually 7-9 hours for adults, and looking after your mental health can help you manage your weight and benefit the longevity of your tummy tuck results.
You will have to avoid smoking both before and after surgery to minimise risks associated with nicotine, such as infections and blood clots. To ensure your body is healthy and can heal properly, embrace a healthier lifestyle that can in turn help you manage your weight better, instead of relying on cigarettes.
Liposuction provides a means to remove stubborn fat deposits in higher quantities than what can be treated with a tummy tuck alone. Many patients choose to get liposuction and a tummy tuck together to add further definition to the abdomen.
If you are finding it difficult to move fat from your abdomen with lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, you may wish to integrate liposuction into your treatment plan. However, liposuction is not a weight loss surgery, and it’s important to remember that weight management after your treatment is still essential in maintaining long-term results.
Patients that get liposuction with their tummy tuck are unlikely to redevelop fat deposits in their abdomen but may find that other parts of the body gain weight, which disrupts the natural harmony of the body’s proportions. Therefore, managing your weight after your tummy tuck is crucial in keeping your taut tummy.
Is a Tummy Tuck Worth It?
A tummy tuck is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures worldwide. It can help to address both aesthetic and functional concerns of patients by removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal muscles. As a result, many patients appreciate the vast associated benefits, such as a slimmer tummy and relief from associated health conditions like back pain.
For these reasons, many patients regard a tummy tuck to be a worthwhile endeavour.
Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today
Our body contouring surgeon, Dr Omar Tillo has mastered the skills necessary to design bespoke tummy tucks for his patients’ equally unique needs. If you are looking to tone your tummy and strengthen your core, schedule a consultation with Dr Tillo today.