Tummy Tuck Benefits: Form and Function
There’s a reason tummy tuck surgery, also known as abdominoplasty, is perennially among the top five most popular cosmetic procedures: it restores a flat torso when diet and exercise alone can’t do the job. Abdominoplasty patients almost always give their surgery glowing reviews too, as did our New York tummy tuck patient, Ahuva. She’s a great example of someone who gained weight then worked hard to lose it, only to find that even months with a personal trainer could not bring her figure back.
Women who have given birth are also familiar with what happens to the abdomen during pregnancy. Skin stretches to the point where it may not be able to bounce back on its own. In addition, muscle damage called diastasis recti (or rectus diastasis) can occur. As described on WebMD, this simply means that the gap between the left and right muscle bands has widened, allowing the tummy to stick out. The more pregnancies a woman has, and the closer together, the more likely she may experience muscle damage only a tummy tuck can fix.
New research confirms additional benefits of abdominoplasty beyond just cosmetic improvement. These have long been reported anecdotally: easing of lower back pain and urinary incontinence. A team of Australian researchers studied 214 women who elected tummy tuck surgery after giving birth. Their results, published recently in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, noted a “statistically significant” improvement in these two functions for this group of women.
How Abdominoplasty Restores Function
After finding these functional improvements, the scientists went on to discuss how abdominoplasty may bring these changes about. In terms of lower back pain, the team explained that tightening of the abdominal muscles restores proper, even tension across the torso, allowing the muscles to work together as they should. This helps stabilize the spine and pelvis and improves posture. All these positive outcomes of surgery help decrease lower back pain.
The improvement in urinary symptoms is less well understood, but several ideas are included in the journal article. One is that simply reducing pressure on the bladder helps; another is that improved muscle strength leads to more complete emptying of the bladder. The researchers also believe that elevation of skin and muscles may lengthen the urethra.
Form and Function
Some of the most rewarding cosmetic surgery procedures for patient and physician are those that deliver benefits in both form and function. In our Manhattan plastic surgery practice, we can’t help but be very pleased when a rhinoplasty patient both looks better and breathes better after a nose job with us. And there’s joy all around when a woman who has undergone breast reduction is happy with her new silhouette and thrilled with the load off her back and shoulders.
We have noted that our New York tummy tuck patients often report feeling healthier with their core muscles functioning better after surgery. It makes sense: when a person feels straighter and stronger after abdominoplasty, many health complaints might simply disappear. It’s great news to have these physical benefits confirmed by the new study.
If you’re considering a tummy tuck in New York, we would be very pleased to have you as our patient. Fill out our online contact form and tell us about yourself.