For some, this 3 letter short word is just another term from the english language which is casually thrown around in regular conversations. But for others, this word carries an emotional baggage that is heavy enough to drown their floating ships of self-esteem. The problem with fat can be much more deep-seated than it appears, rooting from clinical implications to cosmetic ones.
In places where no amount of extensive and vigorous exercise budges the stubborn fat deposits, plastic surgery comes into play. If you have consulted a plastic surgeon for the aforementioned issue, the chances are that you have probably heard of a ‘Liposuction’ or a ‘Tummy Tuck’. While Liposuction simply vacuums out the fat, a Tummy Tuck also targets the associated lose saggy skin and muscles to give a more contoured and smooth abdomen.
In today’s article we shall address a common clinical concern which patients often ask Dr. Arif Hussain, i.e. Does Belly Fat come back after a Tummy Tuck?. In order to answer this question we must first understand what a ‘Tummy Tuck’ actually is. The other name for a Tummy Tuck is an ‘Abdominoplasty’. This is a common Plastic Surgery procedure that is aimed at excising the extra skin and tissues along with the fat circumventing the abdomen. As with other surgeries Dr. Arif Hussain reminds his patients that everyone has different needs and aspirations when undergoing this surgery. Therefore, there are variations from minimal to much more extensive surgeries. Sometimes, as in cases of a mini tuck only the skin may be excised, other times the skin, underlying fascia and the muscles may be plicated to strengthen the abdominal wall. Nevertheless, the purpose of every variation is to give you a flat tummy.
Now that you have an understanding of what a tummy tuck means, it’s time to address if after such an extensive surgery, can you develop the belly fat again? The answer to this question is tricky. You can develop the belly fat again – IF you resort back to an unhealthy lifestyle. The surgery results are intended to last you a very long time, as a significant mass (skin, fat, fascia and tissue) is being physically removed from your body. These are in fact permanently removed from the abdominal wall. However, you should not consider this surgery as a get-out-of-jail free card to give yourself into unhealthy habits and sedentary lifestyle. The reality of the matter is that the human body is ever changing, your eating habits and hormonal balance greatly impacts your results long term.
The belly fat removed in the Tummy Tuck is gone for good. However the remaining natural adipose tissue also responds to your eating habits. If you pursue good eating habits then the fat cells will not enlarge (hypertrophy). On the other hand if you are careless with your eating habits and your calorie intake is way out of line, then fat can accumulate. Fat’s behaviour is intrinsically simple. The more calories you intake and the less you burn, the resultant would be fat accumulation. If you are now worried about how you will maintain the results of your surgery then fear not. There is no special strategy, all you need to do is to count your calories and try to be oriented with your ideal weight. If you remain close to your ideal weight after surgery then you have nothing to worry about.
If you have had a Tummy Tuck surgery and you are gaining fat post surgery, here might be a few reasons to explain that change. The first and foremost is your lifestyle. Before every cosmetic surgery, an experienced plastic surgeon councils their patients about the significance of lifestyle modifications post surgery. No matter how many times you go under the knife to fix your physique, junk food and sedentary lifestyle will always take a toll on your health. The other reason may be the hormones influencing your weight. As you pass through different phases of life, your hormones accommodate accordingly. If due to any reason, your hormones are unbalanced, your weight could be impacted dramatically. These problems come into question when despite exercise and a balanced diet you still seem to gain weight. Certain disorders with the thyroid, insulin, estrogen and other hormones need to be checked in such cases. Another factor for weight gain after your tummy tuck may be stress. Stress not only predisposes you to gorging more food but is also inherently bad for your body. Stress can mess up your hormonal cycles which as mentioned in the above discussion is paramount in weight maintenance. Stress management through various means such as exercising, meditation, use of physician prescribed pharmacological drugs can help you combat stress. Moreover, sometimes patients may confuse post surgical fluid weight gain to fat. It is a common observation to retain some fluid around the areas of the surgery, this may make you feel bloated even in the other areas such as hands and feet. This may mimic overall weight gain. This fluid will gradually settle as you recover from your surgery so you should not be bothered by it.
The next discussion pertaining to this question is your expectation with the Tummy Tuck in the first place. For the record – the primary motive for a Tummy Tuck is not just to remove fat, but it is aimed at the loose skin hanging after you have lost weight. If you are obese and are planning to undergo a tummy tuck because you think it will make you look leaner, then you are going to be disappointed. A tummy tuck may give you a head start at your fitness journey but won’t change your overall physique. Similarly a Tummy Tuck is not a weight loss surgery, therefore if you experience weight changes after the surgery you must not be demotivated by your results and instead focus on dietary modifications and exercise to lose that extra fat.
To learn more about how to maintain your results, look no further than the only member of Candian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Pakistan, and get a consultation with Dr. Arif Hussain today!
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