A tummy tuck at our Louisville, KY, plastic surgery center can be a transformative procedure, but excessive weight gain can minimize the longevity of your results. Learn about every tummy tuck patient’s biggest fear—weight gain after surgery—and what to do to prevent it.
Why do patients gain weight?
There are many reasons why patients gain weight after tummy tuck surgery. Understanding the reasons discussed here is the first step in preventing weight gain.
- Lifestyle: Regardless of how many cosmetic procedures you get, the cornerstone of maintaining a slim figure is leading a healthy lifestyle. Of course, we all have cheat meals and lazy days every so often, but establishing healthy habits is essential to looking and feeling your best. There are no replacements for a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Hormones: Your hormones fluctuate monthly and throughout the course of your life from puberty to adulthood. When your hormones are unbalanced, your weight can be dramatically affected. If you are doing everything you can to live a healthy lifestyle, and you still are gaining weight, talk to your doctor and he or she will be able to give you tips to balance your hormones and get you back on track.
- Stress: Stress often causes people to sleep less and eat more—both of which play major roles in weight gain. Additionally, stress can cause hormonal issues like the ones mentioned above, with the result being that you store extra fat. You can find many ways to combat stress—exercise, medication, journaling—so it is important to find one that works for you.
- Post-Surgery Fluid Retention: Sometimes after surgery water is retained in the areas between your organs, which can lead to a bloated appearance. This fluid retention can be localized—like swollen hands and feet—or it can be more generalized to give the appearance of overall weight gain. Staying active and following proper post-op instructions will help remedy this type of fluid retention.
Where do patients gain weight after a tummy tuck?
During body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck, fat cells are eliminated from the body and cannot return. Because of this, patients may gain weight in other places like the buttocks, legs, arms, and breasts. Patients also sometimes gain weight around their organs, and neither a tummy tuck nor liposuction can remove these fat cells.
What are the consequences of gaining weight after a tummy tuck?
You will be able to maintain your tummy tuck results if you have minor weight fluctuations, so gaining 10 to 15 pounds should not present significant issues. However, gaining weight can be a slippery slope, and excessive weight gain will surely compromise your results. Weight gain over 15 pounds can cause skin and abdominal muscles to stretch and create a belly bulge.
If the weight gain continues, you may need a tummy tuck revision. A revision can be a more complicated surgery, so I advise all my patients to stick to a healthy lifestyle instead, so they can enjoy their results for years to come. Tummy tuck results can be long-lasting when performed in conjunction with good diet and exercise.
For more information about tummy tucks, read our previous blog post that provides recovery tips for future patients. If you are ready to take the next step, contact us online or call our office at (502) 806-8154 to schedule an appointment.