Weight Loss after a Tummy Tuck - My Bariatric Life

Patient Expert

The tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is a popular body contouring procedure for post-partum women and women and men who have had massive weight loss. It is intended to restore the body's natural contour by tightening lax abdominal muscles (muscle plication) and excising excess skin and the subcutaneous fat that is directly under the skin. Abdominoplasty does not remove the visceral deep fat around your organs and is not a weight-loss surgery.

That said, I lost 25-lbs following my tummy tuck surgery last April. My surgeon removed 6-lbs. and I lost an additional 19-lbs, which I believe is due to the restriction of the muscle plication. I simply felt full after eating a small amount of food. It was as if the restriction of my gastric bypass had been renewed by the abdominoplasty. I went from my size 14 jeans being tight before surgery to a perfect size 8 jean in only 4-months after my abdominoplasty. I lost a total of 19-inches and my results amaze me to this day. A decade ago I was morbidly obese and wore size 24W clothes.

My tummy at 4-months post abdominoplasty and 10-yrs post gastric bypass. Does this look like the body of a 49yo woman who was once morbidly obese?

Now the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) has announced that a new pilot study published in the February issue of the journal  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that patients who had a  tummy tuck  reported increased satiety, especially those patients who were overweight or obese. Satiety is the measure of how full you feel after eating a certain amount of food during a meal. Just like me, these patients felt full when eating less after their abdominoplasty.

In addition to feeling full faster after their tummy tuck, the study showed that patients who had more fat removed during their procedures continued to lose weight post-surgery. The removal of fatty tissue, which can contain hormones that drive your appetite up, resulted in less of an appetite, according to UC Irvine Plastic Surgery doctors. The more fat tissue removed during the procedure the more the patients reported feeling less of an appetite post-surgery. Researchers believe the removal of this tissue is responsible for the decrease in appetite and the increase in satiety.

The researchers evaluated short- and long-term weight loss after abdominoplasty in 20 women. For the 20 women, the average amount of abdominal tissue resected was approximately five pounds. One year later, 14 of the women had sustained weight loss-greater than the weight of the tissue resected.

Patients with a preoperative BMI greater than or equal to 24.5 maintained long-term weight loss at one year. They decreased in weight by an average of 4.5 percent of their original BMI one year later. A normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25, overweight is between 25 and 30, and obese is 30 or higher.

The other six women also had some degree of weight loss after abdominoplasty. However, one year later, they had regained weight and increased BMI.

The researchers conclude that long-term weight loss was more likely for women whose initial BMI was 24.5 or greater, just under the borderline for overweight. Of the 14 women with sustained weight loss, just one had an initial BMI of less than 24.5.

Sustained weight loss was also more likely for women with a greater amount of excess abdominal tissue removed at abdominoplasty. Twelve of the 14 women with long-term weight loss had more than 4.5 pounds of tissue resected.

As for me, I had weight gain before my abdominoplasty and my BMI shot up to 31 pre-surgery. My surgeon removed 6-lbs. of tissue. I lost 25-lbs. in total after my tummy tuck, which was about 13% of my bodyweight.

If you are considering a tummy tuck it is important to remember while weight loss may be projected after the procedure it is not guaranteed. Abdominoplasty is still intended for the sculpting of the abdomen and not weight loss.

Living life well-fed,** My Bariatric Lifore shareposts from  MyBariatricLife on HealthCentral**** Follow  MyBariatricLife on Twitter** View my  Grains Make Me Fat! recipe cards on Pinterest References:

UC Irvin Plastic Surgery Blog The Unknown Benefit of a Tummy Tuck

American Society of Plastic Surgeons Most Overweight Patients Show Long-Term Weight Loss One-Year after Tummy Tuck