The tummy tuck: a substitute for bariatric surgery?
The tummy tuck: a substitute for bariatric surgery?
Obesity is a real problem that affects people all over the world. It causes people to have a poor quality of life and deal with issues that people with a normal weight have no idea about. More than an aesthetic issue, being severely overweight or obese can trigger complex health conditions that can even lead to the early demise of the patient if no changes occur.
An abnormal weight can be an issue that develops even from an early age, during teenage years, or later on in life. It can occur due to many cases. However, there are some things that are common to most people who are obese or severely overweight, and these are an unhealthy eating regimen and a lack of proper physical activities on a regular basis.
Some people who are confronted with obesity decide to undergo a weight loss program and even bariatric surgery to get to a normal weight. There are different solutions for people wanting to lose weight; however, plastic surgery is not one of them. However, for patients undergoing bariatric surgery or other weight loss programs, there might be a need to undergo plastic surgery once the weight loss has occurred.
In this article, we will discuss the differences between the tummy tuck and bariatric surgery and whether the first can be a substitute for the latter.
What is bariatric surgery?
There are patients who are obese or severely overweight who enlist in weight loss programs and manage to get to a normal weight within a few years. But for patients who are morbidly obese or have health conditions associated with their weight, sometimes more drastic measures need to be taken such as bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is performed on patients severely overweight or obese to help them lose the excess weight and get to a normal weight and in the process to get rid of the issues and discomforts associated with having an excessive weight.
Bariatric surgery is represented by different types of procedures that can be performed on the stomach. Some of them entail the removal of a part of the stomach, others use external objects that are inserted into the abdominal cavity and filled to help the patient eat less, and so on. Different procedures and programs are developed each year to help patients lose weight, and this is the field of bariatric surgery. The aim of these procedures is weight loss and reaching a normal weight over time. Their results can be visible months or years after the procedure and measurements always need to be done using a scale. Keep in mind that each and every time we are talking about weight loss, we are talking about eliminating excess weight and this is easily measured with a scale.
There are different methods to calculate the ideal weight for a patient. Reliable methods take into consideration the height, age, and sex of the patient. Patients who resort to surgery to lose weight will need to schedule an appointment with the doctor during which they will need to go through a thorough medical examination with their measurements taken. They will be asked to talk about their medical condition, their goals, and current lifestyle. After this initial consultation, the surgeon will be able to decide what procedure can help the patient lose weight. However, most of the time, the patient will need to go through tests and also a period during which he will need to keep a strict eating regimen before the procedure can be scheduled. The surgeon performing the bariatric surgery will give you all the details about how the procedure is performed. However, it is important to understand that bariatric surgery operates inside the abdominal cavity and has no direct effect on the saggy skin on the tummy or the fat deposits in the abdominal area.
Plastic surgery after weight loss: the tummy tuck
When weight loss occurs after bariatric surgery, in many cases it is rather sudden. This means that most patients will lose a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time and this will lead to skin sagginess in different areas of the body, very often the tummy. While some fat deposits will melt away within the first few months after bariatric surgery, others will be left and continue to bother the patient long after reaching a normal weight. Of course, the thickness of the unwanted adipose layer will be considerably smaller than before bariatric surgery is performed.
What happens ideally after bariatric surgery is that the patient loses weight and reaches his normal weight in a matter of months or years. However, the appearance of the body will be compromised after sudden weight loss. While we don’t know all the factors that contribute to an unsightly appearance of the body, the one that we know for sure has a strong negative impact is weight fluctuations.
When weight loss occurs, the skin won’t retract on the new contours of the body so it will be left hanging in different areas, mostly around the inferior part of the tummy. Some patients will have what we call a belly apron that will distort the appearance of their body and also trigger emotional and physical discomforts as this skin apron can cover the pubic area partially or entirely. For patients confronted with sagginess on the lower part of the tummy, it is recommended to have a tummy tuck performed.
In a vast majority of cases, a responsible plastic surgeon will advise you to wait about two years after getting bariatric surgery before scheduling your tummy tuck. The tummy tuck is a restorative aesthetic surgery performed on the abdominal area that addresses the loose abdominal muscles and the excess of skin that can be present in the area. When performing the tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon will make an incision on the suprapubic area and even on the flanks if there is an excess of skin in that area too. Using the incisions, he will detach the skin from the tissues under it. The muscles of the abdominal wall can be strengthened with sutures and brought together to create a firm and flat tummy. Umbilical hernia can be corrected too, and the excess of skin is removed before the incisions are sutured, and the patient is moved to recovery.
As you can see from the overview of the procedure, the tummy tuck doesn’t address the interior of the abdominal cavity, and if there is fat present there, it won’t be affected by this procedure, just like the tissues outside the abdominal cavity won’t be affected by bariatric surgery directly.
Tummy tuck: a substitute for bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is performed for weight loss purposes while the tummy tuck is a plastic surgery procedure performed to enhance the appearance of the body and achieve a firm and flat tummy. The procedures can be performed one after the other. After the weight loss process has been completed, the patient can resort to plastic surgery, namely the tummy tuck, to eliminate the signs of weight loss that will be left on the body.
One procedure can’t be a substitute for another as they achieve different things. At the same time, undergoing a tummy tuck when overweight is never a good idea as the patient won’t be satisfied with the results. The tummy tuck doesn’t aim to reduce the layer of fat present on the tummy, and it only aims to correct loose abdominal muscles and saggy skin.
Being severely overweight or obese can be a real problem for many men and women nowadays. Obesity is a disease affecting more and more people all over the world. These people can be confronted and develop health conditions that are life-threatening, hence some of them resort to drastic measures to get back to a normal weight as soon as possible. Bariatric surgery is recommended for patients who are over a certain BMI and considered severely overweight or obese. The procedures performed are on the internal abdominal cavity, and their role is to induce weight loss in the months and years after the surgery. The results are visible over the years, and in many cases, the weight loss is associated with an excess of saggy skin in different parts of the body, especially the tummy.
To correct saggy skin on the tummy and strengthen loose abdominal muscles, the tummy tuck can be performed. This procedure will help the patient get rid of the discomforts associated with having saggy skin hanging over the pubic area. The tummy tuck is no substitute for bariatric surgery, but it can be used after weight loss to enhance the appearance of the body.