Many people are pleased to learn that a tummy tuck at our Denver plastic surgery center can help them achieve a flat and toned midsection. For women who have had children, this procedure can be especially beneficial to developing the look they desire. As an added benefit, recent news shows that a tummy tuck can restore a woman’s pre-baby body more than just aesthetically—it can also reduce back pain and urinary incontinence.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?
Before we discuss these surprising bonuses of a tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, let’s identify exactly who benefits from a tummy tuck procedure. Generally, candidates for a tummy tuck include men and women who:
- Want to reduce excess skin and fat in the lower abdomen that is resistant to diet and exercise
- Have realistic expectations and a positive outlook going into their surgery
- Do not smoke
Repairing Ab Muscles After Pregnancy
In addition to helping people contour their midsection, a tummy tuck is also commonly used to help women whose abdominal muscles remain lax after childbirth. This laxity happens during pregnancy when the abdominal muscles stretch apart, resulting in a condition called diastasis recti. For most women with diastasis recti, these muscles cannot naturally return to their original position, even with diligent exercise.
To correct diastasis recti, your surgeon can perform a tummy tuck with rectus repair, which is a surgical procedure that tightens the abdominal muscles using sutures. However, according to a new study published in a recent issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, rectus repair can address 2 additional problems many women deal with after pregnancy: back pain and urinary incontinence.
The study looked at 214 women whose tummy tuck procedure included tightening the abdominal muscles through rectus repair. The women’s average age was 42.1 years, and the average age of their children was 5.2 years. Prior to and after their surgery, the women provided information about their level of both back pain and urinary incontinence. Results showed that after surgery most women saw improvements with both conditions, leading to the study’s conclusion that a tummy tuck with muscle repair can reduce back pain and urinary incontinence.
Reducing Back Pain
After pregnancy, many women ignore back discomfort because it is considered a normal symptom of aging. However, many do not realize that this pain can be caused by diastasis recti. When the abdominal wall is weak, there is a lack of support in the spine, which causes the body to collapse and results in poor posture. These conditions push the spine into a strained position, which can cause lower back pain.
How tummy tuck surgery helped: Tightening the abdominal muscles during a tummy tuck helps to support your spine. A well-supported spine allows you to stand up straighter and improves your overall posture, which can help to reduce back pain. Improved posture can also keep your bones and joints in correct alignment, decrease excess stress on your ligaments, allow you to use your muscles more efficiently, and contribute to a more confident and attractive appearance.
Correcting Urinary Incontinence
During pregnancy, the muscles around the bladder stretch, which can cause urinary leakage triggered by coughing, sneezing, exercising, and even laughing. This can be a frustrating issue that women typically cannot solve on their own.
How tummy tuck surgery helped: A rectus repair involves tightening the muscles around the bladder and the pelvic wall. The new tension and pressure along the passage from the bladder to the urethra helps prevent leakage. In the study, around 50% of women reported incontinence before their abdominoplasty. However, 6 months post-op, less than 2% reported incontinence, suggesting that the repair of these muscles corrected this issue.
While many women have looked to a tummy tuck to get the flat tummy they’ve always wanted, they can now also look to the procedure for help with these 2 other post-pregnancy issues. Learn more about our approach to tummy tuck surgery in our previous blog post. Visit our patient photo gallery to see some our actual tummy tuck patient results.
If you want to hear more about the benefits of a tummy tuck at The Center for Cosmetic Surgery or are ready to take the next step in scheduling a procedure, contact us online or give us a call at (720) 279-1926.