How Long do Tummy Tucks Last?

Plastic Surgeons Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Santa Clara & Nearby South Bay, California

Posted: February 14, 2020

By leading a reasonably active lifestyle and eating a healthy and nutritious diet, your tummy tuck results could last for a lifetime. Of course, the opposite is also true: if you become inactive or make food choices that are known to cause health and weight problems, you can quickly undo the results of your procedure.

So, exactly how long do tummy tucks last? As long as you are willing to make the effort to maintain your results.

What Does a Tummy Tuck Do?

Woman standing in front of mirror examining tummy tuck resultsDuring tummy tuck surgery, lumpy fat deposits are removed from the abdomen, loose and sagging skin is excised, and the muscles of the abdominal wall are brought back together. This process radically changes the dimensions and appearance of the entire midsection. 

Tightening the abdominal wall draws in the waist and tones belly. In cases of diastasis recti, this can help prevent herniation and chronic back pain as well. Weight gain and pregnancy can easily separate these muscles again. Maintaining tummy tuck results requires not gaining significant amounts of weight.

Liposuction removes stubborn fat deposits to reveal underlying muscle. Eliminating unnecessary skin allows for a taught and smooth appearance, helping to enhance the definition of newly uncovered muscle. As with the tightening of abdominal muscles, weight gain will “undo” these results.

Abdominoplasty is “Permanent”

Once subcutaneous fat has been removed, it cannot grow back. New fat can accumulate, however. If too much new fat begins to accumulate, the skin will stretch to accommodate the increasing bulk. If weight gain is excessive, abdominal muscles may separate as well, as visceral fat (the dangerous kind) envelops the organs and expands the middle portion of the body.

Barring genetic factors and the gradual slowing of our metabolism as we age, weight gain is largely avoidable - especially when it comes to excessive weight gain. As such, maintaining your tummy tuck results is mostly up to you.

To maintain your results, eat a healthy diet and commit to leading a healthy lifestyle. If you struggle with these things, it can be helpful to work with a dietitian and personal trainer following your tummy tuck recovery. During your time in our care, we can discuss this in greater detail to help you plan accordingly.

To schedule your initial consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons, please call 650-934-7020 today. Located in Los Altos, Altos Oaks Plastic Surgery serves San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, and all surrounding areas of California.