Can a Tummy Tuck Help Promote Weight Loss?
The answer may be “Yes!”
A pilot study in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), suggested that undergoing an abdominoplasty (“tummy tuck”) may lead to significant and lasting weight loss for many patients. This is especially true for those who were overweight or obese before surgery.
Long-term weight loss after abdominoplasty may be a result of increased satiety – the sense of fullness after eating — according to the study, which discusses several possible “neuroendocrine mechanisms” that may promote weight loss after abdominoplasty.
Researchers evaluated short- and long-term weight loss after abdominoplasty in 20 women with an average amount of abdominal tissue resected of 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. Weight loss averaged 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.
According to the study, 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 during the abdominoplasty. Twelve of the 14 women with long-term weight loss had more than 4.5 pounds of tissue resected.
An increased feeling of fullness seemed to be an important contributor to long-term weight loss. Three-fourths of women reported an increased feeling of satiety, either after eating or throughout the day, after undergoing an abdominoplasty.
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