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When Is A Tummy Tuck Medically Necessary?

By: Austin-Weston


For men and women everywhere, the tummy tuck can truly be a life-changing procedure. With the ability to recontour the body, remove excess skin, and tighten the abdominal muscles, it is not surprising that the tummy tuck continues to grow in popularity year after year. There is no doubt that undergoing a tummy tuck can result in dramatic and stunning physical improvements to your body, but did you know that there are also some incredible medical benefits that the procedure can offer? The knowledgeable and professional team of plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery takes great pride in helping Northern Virginia men and women correct both cosmetic and functional issues through the exciting tummy tuck procedure.

What is a tummy tuck?

Formally known as abdominoplasty, the tummy tuck is a surgical body contouring procedure designed to improve the appearance of the abdomen by removing excess skin and, in some cases, tightening the underlying abdominal muscles. Oftentimes, the surgeon will combine liposuction with a tummy tuck to remove stubborn areas of fat and further enhance the results of the procedure.

What are the benefits of a tummy tuck?

The tummy tuck is primarily considered a cosmetic procedure, and the level of aesthetic transformation that can be achieved through the surgery is certainly astounding. Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight are often left with sagging, excess skin on their midsection, making it difficult to participate in some physical activities and embarrassing, or impossible, to wear certain styles of clothing. By undergoing a tummy tuck, after weight loss patients can get rid of the loose, stretched-out skin and finally enjoy the results of all of their hard work.

Women who have had children also pursue tummy tuck quite frequently, typically to address excess skin as well as a separation of the abdominal muscles, known as diastasis recti, that commonly occurs during pregnancy and results in the telltale post-pregnancy “pooch.” During the procedure, the surgeon can excise sagging skin and tighten the abdominal fascia in order to restore the flat, beautiful abdominal contour the patient had prior to having children. In many cases, the results are even better than the patient’s pre-baby body!

Does a tummy tuck have medical benefits?

Though it is widely performed solely for cosmetic reasons, the tummy tuck actually has an impressive list of medical and functional benefits. Some of the non-cosmetic complaints that most commonly lead men and women to pursue tummy tuck include:

  • Incontinence: Stress urinary incontinence often occurs due to a weakening of muscles and increased pressure on the bladder. This can result in a person’s inability to effectively control his or her bladder during certain situations or movements, including a cough, sneeze, laugh, or jump. This most commonly affects women who are of advanced age or who have had children via vaginal delivery, though anyone can potentially develop stress urinary incontinence. In many cases, removing excess skin or fat and tightening the abdominal muscles can improve a patient’s continence.
  • Hernia: A hernia occurs when a weak spot in the muscle wall allows the intestine or bowel to push through it. When the abdominal muscles have undergone immense stretch or weakening, which often happens during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as with significant weight fluctuation, a hernia can easily develop. By performing a tummy tuck to bring the abdominal muscles back together and reinforce them, a surgeon is able to safely and effectively correct the hernia.
  • Back problems: It is a well-known phenomenon that weak abdominal muscles can lead to bad posture, back pain, and a host of other issues. When a person’s core is weak and unable to effectively support the abdomen and other structures, the body begins to compensate with poor posture, which can lead to aches, pains, and other functional nuisances. By tightening and strengthening the abdominal fascia, as well as removing cumbersome excess or sagging skin, a tummy tuck can restore a patient’s mobility, help improve their posture, and relieve their pain.

Is a tummy tuck covered by insurance?

Although there are certainly medical and functional benefits to be gained through a tummy tuck, the procedure is not typically covered by insurance. Some related procedures, such as the panniculectomy – which is used to remove the excess skin of the pannus after weight loss – may be covered by insurance in certain cases.

Can I combine a tummy tuck with other procedures?

Yes! Many patients choose to combine their tummy tuck with additional procedures in order to maximize the results of their transformation as well as to cut down on expensive surgical fees in the long run. After weight loss patients may choose to have a tummy tuck, arm lift (brachioplasty), and thigh lift all performed simultaneously, for instance. Another example of a combined procedure is the mommy makeover, which can be highly beneficial for women who have had children – and even those who haven’t. Some of the procedures most commonly combined with a tummy tuck as part of a mommy makeover include breast augmentation, breast lift, and Brazilian butt lift (BBL).

Restore your pre-baby body or achieve the physique you’ve always wanted with Northern Virginia tummy tuck surgery

During your initial consultation with one of the exceptional plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, you will have the opportunity to discuss your various concerns and have all of your questions answered in detail in order to determine how a tummy tuck and other complementary procedures can help you best achieve your ultimate goals. Call our office to schedule your consultation today, and learn more about how a tummy tuck in Reston, VA can enhance your physique, relieve your functional symptoms, and help you finally live your life with confidence and freedom!


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