Menopause may make it difficult to keep off weight and can prevent women from reaching their cosmetic goals. More and more women are now choosing to undergo tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures to combat the changes seen with menopause.
However, this procedure isn’t just about aesthetics. A tummy tuck can also correct functional problems, such as the loosening of abdominal muscles that occurs with pregnancy. For women seeking abdominal rejuvenation after “the change,” tummy tuck surgery offers both aesthetic and functional advantages.
Top Reasons for Undergoing a Tummy Tuck After Menopause
Age and Hormone-Related Weight Gain
A woman’s body produces less estrogen during and after menopause. This loss of estrogen can cause the body to store fat instead of burning it. Combined with a slower metabolism, this may result in unwanted weight gain.
Women who have maintained a healthy diet and exercise routine throughout life may still struggle with unwanted fat as they age. When diet and exercise alone are not be effective, a tummy tuck can reduce excess skin and fatty deposits that may have developed with age and hormonal changes.
Pregnancy can stretch the abdominal muscles in a way that prevents them from returning to normal. This condition is referred to as “diastasis recti,” and it allows the abdominal contents to protrude between the separated muscles. No amount of diet or exercise can correct this separation of the abdominal muscles. A tummy tuck will allow your surgeon to surgically tighten and repair separated abdominal muscles. Once the functional defects of the muscles are corrected, any secondary bulging will resolve as well.
Abdominoplasty: How it Works
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that tightens the abdominal muscles and reduces excess skin and fat on the abdomen. The surgeon makes incisions across the lower abdomen, removing the roll of skin and fat between the navel and pubis. The separated muscles are stitched together, and the umbilicus is brought out through a new opening. Liposuction is usually done to treat fatty deposits over the waist, hips and pubic area. Patients are usually left with a long scar across the lower abdomen, and a scar around the umbilicus.
Tummy tuck surgery offers the following benefits:
- Tightened abdominal muscles
- Reduction of excess skin and fat
- Improved abdominal contour
Find Out If Abdominoplasty Is Right for You
If you’ve gone through menopause and you’re considering a tummy tuck, you may be wondering if this procedure is right for you. The ideal candidates for a tummy tuck are women who, despite being in relatively good health, have loose abdominal skin and excess fatty deposits in the midsection. You may also be a candidate for a “mini tummy tuck” if you have excess fat and skin below the navel only. You will undergo a less intensive procedure that only treats the lower abdomen.
Recovering from Abdominoplasty
Once you’ve made the decision to undergo a tummy tuck it’s helpful to learn what to expect from recovery. Patients will need to wear a girdle-like compression garment for about a month after their tummy tuck surgery. Wearing this garment will reduce swelling and encourage your body to conform to its new contours. You will experience moderate discomfort and tightness for 2 to 3 weeks. Most patients are back to their regular routine within a month. However, exercise must be avoided for 6 to 8 weeks so that the repaired muscles can fully heal.
Once through menopause, women are often presented with new opportunities for personal growth and exploration. With a tummy tuck, you can look as good as you feel and enter this new stage of life with confidence. Contact board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Pugash today to set up your consultation for abdominoplasty.