Can A Tummy Tuck Procedure Improve Posture?
Tummy tucks are consistently among the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures. In 2015, the tummy tuck was the fifth most popular procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (the largest professional organization for cosmetic surgeons). This translated into almost 128,000 such operations, which was a jump of 9 percent from the previous year.
Our staff at Jefferson Plastic Surgery has seen this increase in prospective tummy tuck patients. Most of these patients think that a tummy tuck is strictly an elective procedure and do not realize that there are some medical indications. However, before you start the process of seeing if your insurance company might approve the procedure, you must first understand which medical conditions might be corrected by improving posture as a result of a tummy tuck procedure.
Posture Problems after Pregnancy
Many patients interested in tummy tucks are women looking to have a “mommy makeover” after they are done with childbearing and breastfeeding. In most cases, this is considered a cosmetic matter, in which the procedure improves the appearance of the abdomen, rather than to correct for a medical problem. However, some women have found that their posture and core strength were dramatically decreased following pregnancy. As the abdomen expands during pregnancy, the tissue connecting the two large abdominal muscles may become overstretched. Once the child is born, that connective tissue may not snap back to its previous shape or size. Although the abdominal muscles can regain tone in response to exercise and stretching, the connective tissue may not do so. The end result can be poor posture.
Poor Posture and Stress Urinary Incontinence
Stress urinary incontinence, or a leaky bladder, is more common in women than in men. It occurs when the muscles supporting the bladder, pelvic floor, and urethra become lax. As these muscles help hold the bladder closed, stress urinary incontinence can happen if those muscles and surrounding ligaments are overstretched. Poor posture can exacerbate this problem, particularly for women following pregnancy, in which the pelvic floor muscles have already been stretched to accommodate the growing fetus.
Lower Back Pain and Bad Posture
Poor posture can also lead to lower back pain. If the abdominal muscles are not tight or strong enough to support the core, this may cause the lower back to hunch, placing pressure on the vertebrae of the spine in the lumbar region. This can lead to back pain, as well as increase the risk for other spinal problems such as slipped or ruptured lumbar discs.
How Can a Tummy Tuck Help Posture?
One component of a tummy tuck procedure involves tightening up loose muscles in both the upper and lower abdominal regions. Doing so will naturally cause the spine and core to straighten, both of which will lead to better posture, which will lessen pressure on the lower spine and improve core stability. Furthermore, stronger lower abdominal muscles will also help provide support for the pelvic floor muscles, thereby reducing stress urinary incontinence.
Of course, you should discuss all of this with your primary care doctor and your insurance company, as well as our staff. You may be surprised at the results you can get from a tummy tuck procedure.