Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, is not a weight loss procedure. While patients do lose a small amount of weight from the surgery, it doesn’t treat significant obesity. Before a patient opts to undergo a tummy tuck, it is important to be at or near his or her ideal weight. A tummy tuck works best when you have already lost weight and want to improve areas that diet and exercise cannot correct.

Because weight gain after a tummy tuck can sometimes necessitate further procedures, it is important to maintain healthy habits after surgery. It is especially important after a tummy tuck to keep the abdominal muscles taut and well toned. The tummy tuck surgery itself can actually help you get better results than you may have before the surgery. Chicago area plastic surgeon Dr. Otto Placik explains the process this way, “the muscle plication performed during the tummy tuck will relocate the muscles in a new orientation allowing you to achieve greater results than prior to surgery.”

Not every exercise regimen is equal, though. Dr. Placik suggests that patients consider Pilates or yoga in lieu of traditional “crunches,” which can create “bulky” muscles that might be undesirable. Patients should concentrate on abdominal exercises that concentrate on pulling the belly button toward the spine while simultaneously stretching or contracting the abdominal muscles.

Exercise alone can’t maintain your tummy tuck results forever, though. Diet is just as important. Dr. Placik recommends one key element to keeping a healthy weight: eat only when you are hungry. He also recommends keeping balance in mind as you consider what to eat, and avoid too much of anything. However, most people need a diet that is high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low in sugars, fats, and refined (or white) flour. Patients who avoid eating when they aren’t hungry and who maintain a balance of nutritional foods can prolong their tummy tuck results indefinitely.

After your tummy tuck surgery, Dr. Placik will make regular appointments to monitor the recovery process. Part of this monitoring involves helping you keep an eye on your weight, and helping you design an exercise routine that is right for you.

If you want to know more about tummy tuck and how to design a post operative diet and exercise regimen, please contact Dr. Otto J. Placik’s Chicago office to schedule a consultation