When you drop pounds with diet and exercise, all parts of your body grow smaller. This makes it all but impossible to reduce fat in specific areas and common trouble zones like the belly. And if you’re struggling with weakened abdominal muscles or loose skin, diet and exercise can’t do much to help.

Fortunately, tummy tuck procedures are highly transformative. With just a single incision, abdominoplasty surgeons can excise loose and sagging skin, eliminate unwanted fat, and tighten the muscles around your midsection. Often included in mommy makeovers, a tummy tuck is the perfect treatment for sculpting your abs following pregnancy or after rapid and significant weight loss.

But what happens when patients gain weight after their tummy tuck procedures? Will putting on a few pounds completely reverse your results? Read on to find out!

How Tummy Tucks Are Performed

Tummy tuck procedures are generally recommended for people who are already at or relatively close to their goal weights. The treatment is used to refine the abdomen, strengthen ab muscles, and remove loose skin.

After making a hip-to-hip incision, your surgeon will excise excess fat, pull loose skin and muscles taught, and suture the incision closed. Scarring is usually minimal and typically occurs just at the top of the pubic line. When a tummy tuck is paired with other fat reduction treatments, such as liposuction, it’s possible to remove 4-15 pounds of unwanted abdominal fat.

What Causes Weight Gain After Abdominoplasty And How Can You Avoid It?

Given that abdominoplasty removes unwanted fat, there’s no risk of having the same treated fat cells return. However, new weight gain can affect the treatment area. This is why patients are advised to maintain balanced, healthy diets and engage in regular exercise.

Understanding the most common causes of weight gain makes it easier to maintain the improvements provided by a tummy tuck procedure:

Unhealthy Life Habits

Whether unwanted abdominal fat is due to a recent pregnancy, genetic predisposition to excess fat storage at the midsection, or general weight gain, abdominoplasty serves as a relatively quick fix. However, establishing healthy life habits is key to maintaining your new look. If you weren’t working out or maintaining a balanced diet before your procedure, you can work with your medical team to get the guidance and support you need to make the necessary lifestyle changes.

Hormonal Changes

People often seek tummy tuck procedures after pregnancy and during or just after perimenopause. These are both times of major hormonal changes that have an impact on the metabolism and its performance. When regular exercise and healthy eating aren’t sufficient for preventing new weight gain, it may be necessary to schedule hormone testing to identify hormonal or glandular disorders and treat them.


It’s best to schedule tummy tuck procedures once you’re done having children. If you think you may want another child in the future, there are other cosmetic procedures that may be better suited to you. Having a baby after a tummy tuck can lead to additional skin and muscle laxity issues and other aesthetic and structural complications.

Water Retention

Sometimes, weight gain after a tummy tuck procedure is purely temporary. This invasive treatment involves cutting, tissue removal, and tightening of the muscles and surrounding fascia. The body often responds by retaining water in the spaces that lie just between the internal organs. The result is a bloated, distended belly. Staying active, eating well, and following the post-treatment instructions of your surgeon will shorten the duration of this common aftereffect and support the healing process.

Excess Stress

Too much stress can also contribute to abdominal weight gain. Elevated cortisol levels are frequently associated with abdominal obesity. If you have unmanaged stress, establishing an ongoing and multi-pronged stress management plan could help.

How Much Weight Gain Is Too Much After a Tummy Tuck?

A moderate amount of weight gain after a tummy tuck procedure is acceptable. However, weight gain of over 15 pounds could have a significant and lasting impact on your treatment results. In some instances, gaining more than 15 pounds makes revision abdominoplasty necessary. Revision tummy tuck procedures are far more complicated than initial treatments. As such, they’re often used as a last resort.

Schedule A Consultation

Are you struggling with excess skin and fat and weakened abdominal muscles? A tummy tuck may be the perfect solution for you. To find out more about the procedure or what you can do to maintain your results, schedule a consultation with Dr. Trupiano today! Call our Troy, MI office at (248) 220-3310 or use our online contact form.


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