Study Finds Patients Lost Weight, and Kept it Off, After a Tummy Tuck

Weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass and lap band are proven to help people lose a lot of weight. But these surgeries are designed specifically for morbidly obese people, i.e. those with a BMI of 40 or greater.

The tummy tuck on the other hand, is available to a wider range of patients. Results of a recent study revealed that tummy tuck surgery helped one group of patients achieve long-term weight loss, especially if they were overweight or obese before surgery.

Researchers found that, one year after a tummy tuck, weight loss was maintained and the patient felt increased satiety. According to the authors, removing fat cells from the abdomen may lead to reduced levels of hormones affecting appetite. As anyone who’s ever tried it knows, portion control is key to losing weight.

The study evaluated short- and long-term weight loss in 20 women undergoing tummy tucks; they had an initial average weight loss of five pounds due to the surgery. Fourteen of the women, who had BMIs of 24.5 or more at the time of surgery and were generally considered overweight, not only maintained the initial loss but shed some additional pounds as well. The study also found that sustained weight loss was more likely for women who had a greater amount of excess tissue removed at abdominoplasty.

Further research is needed to confirm these results. “Whether or not long-term weight reduction is associated with abdominoplasty has been little investigated and remained controversial,” observes Dr. Rex Edward Moulton-Barrett of Alameda Hospital in Alameda, California, who co-authored the study. So while a tummy tuck may help you obtain a flatter stomach, there’s no guarantee that the rest of the body will follow suit.