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Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) – Should I Do It?

Tummy Tuck – Should I Go for It?

If you’ve always struggled with excess skin and fat on your tummy or if you’ve struggled with your body post-pregnancy and want to have your old body back, something that might have crossed your mind would have been to get a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. 

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, is not just for cosmetic reasons. It is also done for functional reasons, like for the repair of umbilical hernias or diastasis recti (a separation of the abdominal muscles) which are prevalent in mothers who have had multiple pregnancies, twins or carried babies with large birth weights. A study found that up to 60% of women may experience diastasis recti after pregnancy. [1] A procedure done to remove loose, excess skin and fat, a tummy tuck also helps remove stretch marks and caesarean section scars.

Besides a full tummy tuck, there is also a partial or mini-tummy tuck procedure. A mini tummy tuck helps to remove excess skin and fat [2] as well but minimises the extent of surgical dissection within as well as the length of the scar. If you do not have a lot of excess skin and fat, this procedure might be worth trying as the scarring and recovery time is significantly lesser than a full tummy tuck.

Like all types of cosmetic surgeries, we want to caution you against making a decision without first consulting a professional plastic surgeon and to have honest conversations with your doctor who will be able to give you full-bodied advice based on your condition. 

Advantages of an abdominoplasty

Undergoing a tummy tuck surgery may be done together with other body contouring procedures like breast surgery or liposuction [3] because for example, liposuction will only be able to remove the excess fat you might have but not the excess skin that gathers after the fat has been removed below the skin.

Some general advantages of a tummy tuck are:

  • Removal of saggy skin and stretch marks
  • Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Better core strength and a more sculpted stomach
  • Better posture post-surgery
  • Lesser lower back pain
  • Exercise will be more enjoyable
  • Reduced health risks
Advantages of a Tummy Tuck

Disadvantages of an abdominoplasty

As with many surgeries, there are disadvantages to them. Depending on various factors such as your age, body type, health and previous surgeries, these disadvantages may or may not apply to you. 

Some general disadvantages of a tummy tuck are:

  • Unexpected scarring
  • Changes in tissue sensation
  • Tissue damage or death
  • Poor wound healing
  • Fluid accumulation beneath the skin

Am I suitable for an abdominoplasty ?

Although we mentioned earlier that cosmetic procedures are dependent on each individual’s body and health factors, there are some conditions that would apply to most people because of the nature of a tummy tuck procedure.

If you are considering a tummy tuck but have the following, your doctor might advise against your undergoing of this procedure:

  • If you are planning a future pregnancy
  • If you are a smoker
  • If you plan to lose a lot of weight post-surgery
  • If you already have an existing chronic condition such as diabetes or heart disease
  • If you had a previous surgery that has already caused significant scar tissue
  • If you have a mass body index higher than 30

There are a few reasons why your doctor might caution you against undergoing the procedure if the above holds true for you but can be better explained during the consultation with a professional plastic surgeon.

How to lose the excess skin if surgery is not for you

If surgery might not be such a great idea for yourself, there might be ways that you can lose the excess skin that you might have. Although a disclaimer is that some methods such as firming creams have little to no proof that it is a viable method to do so.

But first, let’s understand why some people might have excess skin especially on the tummy area. As we age, our skin is not able to bounce back as quickly as before and when our bodies undergo growth, stress or a significant amount of weight loss, we often experience a gathering of excess skin.

This excess skin can be distressing especially if we are not used to it but sagging skin and loose skin is a completely normal process of being human. Luckily, there are ways both through surgery and non-invasive treatments that can help you to address this. 

Some causes of loose skin:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Ageing

Options to consider if you’re seeking to try to lose the excess skin you have before considering surgery:

  • Exercise
  • Firming products
  • Radiofrequency or ultrasound-based non-invasive treatments
  • Firming Injections

However, these methods might not help very much if you have a lot of loose skin. Exercise, for example, can only help to decrease the appearance of loose skin through the replacement of fat with muscle.

Disadvantages of exercising to lose excess skin

Although exercising can be a good way to decrease excess skin, it is not a wholly effective way to do so as it can only lessen the appearance of it and not get rid of it entirely. If you’re looking to lose the excess skin quickly, exercise will unfortunately not help you do that as it is a long process to obtain the muscle bulk to firm up the skin (depending on your skin elasticity and how much fat your body might have).

Some people have found that exercise helped them to lose the appearance of excess skin but as mentioned above, how long the fat under your skin has been there will affect the body’s reaction to new muscle growth in your body. Even if your body is a suitable candidate to lose the excess skin and fat you might have, it is recommended to seek a body assessment or to have a body consultation to determine what the best steps are to lose the fat in your body.

Tummy Tuck at Allure Plastic Surgery

At Allure, Dr Samuel Ho has devised a surgical method that allows patients to undergo only day surgery, compared to the traditional methods where patients are required to stay in the hospital for a few days.

As tummy tuck is a major surgical procedure, Singapore has strict guidelines permitting only highly qualified plastic surgeons to do these surgeries. Only plastic surgeons are allowed to perform tummy tuck procedures in Singapore.

The types of tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery we offer are:

Whether you choose to undergo surgery or not, it is entirely your decision. What is most important is knowing what you and your body need the most as well as how much this has been affecting your self-confidence throughout your life.

We highly recommend an honest and in-depth conversation with a plastic surgeon to determine if a tummy tuck (no matter what type) is something that you can undergo at this point in your life.

  1. Sperstad, J. B., Tennfjord, M. K., Hilde, G., Ellström-Engh, M., & Bø, K. (2016). Diastasis recti abdominis during pregnancy and 12 months after childbirth: prevalence, risk factors and report of lumbopelvic pain. British journal of sports medicine50(17), 1092–1096. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2016-096065
  2. Regan, J. P., & Casaubon, J. T. (2020). Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). StatPearls [Internet].
  3. Bhargava D. (2008). Abdominoplasty today. Indian journal of plastic surgery : official publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India41(Suppl), S20–S26.