Functional Benefits from Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Dr. Larry Nichter

A group of plastic surgeons believe that an abdominoplasty — commonly known as a tummy tuck — can now have functional benefits as well as cosmetic ones, particularly in the postpartum population.

A study recently published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), claims that abdominoplasty can help women deal with back pain and urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control) related to pregnancy.

The research group surveyed 214 women in Australia who were undergoing abdominoplasty at nine plastic surgery centers. The patients were looking to repair the muscles in the abdomen and restore its shape and appearance after pregnancy. It was found that a very large majority of women who had the procedure experienced less back pain and incontinence. The study authors suggest that the improvements may be the result of repair of the abdominal muscle separation (rectus diastasis) which is incorporated into the surgery.

Patient satisfaction has been high and chances of long term recurrence low.