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  • author Amit Bansal
  • person July 9, 2018

Tummy Tuck versus Gastric Sleeve surgery: How is it different and its eligibility

  • Abdominoplasty, commonly known as “tummy tuck” is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin as well as fat from the abdomen. Tummy tuck also tightens the muscles of the abdomen and decreases sagging of the skin.

Tummy Tuck versus Gastric Sleeve surgery: How is it different and its eligibility

What is abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Abdominoplasty, commonly known as “tummy tuck” is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin as well as fat from the abdomen. Tummy tuck also tightens the muscles of the abdomen and decreases sagging of the skin. The most common candidates for this surgery are men and women who are bothered by a bulging or loose abdomen that does not respond to exercise or diet. This type of surgical procedure is quite helpful to women who have given multiple births and have their abdominal skin stretched to a point that cannot return to normal.

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This procedure takes usually 2-3 hours and is done by giving the person general anesthesia. During this procedure, a cut is made just below the belly button (above the pubic bone) in order to remove the excess skin. The skin above the belly button is pulled down and sewed close to the cut once the excess skin has been removed. Since it is done under anesthesia, the procedure is not painful. However, there can be some tightness and swelling in the first few weeks after the surgery. You will start to feel better within 2-3 weeks of the surgery, but it is generally advised not to return to vigorous activities or heavy lifting for about 6 weeks.

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Who are good candidates for Tummy Tuck Surgery?tummy tuck vs weight loss surgery

The tummy tuck is not beneficial for everyone. Here we mention some of the candidates who can be good candidates to undergo tummy tuck:

  • Physically healthy people ( Problems pertaining to Blood Pressure, Diabetes should not go )
  • Non-smokers
  • People who have a stable weight
  • Women who have had multiple pregnancies

What to expect post Abdominoplasty surgery?
weight loss surgery vs abdominoplasty surgery

This procedure is ideal for a patient who is at his/her normal weight and is dealing with a belly bulging problem that won’t go away. After abdominoplasty, the healing and repairing of muscles occur, and the desired flatter appearance is achieved. Provided that no excess weight is gained after surgery, the results of the tummy tuck can be permanent. You will have tighter muscles, better fitting of clothes and a better self-image. However, it does not prevent the natural effects of aging and laxity over time.

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The most important thing to remember before or after getting a tummy tuck is that it is not a weight loss solution at all. Getting a tummy tuck does not even replace dieting.  A tummy tuck does not remove the abdominal fat. It only removes the excess skin. Since the fat levels remain the same after an abdominoplasty, the health other parameters such as body mass index (BMI) do not change. The tummy tuck does not prevent any diseases linked to excessive fat in the body such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure. Hence, it can be safely said that tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is simply a cosmetic surgery that just improves the outer appearance and your self-confidence. Getting a tummy tuck should be a well-thought decision and should be compared with other better procedures such as a weight loss surgery which actually helps to remove fat from the body.

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Weight loss surgery

Weight loss surgery, in medical terms, is known as bariatric surgery. In order to be considered for a weight loss surgery, you should:

  • Have a body mass index (BMI)of 40, or a BMI between 35-40 plus a health problem which can be improved upon losing weight such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes
  • Have already tried other ways of losing weight  but with no success, such as physical exercise, making changes to your diet or treatment with medicines
  • Have no health problems that could make the surgery dangerous or risky for you
  • Have a long-term commitment to complete the medical follow-up required after weight loss surgery
  • Have already been seen and treated by a specialized obesity team

Bariatric surgery is mainly carried out by laparoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure. There are many types of weight loss surgeries, as mentioned below:

  • Gastric sleeve: Also known as sleeve gastronomy, it involves 80% of the removal of the stomach.
  • Gastric bypass: It is considered as the standard surgical treatment for weight loss. It involves division of stomach and small intestines.
  • Gastric banding: This procedure involves placing of an inflatable band in the upper area of the stomach to create a small pouch above the band and rest of the stomach below it.
  • Duodenal switch: It involves two sub-procedures. The first one is the creation of a tubular stomach pouch by removing a portion of the stomach and the second is bypassing a large portion of small intestine.
  • Gastric balloons: An inflatable balloon is fed down the throat into the stomach that takes up most of the space in the stomach and creates a feeling of fullness.

Benefits of weight loss surgery

All these weight loss surgical procedures work by changing the structure of your stomach and the digestive system or by causing psychological changes in your body that induce energy balance and fat metabolism. As compared to a tummy tuck procedure, the weight loss surgery reduces your desire to eat and frequency of eating by decreasing hunger and increasing the feeling of fullness. These changes promote a healthier body lifestyle. With decreased weight, your physical activity is increased, which further improves the body’s ability to burn fat and also reduces stress levels.

Moreover, weight loss surgery causes a significant improvement in diseases caused by obesity such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis, cholesterol related abnormalities, heart diseases, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

In addition to these improvements, as well as increased longevity, weight loss surgery also helps to improve quality of life. Various psychological functions such as motivation, self-esteem, mobility, work, social interactions, and sexual functions are enhanced. Moreover, depression and anxiety are also reduced after bariatric surgery.

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