Are Tummy Tucks for Men Too?

Posted on February 15, 2016 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

The question is sometimes asked, “Do men get tummy tucks?” As most people know, the common reason to have tummy tuck surgery is to tighten the extra skin and remove the fat that can accumulate on the abdomen after one or more pregnancies. These are problems that usually cannot be corrected simply with diet and exercise. Since men don’t get pregnant, it can be hard to understand why a male tummy tuck would be needed.

When Tummy Tuck Surgery Is Appropriate for Men

There are actually two circumstances that lead men to look into a male version of the tummy tuck procedure. Over the past several years, obesity in this country has become a serious problem. As obesity worsens and the internal fat accumulates in the abdomen, the skin can become stretched and damaged on the male abdomen much like the abdominal skin of a pregnant woman. But it is also becoming more common to see previously obese patients, both men and women, interested in tummy tucks. These patients have lost massive amounts of weight over time either through dedicated diets and exercise programs or through bariatric surgery, such as gastric banding or gastric bypass. Once all that fat that has been supporting the skin goes away, the weight loss patient finds large amounts of loose, hanging skin on several areas of the body, including the abdomen. Just as with skin damaged by pregnancy,  there is no non-surgical treatment available, so men who have experienced this type of weight loss often seek the skills of a plastic surgeon to re-contour their abdomen and produce a healthier, smoother and tighter look.

The other (less common) reason driving men to seek the tummy tuck operation has to do with the effects of aging. Some men have spent their life staying healthy, controlling their weight and working out to maintain good muscular development — only to find that skin elasticity diminishes with age, and the skin looks looser. Because skin is fixed or attached to the pelvic bones and deep tissue in that area, once it starts to sag it looks as though it is hanging off the lower abdomen. These men have worked so hard all their life to maintain a youthful and healthy look, and they find the loose lower abdominal skin to be unacceptable. To address it, they seek surgical correction.

The male abdominoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis, just as it is in women. However, since the operation usually does not require tightening the abdominal muscles like the surgery for a woman’s pregnancy-related changes, the recovery can be shorter and easier. Recovery still requires a week or more off work and several weeks before getting back to vigorous exercise.

If you have any questions about the male tummy tuck, please reach out and let us know!