Tummy tuck operations are first and foremost cosmetic procedures, but many patients have reported relief from back pain as a side effect of the surgery. As a result, many patients are seeking out the procedure primarily as a way to relieve back pain. While many patients do experience pain relief after the surgery, it’s important for patients to rule out other causes first. This may include consultations with primary care medicine, sports medicine, orthopedic surgery, neurology and/or neurosurgery to determine whether an anatomic back problem exists or a tummy tuck is the most appropriate form of treatment.
How Can a Tummy Tuck Improve Back Pain?
When a woman gives birth, the muscles in her abdominal wall are stretched and separated, causing a “diastasis.” This leads to a lack of core support for the back, a problem that’s frequently seen among women who have had multiple pregnancies or people who have experienced significant changes in weight. Unfortunately, those muscles can’t re-align themselves; a tummy tuck surgery with diastasis repair is the only way to “re-tighten” them. Though no doctor can guarantee that the surgery will relieve back pain, some patients do experience improved core strength and pain relief.
Other Treatment Options
While tummy tucks provide some patients with relief, it’s important to remember that it’s a cosmetic procedure and will rarely be the first recommended treatment option. Many patients experience back pain caused by pinched nerves, herniated discs, or spinal damage; in these cases, a tummy tuck may actually make pain worse without addressing the cause. Dr. Donaldson encourages patients to speak with other medical specialists first to determine the cause of the pain. Conservative, non-surgical treatment may be preferable.
When patients have exhausted other surgical and non-surgical options, and back pain persists, it’s possible they may benefit from a tummy tuck procedure. Dr. Donaldson works closely with each patient to determine the best course of treatment based on their current health, medical history, and lifestyle. Learn more about the results of tummy tucks and contact our office at (614) 442-7610 to schedule an appointment.