Tummy tuck vs gastric bypass: goals, results, and benefits

There is no competition between tummy tuck vs gastric bypass procedures, the debate, goals, outcomes, and costs differ completely. The best option for your weight loss expectations depends on your overall health and if you’re a fit candidate for it. 

Each surgery serves different goals, and each surgery has a different audience but both surgeries are safe at the right time and place. For example, bariatric surgery patients aim to improve severe obesity, therefore gastric bypass could be a valid option if your major goal is weight loss. After long-term weight loss surgery, a cosmetic procedure such as a tummy tuck is a valid option for a tighter abdomen. Keep reading the article below to differentiate the purposes and expectations of each surgery.

Tummy tuck vs gastric bypass: meeting your expectations

Gastric bypass and tummy tuck are totally different. RYGB is a bariatric procedure to lose weight and enhance health and the tummy tuck is for cosmetic goals.

You can expect a life-changing experience with both surgeries but from different angles, also there is time and reasons for each surgery. Gastric bypass surgery helps you to lose significant weight to increase your quality of life and remission for a large number of diseases. At the same time, an aesthetic procedure for cosmetic looks is considered maybe after a weight loss surgery in a year and a half or more.

Can you lose weight with tummy tuck surgery?

Tummy tuck surgery is a cosmetic surgery done to beautify the abdominal region by tightening the area and removing a small percentage of fat.

This is a major surgery to be considered that requires removing excess stomach skin as well. However, this is not considered a weight loss surgery, only an aesthetic procedure.

At the end of the day, it will be the only few pounds that you have lost after the tummy tuck. You will have to be determined on diet and exercise to keep and improve the results of the surgery.

The purposes compared

Gastric bypass and tummy tuck have different goals and the purposes compared has is black and white. Mainly the RYGB is to improve health and lose a significant amount of weight, whereas tummy tuck serves mainly to enhance body image and improve flexibility. This table shows the purposes of each surgery:

RYGB purposesTummy tuck purposes
metabolic surgerycosmetic surgery
weight losstighten abdominal area
enhance overall healthloose skin removal
fertility enhancement health and mobility improvement

The main purpose of gastric bypass is to lose excess weight which would enhance health conditions such as blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc. Accordingly, that will help to have daily activities and quality of life way better. This surgery also helps increase fertility for both women and men by regulating hormone levels.

Tummy tuck on the other hand is only an aesthetic surgery that helps remove stretch marks that may be caused due to different reasons. The reason could be excess skin due to weight loss and a small percentage of stubborn fat that can’t be burned simply with diet and exercise. Another reason for this aesthetic surgery is to lose the marks left due to different situations such as massive weight loss or marks left after giving birth. 

Performing the surgery and safety

Both surgeries are done in the abdominal area, but the comparison of tummy ruck vs gastric bypass differs entirely in the case of the tools, goals, and safety levels.

Operation of gastric bypass is a laparoscopic surgery where there are incisions created around the abdomen. Whereas tummy tuck is a procedure done with tools to work on the surface of the abdominal area. During RYGB, your intestines and stomach are rearranged and the surgery lasts for 3-4 hours based on your situation and other factors. Whereas the tummy tuck involves extra skin removal, with a small percentage of fat cells removed and tightened underneath muscles, and the surgery lasts 3-5 hours.

Finally, the tummy tuck’s abdominal cut is closed whilst making sure the belly button is on the same level.  RYGB on the other hand, there are few tests done to check leakage to avoid complications. In terms of safety, both surgeries hold a different ratio of potential risks and complications. The general overview of risks is only 7% for RYGB and 5% for tummy tuck surgery. Performing the surgery and safety relies on the quality of tools, and the surgeon’s experience, accordingly which will minimize the risks of complications.

The outcomes of the surgeries

What should we expect as the outcomes of the surgeries? As the primary goals are different, the results are different, too. Here is how:

Roux-en-Y as a bariatric surgery helps with excess weight loss and aims to increase medical condition enhancement by reaching a healthy weight. While undergoing a tummy tuck procedure serves a tighter and well-toned abdomen to serve a more aesthetic look. The progress and journey to lose weight or flatter the abdomen are based on a few stages from day one to post-op.

The outcome results for RYGB results and affectations are noticed in the first 3-6 months, and the long terms are obvious physically and health-wise in the first year. Whereas tummy tuck patients require wearing a compression garment for 6-8 weeks. These periods are also considered healing stages for both surgeries because RYGB has diet limitations and the compression garment post tummy tuck is to boost healing stitches. The healing stage also includes RYGB incision and sutured organ healing, and tummy tuck surgery has outer abdominal stitches.

After the healing stage for both surgeries, there are also health benefits that are deemed to be noticed. RYGB improves many obesity-related symptoms such as sleep apnea, heart problems, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and more. Tummy tuck lifts health benefits, on the other hand, you will notice your mobility and balance are better, bladder leakage, better posture, lower hernia risks, and higher mobility.

At the end of the day, both surgeries will boost your self-esteem, feel more confident as you’ll feel healthier. However, it is important to know that the outcomes of both surgeries are both depending on the surgeon’s art of work and your self-care post-op. Also, neither of the surgeries is a substitute for a different lifestyle, a healthy diet and exercise are a must to assure success rates.

Breaking down the cost of the procedures

The cost of the procedures differs because one of them is medically important and the other one is aesthetic. Furthermore, each surgical procedure has different pre and post-op care, equipment, facility fee, and all other additional services. Here is the min-max tummy tuck vs gastric bypass price range for highly preferred countries.

 Gastric bypass surgery costTummy tuck surgery cost
United States20-35K $6-12K $
UK11.3-19K $7.5-12.5K $
Thailand10-15K $3-6K $
Mexico5-10K $3-6k $
Turkey5-10K $2.5-5K $

Generally, a health insurance company does not consider payment of fee coverage for cosmetic surgery procedures, unlike roux-en-Y surgery. However, there are a few loopholes where tummy tuck can be covered in case the surgery was medically important to improve your health. At the end of the day, you need to contact your insurance provider if the surgery you want is covered. However, make sure to read the insurance policy if it covers bariatric surgeries or aesthetic surgeries such as a tummy tuck.

Either way, you can ask for a medical report from your doctor as proof of the necessity of the surgery and increase the chances of getting insurance coverage. That is one of the many requirements that may be asked by your insurance provider. Despite the surgery type, the requirements must match your medical necessity for the treatment.

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