Have any studies been done that correlates surgery, particularly where fat/tissue was removed, w/ weight gain/hormone imbalance?

I had a tummy tuck with modest fat removal May 2016. I was in very good pre-surgery shape, just needed lower level Cesarean scar and an apron repaired. The first couple of months good recovery but then weight gain/hormone imbalance followed. After speaking to a number of women, finding out many had similar occurrences. It seemed when fat or tissue removed during surgery the body's hormone system compensates for the reductions in E1/E2.

Doctor Answers 2

Hormone imbalance

There have been several studies involving post op levels of leptin, adiponectin, liver function levels, even cholesterol and estrogen with no definitive correlation. 

Recovery usually requires a slowing of activity that may lead to fat storage increase but as full recovery occurs people should be able to lose that "extra fat". 

The amount of fat and skin that is removed even in large resections would not affect the overall estrogen levels and balance since fat production of estrogen is minimal at best. 

Surgery is not an excuse for not maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen. 


Madison Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Hormone imbalance after tummy tuck

Thank you for your question.

I am not aware of any well designed long term scientific studies that evaluates post tummy tuck hormone levels or any potential affect removing the abdominal skin and fat has on (presuming) estrogen hormone balance.  A quick search of the pubmed database reveals a couple articles evaluating leptin and adiponectin levels.  Another study evaluated DHEA, LDL level, cholesterol levels at 1 month post operatively.  Neither have compelling evidence to suggest that tummy tuck would cause hormone imbalance and weight gain.  I have personally seen that it can take quite a bit of time before patients can truly get back to exercise routines following tummy tuck and is frequent to see some undesired weight gain following tummy tuck given the required recovery time.  With time many patients can sucessfully lose any of that weight and maintain their new shape for many years to come.

Best Dr. L

Andre Levesque, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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