Am I a good candidate at my given size? I am 5'4", 220 lbs, and 20 years old, planning to have tummy tuck in about 5 years after my second child. However, I am very well proportioned and have a good deal of muscle mass vs fat mass. I know my BMI is probably around 38 or 39. I know I have enough time to lose more weight, but worst case scenario after my second child, say I still weigh the same. Is this a good idea? I am in very good health by the way.
Advice for Overweight Female Considering Tummy Tuck?
Doctor Answers 10
Tummy tuck in patients above their ideal body weight
You're not a great candidate for a tummy tuck at your current height and weight. That being said, many patients are not able to reach their ideal body weight prior to surgery. They still get improvement from surgery, but the results are not as good as they would be if they lost weight prior to surgery. There are some examples in the photo gallery on my Web site.
My best advice is to finish having children and then try to lose as much weight as you can. Although it won't be easy, the results of surgery will be tremendously enhanced.
Hope this helps. Best of luck.
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You have plenty of time to loose weight
Dont worry now -- have your child and work on wieght loss. You will look the best at your lowest weight. Dont spend a lot of time an energy as you are thinking of doing this in 5 - 6 years. Get your weight under control.
Tummy Tuck being overweight
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Your IBW is closer to 125lbs as you obviously are aware. At this point your weight is not a cosmetic issue but a medical one that has serious consequences for you and your new family. Your weight puts you at a particularly high risk of cardiovascular diseaase including heart attack as well as diabetes. Your BMI indicates that you are a higher operative risk for all surgery including the potential for fatal pulmonary embolism. Remember that in the average tummy tuck, we typically remove about 1-4 pounds of tissue. 10-20 pounds is not common. Therefore, will you be happy if you have a tummy tuck and turn out with less loose skin but still weigh 215 lbs. Only you know the answer to that question. IF you are realistic and you desire the procedure and are willing to accept the higher risk, then it may be an option for you.
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Tummy tuck will not be as good if you are over weight.
Your present height and weight are not in your favor. If you have a tummy tuck at this BMI, you are at higher risk for infection, wound separation, blood clots, etc. Your result is also not likely to make much of a difference to your shape. So you are better off losing at least 50-75 pounds and then re-evaluating. Don't do it at this weight.
Weight is a relative indicator
The most important thing is to be as fit as possible. This requires you to look at your diet, exercise routine, activity level, and overall habits. Once you are fit and can maintain a healthy, stable lifestyle, then look at your appearance and tailor your treatment to fit your anatomy and desires, keeping in mind that not all patients are good surgical candidates and not all aesthetic problems have good surgical solution. Different people will have different physiques with the identical lifestyle. Take the next five years or so to do the things to get into as healthy a lifestyle as possble. There are no shortcuts and your entire body and physiology will be better for it. It is hard to predict what should be done in the future.
Tummy options in high BMI
When it comes to evaluation of a high BMI patient we go through the options and try to come upon something that will be realistic for that patient. Ultimately we want a patient who is happy with their result and has achieved an appropriate procedure.
So what are the options?
1. Diet and exercise-the absolute best option because it means that you are actively trying to improve yourself, and that you will probably continue to improve even after a surgeical procedure. You could also get to the result you want with diet and exercise.
2. Liposuctioning-will help get rid of fat but does nothing for the muscle layer and probably nothing for the skin. In the high BMI patient at best it may be the kick off to get the patient going in diet and exercise.
3. Tummy tuck-probably best if there is alot of excess skin. If there is no skin drooping you will probably not see much improvement with a tummy tuck. You would need to get the fat out first.
Ultimately you should make a 3 month plan to loose weight. If successful even partially you will be more appropriate for a tummy tuck.
Over weight female tummy tuck
Your situation is very common with the population that I see regularly. I have a complete discussion with patients like your self regarding results and complications. Most of the decision will depend on how realistic is it that you will lose weight. If you have not tried very hard and think you can be successful then it is best to put it off until you have tried more. If you have worked and worked and now find your self at a dead end then you may choose to take the risk. After a thorough discussion, some patients decide that they are a good as it will get and want to proceed and some say they will try some more. I do not have a BMI cut off for those who I will do surgery and those I will not.
Higher BMI's do have a higher chance of wound healing problems as well as life threatening complications. Do all you can to get to a reasonable and healing living weight and then you will have the best long term out come and cosmetic results.
Tummy Tuck with High BMI
Although it is possible to undergo a TT at your present BMI, you will be far happier if you first lose a siginificant amount of weight. You will get a much better result if you are at or near your ideal body weight. The complication rate is also much higher with your present BMI. Neither TT nor lipo are procedures designed for weight loss.
Advice for overweight (BMI 38) woman considering tummy tuck?
"Am I a good candidate at my given size? ...5'4", 220 lbs, and ...BMI is probably around 38 or 39 "
I am afraid you are not. The Best result are seen on women whose BMI's are well under 30 (around 23 to 25). The higher the BMI the worse the cosmetic result and the higher the complication rate.
I would encourage you to complete having your family before having an abdominoplasty and losing as much weight as possible. When your weight loss has stabilized, only then should you consider having the abdominoplasty.
There is no reason to sell short your ideals nor to compromise. You WILL get a MUCH BETTER result with at least a 10 point smaller BMI. It will be worth it!
Peter A Aldea, MD
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.