How much weight (in loose skin/tissue) will I lose from a tummy tuck?
How Much Weight Can I Lose from Tummy Tuck Surgery?
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Even a lot of skin that is removed does not weigh very much.
Most people are surprised to find out that tummy tuck which removes skin and fat in the lower abdomen does not make a huge difference in weight.
The tissues in our body that have the most weight are the muscles and the organs. The skin and fat is removed tummy tuck is not a particularly heavy or dense tissue.
While a heavier person will likely have more weight removed than a more slender person the amount of weight loss is not dramatic. We as plastic surgeons have to use our judgment about the amount of skin and fat the that can be removed. Very heavy patients can be higher risk for surgery.
Ideal candidates may have a lot of loose hanging skin but the layer of skin and fat that are removed generally weigh just a few pounds.
Smaller Waist and Flat Tummy
It is quite amazing to see some before and after photographs where men and women have literally been transformed and learn that the weight loss has been fairly insignificant.
While on the topic of weight,. people who are close to their ideal weight typically receive the best results from body contouring surgery. Surgery does things that weight loss and working out cannot do, likewise, being fit and eating a healthy diet can provide health benefits that plastic surgery cannot provide.
Not a lot of weight loss from tummy tuck
This type of surgery is performed to remove excess, loose, hanging skin/fat and to tighten stretched muscles. While patients will lose some weight (~3 - 6 lbs), they don't lose a lot. However, they do end up with a flatter abdomen, tighter abdominal muscles, and better waistline.
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A healing wound can burn calories.
The goal of the tummy tuck is to improve contour and remove inches. In some cases dramatic weight loss may occur following this procedure, however it really depends on the initial indications for the procedure. For example, if you had a gastric bypass procedure to lose weight then chances are you have more skin and subcutaneous fat to be removed. That certainly differs from someone requesting a tummy tuck that has abdominal stretchmarks following childbirth.
Tummy Tucks should never be used as a method of losing weight. Weight loss may however be a secondary gain from this procedure. Not only from the removal of unwanted skin and fat, but also because of the demands placed on the body following this type of procedure. The increased metabolic activity related to wound healing as well as the decrease in appetite related to the anesthetic and narcotics given postop, all contribute to this weight loss to some extent. Psychologically, the surgery may increase ones desire to excercise and eat right maximizing ones results.
Not that much weight loss after a tummy tuck.
The tummy tuck operation addresses loose (droopy) skin, extra fat, and rectus muscles that have been pulled apart, (usually with pregnancy). We take off a substanital amount of tissue, but it does not weigh that much when placed on the scale. Remember bone and muscle weigh more than fat and skin. It will look like more "weight" was dropped by the patient as they will get into their clothes better and have a trimmer shape.
Measure your satisfaction on your pant size not the scale
The amount of weight lost with a tummy tuck varies depending on how much weight you are carrying in the tissue that is to be removed (specifically the tissue between the pubic area and belly button). Generally this is 1-3 lbs although I have removed an excess of 10 lbs in a few patients. If your goal is weight loss, you can loose three pounds easily in a week with diet and exercise, but you won't lose THAT three pounds!
This depends on your body weight and shape before surgery
Tummy tuck surgery varies greatly from patient to patient. There are three components to the surgery that can be corrected. These are 1) excess abdominal fat 2) excess abdominal skin and 3) loose abdominal muscles. Most patients have all or only some of these indications and therefore each surgery is uniquely designed for each individual patient. Some patients will lose a significant amount of weight with this surgery and I have removed up to 20 pounds in some patients. However, most patients typically lose a more modest amount of weight but benefit greatly from the removal of loose skin and stretch marks with the simultaneous tightening of all of the abdominal muscles. Patients can expect to achieve a flat belly with tight muscles with a modest amount of weight loss depending on the amount of excess fat present before surgery.
The amount of weight lost depends on how much extra skin...
The amount of weight lost depends on how much extra skin and fat you have that needs to be removed. The best candidates for a tummy tuck have reached a weight that is within 10 lbs of their ideal weight before having a tummy tuck performed.
Consequently, the usual amount of weight found in the removed tissus is less than 5 lbs.
You won't really lose weight from a tummy tuck
You actually lose much less than you expected from a tummy tuck. The surgery is meant to reshape the abdomen and not for weight loss purposes. However, most people lose some weight - usually about 1-2 lbs.
That number dramatically increases with patients who have had massive weight loss from diet and exercise or gastric bypass. Those patients can lose much more from the surgery - the most I have removed has been 63 lbs and that was a panniculectomy and not a tummy tuck.
The surgery is meant to address the shape of your abdomen after you have lost weight on your own. If you don't have a stable weight or lifestyle as far as diet and exercise go - the surgery will be wasted if you gain the weight back.
Therefore, the ideal patient is one that has been stable at their weight, medically healthy enough for the surgery and with realistic expectations regarding the outcome.
Most often I see a pound or two of weight loss from tummy tuck
Unless you are a really large case, most patients only lose a 1-3 pounds from tummy tuck surgery. This is a shaping operation...and a really good one. Try not to concentrate on weight loss. Most tummy tuck patients enjoy the tightening they get.
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.