What Should my Ideal Weight Be Before I Have a Tummy Tuck?

Im 5'5 about 178lbs. I was 209lbs. I have an apple body shape & I'm scheduled to get a tummy tuck in about 7 weeks. My goal weight is 165lbs but I dont know that I will make it. Based on my schedule, I took this summer off to have this surgery & I don't want to cancel it.

Doctor Answers (17)

What Should Your Weight Be Before Tummy Tuck

+3

The ideal weight for a tummy tuck depends on where you tend to store fat.  

1.  If most of your weight is in the mid-section especially up high in your upper abdomen then you need to lose more.  

2.  If most of your weight is in your hips and thighs then you don't need to lose as much.

The important fat to lose is the part stored inside the abdomen.  If there is two much intra-abdominal fat it can make the tummy-tuck more risky.  It also makes it harder for the surgeon to give you a good result because he/she can't tighten the abdominal wall as much. 

As you lose weight you will see the upper abdomen start to deflate where it goes in slightly instead of bulging out.  This is a good sign that you have lost enough weight.  The fat down low in the apron area doesn't't matter much because it gets removed anyway.  The actual number of pounds and weight is not as important as getting rid of that fat inside the abdomen.

Looking at your photo it still looks like your upper abdomen is bulging some and you need to lose another 10-15 pounds which is what your goal is anyway.   I think it would be better to delay surgery and make it as safe as possible rather that have it when you still have too much intra-abdominal fat.

It also helps to go back to your surgeon for a quick check to see if you are ready.  Sometimes the upper abdomen looks like it is bulging because of fat, but during examination the surgeon can determine it is just a very relaxed stretched out abdominal wall from pregnancies.

Be careful because there are non-plastic surgeons out there doing tummy tucks.  There is even an oral surgeon in my city who does tummy tucks.  Make sure you are being cared for by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery


Sarasota Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Weight loss before tummy tuck

+3

I am not sure that roughly 10 more pounds of weight loss will make much difference...a little, perhaps, but not much.  I do not attempt to do liposuction fat removal at the time of a full tummy tuck...I believe that it poses additional risks to the blood supply to the skin, and can lead to skin loss, delayed healing, and worse scarring.  Some surgeons are more comfortable with doing this, while I am not.  In any event, what this means is that the patient will have the same fat thickness after the tummy tuck as before, but of course the overhanging skin (and the fat connected to it) will be removed, and the skin (and underlying fat connected to it) that remains will be tighter and flatter.  Nevertehless, if a patient is a bit "thick" and of course "loose" before, they will still be a bit "thick" but much tighter after the tummy tuck.  As long as they realize this, and it is safe to do the tummy tuck, then that is fine.  If a patient wants to be significantly thinner as well as tighter, then they can either loose the weight before the tummy tuck, or we can reduce the fat with aggressive liposuction first, and then perform the tummy tuck after a few months when the tissues have softened and healed.  If you are comfortable with your current weight, and realizing that you are within about 10 pounds of your goal, I would think you could proceed with your tummy tuck (this is of course based on my not having examined you!).  Further weight loss of 10-15 pounds later should not adversely effect your result...you will be thinner, and it would be unusual if you became noticeably "looser".  If you were planning on losing 20-40 pounds, I would think you should do that BEFORE your tummy tuck.

Robert M. Grenley, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Ideal weight

+2

It is always best to be at your ideal weight whenever you have any skin reduction surgery.So if you don't make it and you have to postpone it ok of have it done and lose an extra 10 pounds or so and I don't think it will make that big a difference.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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A stable weight is your best weight for tummy tuck

+2

If you have chosen a goal you simply cannot reach you should reset to a realistic expectation and weight you can and will maintain after tummy tuck. Still, the two to three pounds a week for the next seven weeks would put you right where you want to be. Calorie restriction and 45 min. on the treadmill daily just might help you make weigh in.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck

+1

Do not go into your surgery unhealthy.  Losing weight can make you weak and not able to heal properly.  Talk to your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and obtain their opinion.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck planning?

+1

Thank you for the question and picture.

There is no magic number of months to wait.  You will know physically (when you are at your baseline weight) and emotionally when you are ready to proceed with this major operation.  This planning would involve making sure you have enough help for your children(if relevant) and yourself during the recovery period (approx. 3-4 weeks).  

I do however have another  word of advice for you. Patients who are about to undergo tummy tuck surgery spend a lot of time thinking about the physical preparation for the procedure (for example weight loss issues) but do not spend a lot of time thinking about the emotional aspects.
It is not uncommon for patients who undergo the procedure to experience severe “mood swings”. These emotions may range from depression ( “why did I do this to myself”) to elation  (which may lead to over activity). I think it is helpful to be aware that these emotional swings do occur postoperatively. 
Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: 1. Make sure you have a strong support system in place who have time/patience to take care of you. 2. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. 3. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 4. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 5. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 6. Keep in mind the end result!

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 719 reviews

Ideal weight loss and cosmetic surgery.

+1

Recommendations for cosmetic surgery typically involve losing excess weight first, then stabilizing your weight prior to undergoing body contouring procedures. This allows for more predictable results, safer anesthesia, and usually longer lasting results. No result from body contouring is permanent, however large weight fluctuations up or down following surgery can ruin the results from an otherwise great operation. If a person does plan on losing weight following a tummy tuck, it is important that they realize that they may have loose skin and wish to have a revision after the weight loss. Typically, the revision is a much smaller operation than the original tummy tuck procedure. It is important to note that weight loss should be done in a controlled fashion without starvation diets or fasting. Appropriate nutrition is critical in healing the incisions from a large operation such as a tummy tuck. Thus, although losing weight is advantageous in body contouring, weight stabilization is just as important to ensure that proper healing occurs following the operation. I commonly look for a stable weight for at least 6 months prior to surgery to improve predictability of surgery and lower complication rates.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How much weight should be lost before a tummy tuck?

+1

Body contour surgery will always be safer with a better aesthetic result when a patient's weight is close to a normal BMI.  Some patients are able to reduce significantly before surgery and then plateau.  I have seen these patients complete their weight loss after the surgery is performed because they are motivated and they seem to get full more quickly since the abdomen is tighter.  With small weight losses, usually the skin stays tight and the results are good.  A major weight loss after a tummy tuck may cause loose skin.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Good candidate fro tummy tuck with weight loss

+1

There is no weight related reason to even consider cancelling your planned tummy tuck surgery in seven weeks. You have already successfully lost more than 30 pounds, are not too far from your targeted weight and have a lax, protuberant abdomen. Consequently, you should experience a significant improvement in the appearance of your abdomen.

In the ensuing weeks, you could probably lose some additional weight without being on a starvation diet. It is important that you are in a nutritionally good state for surgery in order for proper healing to occur.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Tummy tuck works best with liposuction

+1

Thank you for good photos. By the time you have the surgery, your weight is not likely to be crucial to the result. Hopefully your surgeon will use liposuction to reduce your flanks and upper abdomen at the time of the tummy tuck. Even without more weight loss you could do very well!

Hugh McLean, MD
Mississauga Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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.