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Should I Get a Tummy Tuck While Still Overweight?

I am 31 and a mother of 3. I am 5'3" and weigh 180lbs.I have been dieting and excercising since April of 2010 in hopes of getting a tummy tuck & breast lift. I have lost 17lbs and now it is becoming harder to lose even one pound.I spend 90 minutes/5 days a week at the gym.I am starting a dental program on Jan.15 - the end of April.I don't want to have to wait until May to do it and don't know if I can lose much more weight by then.I want to do it now before my class starts. Should I just do it??

Doctor Answers 16

You can get tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time now

You have a lot of extra skin and only tummy tuck will help. You also have extra fatty tissue over the upper abdomen and waist and liposuction in combination of the tummy tuck will help.The combination will help you to achieve the look and also as you lose weight, you will lose from other parts than the abdomen area.

New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Timing your tummy tuck

While the best results are obtained when tummy tucks are done near or at your ideal weight, we are interested in having you continue your quest for the ideal body and health through lifestyle redirection.   If lifestyle changes are not enough, then the motivational boost from surgical reshaping can be useful.   Surgery is really a last resort to correct difficult lifestyle consequences, but can be used in this way to keep your momentum on track.  Don't be discouraged if the shape is not perfect, we will work with you to get you as close as possible on your journey.

Randy Wong, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Achieve a stable weight prior to tummy tuck

I am concerned that you have this much apparent weight but are not able to lose any more through conventional methods. I would advise you to seek a medically supervised weight loss program. Your are still an estimated 40-60 pounds above your ideal body weight. Do this prior to having a tummy tuck

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Timing of Tummy Tuck and Weight Loss

A Tummy tuck is most effective when  the problem is more one of excess skin and muscle laxity then of excess fatty tissue.  As noted , it is best to be as close to your ideal body weight as possible.  Being overweight may also contribute to other risk factors for surgery in general as well.  Discuss your particular situation carefully with your surgeon regarding timing of surgery.   Good Luck.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy Tuck Before Ideal Weight Loss

While it is ideal to get within 10 pounds of your target weight before a tummy tuck, many women opt to have their surgery sooner, because of timing contingencies or hitting a plateau oin their weight loss efforts.

As always in plastic surgery, there are trade-offs for you to consider in your consultation with your surgeon.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy Tuck Safer & Results Better If Not Overweight

Although you could have your tummy tuck performed now, your results will be better if your are nearing your ideal weight at the time of sugery.  In addition, the likihood of having a complication would also be lessened if you are not significantly overweight at the time of surgery.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Should I Get a Tummy Tuck While Still Overweight?

 I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. Although you will likely be a good candidate for tummy tuck surgery at some point, it is not in your best interests to proceed now.  Having the procedure performed when you are overweight, exposes you to additional risk around the time of surgery and increases your risk that additional surgery may be necessary down the line for a multitude of reasons.  Unfortunately, some of the risks (such as deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism) associated with surgery, at your current weight, can be life-threatening. 

The “ideal” patient for tummy tuck surgery is one who has completed pregnancies, is psycho socially/emotionally/financially stable, has an excellent social support system surrounding him/her, is capable of arranging enough recovery time, does not smoke and who has reached a long-term stable weight. 

At this point, I would suggest that you  seek consultation with other professionals,  other than plastic surgeons.  Physicians who specialize in weight loss, nutritionists, personal trainers, and/or bariatric surgeons are professionals to consider.  

Having said this, there are some patients who despite all efforts, are not able to reach their long-term stable weight prior to undergoing abdominal wall contouring surgery. These patients benefit from operations such as panniculectomy ( which involves excision of the lower abdominal wall skin/adipose tissues.  For these patients, the panniculectomy operation may provide the patient a “jumpstart”  both physically and mentally (as he/she works towards achieving their final weight and health goals). 

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.  

You are ready for your tummy tuck

From the appearance of your abdomen, I think you are ready and would benefit highly from a tummy tuck.  That said, if you are able to lose more weight before your tummy tuck, you will undoubtedly get an even better result.  So, if you can go ahead and lose more weight.  However, if you cannot wait, then go ahead with the surgery now.

James Tang, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy Tuck Now or Later

Kind of a tough question because it very reasonable to continue to lose weight.  I use BMI as a guide to who may be appropriate for body contouring surgery.  Usually a BMI around 30 or so it my cut off.  Your BMI is 31.9. Secondly, you are cutting it pretty close with a planned procedure of this nature in regards to recovery before embarking on your dental training.  With all this in mind the best answer would be to do it May at your summer break.  Discuss this with your plastic surgeon so that he/she can review the pros and cons.

Dr. ES 

Loose as much weight as you can!

In general it is better to be "too light", have your tummy tuck and gain a little weight. Your result will still be fine!

However if you do your procedure before reaching your realistic weight, there is a good chance that you will be very happy with your result! As a result you will exercise more, and loose more weight, unfortunately then you risk to be less happy with your operation as it seems as if more could have been taken off.

So: Know yourself, set a realistic weight that you can reach, and go for it. Once you reach it your reward will be the operation. You will feel good about yourself and have a good result as a bonus!

good luck,

Ivar van Heijningen, MD
Belgium Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.