Age 21, Loose Skin on Lower Abs After 55lb Weight Loss - Do I Need to Reach "Ideal" Weight First?

Hi. I Am 21 Years Old This Year. Had Lost Around 55 Pounds. Would strive to lose another 10 pounds more to reach my ideal weight although this 'ideal weight' will put me under the slightly overweight category, but I am totally happy with this. Would love to reach a body fat percentage of 10-12% during this time too which I figure will take me around 12 months. Have some loose skin on my lower abs so thinking of a mini tummy tuck. May I know is it ideal to proceed when your 'ideal weight' is not in the category of normal weight?

Doctor Answers 12

Mini Tummy Tuck

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See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon as you may need a full TT to get rid of all the extra skin. Thank you for your questions and good luck.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Mini or full tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and congratulations on your weight loss program.

It is hard to do specific advice without direct examination however some generalizations may be helpful. It is in your best interest to be as close to your long-term stable weight prior to any plastic surgical procedure.

In my opinion, the mini tummy talk is an  operation that  produces very limited results and is very rarely indicated. It involves a shorter incision but does not address the majority of the abdominal wall issues present for most patients who present consultation. For example, the area of skin excised is quite small. The abdominal wall musculature is addressed below the umbilicus leaving the upper number wall potentially lax. The appearance of the umbilicus is not necessarily addressed sufficiently.

For most patients who have had pregnancies and/or weight loss a full abdominoplasty is necessary to achieve the desired results. Of course, there are downsides (including a longer scar and probably a longer recovery time) but for most patients the benefits outweigh the downsides. It is not unusual to see patients who've had mini tummy tuck  surgery present for  revisionary surgery.
It is important  for patients seeking abdominal contouring surgery to work with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to obtain advice (based on good ethics and judgment) to  improve  their chances of a successful outcome and minimize the need for further surgery.

I hope this helps.


21 year old seeking abdominoplasty after major weight loss

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Congratulations on your weight loss! That's excellent.  If you are within 10 pounds of your ideal weight, it's time to seek plastic surgery consultations and figure out which surgeon is right for you.  You are close enough to your goal to begin to plan for the surgery---and remember, many plastic surgeons book cases at least 1-2 months in advance.  When women consider tummy tuck prior to having children, it is important to dialogue with their surgeons about the effects of pregnancy on the result.  If you are planning to have children in the near future, you might consider delaying the surgery until after giving birth to avoid the need for revisional surgery later on.  On the other hand, if childbearing is not in your short-term future, I can understand why you'd be unhappy with the current state of your abdomen and want to book the surgery soon.  The important thing is to discuss your plans and expectations with your surgeon and to clarify any questions along these lines prior to the procedure.

A mini tummy tuck after 55 pound weight loss?

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Congratulations on your weight loss of 55 pounds. If you can lose even a few of the additional pounds that you are aiming for, it would be reasonable but not a deal killer so to speak.

With all the weight loss (and no photos), one can't determine of a mini tummy tuck would give you a reasonable or acceptable result versus a more extensive approach. Though you may note some lax skin in the lower part of your abdomen, there may be some above your bely button or even diffuse stretching out of your abdominal wall musculature that will not be adequately addressed with a standard mini tummy tuck.

You should obtain a consultation from 1 or more board certified plastic surgeons in your area to ge a better idea of your options and what would be most appropriate for YOU.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Ideal weight before tummy tuck

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A mini tummy tuck is a safe and effective procedure that can create a more contoured abdomen, a tight waist and a beautiful figure.

Here in our Miami practice, we have performed tummy tucks and mini tummy tucks in patients of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. Patients received their optimal results if they are at their stable body weight before the surgery. We are aware that this weight may not be the same for every person and every circumstance. Your best bet is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon that is very experienced in liposuction, body contouring, and many different tummy tuck techniques available. Have a frank discussion with your surgeon and let them know of your plans for weight loss so that you both can construct a surgical plan that will meet your aesthetic ideals. Also keep in mind that there may be some permanent skin changes after massive weight loss that may affect your final result. Patients who experienced massive weight loss very commonly have their skin stretch out and loosen after body contouring procedure. Because of this, many patients may elect to receive a revision surgery sometime after their initial procedure.

Body weight and mini-tummy tuck

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It is always better to get to your ideal weight before pursuing a body contouring procedure such as a mini-tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Ideal weight and mini-tuck

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Ideal weight is just that, idealized. It is not specific for an individual. What I recommend is to get in the most optimal and stable level of lifestyle. That means your diet, your exercise and activity level and your habits. Each person will settle in their own particular weight. If you have a diet you can maintain, do some exercise you enjoy, then your plastic surgeon will determine if you are or aren't a candidate for any procedure. Your surgeon should customize a surgery for your situation.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tucks and ongoing weight loss

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Deciding when to remove the loose skin  that remains after weight loss with a tummy tuck  is always a key question as you want to get the best value out of that surgical effort. I don't think there is any absolute weight. What is important is that you are close to the weight that you want to be which will ensure that there will be no loose skin created if significant weight loss occurs after the procedure. It is really about getting the best value for your investment.  

Timing of tummy tuck after weight loss

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If your weight is stable (generally 3-6 months) and you are comfortable with your weight, it's time to schedule your surgery. Having surgery before reaching a stable weight will give you an improved appearance, but if you loose a significant amount of weight later, you may require a revision procedure. It is important to remember that "ideal" weights are, at best, crude estimations, based on population norms, that are rarely customized for an individual.

Lawrence Iteld, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Factors to Consider Before a Tummy Tuck

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Your questions are good ones and bring up a really good topic, which is what are the things to consider before going forward with a tummy tuck.  I think every surgeon has their own opinions on this based on their experience and judgement, but in general I think we would all agree that a patient should:

1) Be in overall good health (I would also say not using any nicotine products, because the nicotine can really hurt the healing process)

2) Be close to or at the goal weight;  this may not always be possible but the closer the patient is the better their final result will be in most cases.  I think if you are as close as it sounds like, it will probably not make a huge difference in your case to lose that last few pounds, but you would need to be seen and examined by your plastic surgeon first to make this determination.

3) Be either finished having a family or do not want any children.  This is a more complicated discussion, but in general if a patient plans on starting a family in the near future, I would recommend waiting on a tummy tuck, because the pregnancy will certainly change the appearance of the abdomen and the procedure would in most cases need to be redone.  

I think if you have these issues taken care of, the rest of the decision making really comes down to your discussion with your surgeon, his thoughts and your goals.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 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.