How to Achieve Ideal Weight Before Tummy Tuck?

I have tried for several years to loose the weight for a Tummy Tuck, I can loose 5 to 10 lbs, but then it comes right back. I am genetically predisposed to having "dunlop disease".

My mother, her mother and aunts all have this. I am a size 18 to 20 depending on the day. I exercise everyday and no change. What can I do to get to my ideal weight before I have the procedure done, or do I have to? Help!

Doctor Answers 11

Weight loss before Tummy Tucks?

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There is no such thing as the ideal weight when evaluating ones candidacy for an abdominoplasty. There is however an ideal weight to achieve an ideal result.

Procedures are performed routinely in some cases on people who are 50 to 100 lbs overweight. I think that most would agree that this ,as a common practice, is certainly not looking after the patients best intrests.

One important consideration is the presence of "intraabdominal" fat vs. "extraabdominal" fat. In other words, do you have a "beer belly ' or do you have "Dunlaps disease?" We all have a genetic predisposition to one or the other to a certain extent . The success we have in losing weight may also be inherited.

In order to achieve the best results, your doctor should evaluate your weight gain/loss trends along with your diet and excercise regimen. This, combined with a good physical exam, should offer you a better idea of what your "ideal weight" may be. A discussion of your expectations and your doctors' confidence in achieving those expectations should give you an answer to "what is the ideal weight before a tummy tuck".

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Achieving weight loss

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I see many women who are in your same position. And getting your weight to the proper level prior to your tummy tuck is very important in terms of getting your best result, and reducing your risks of complications.

Fortunately or unfortunately, weight loss is fairly simple in concept. If you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight. There have been many different diets that have been designed to help reduce caloric intake, but they still all boil down to simple math. And while this may be simple in concept, making it happen is another thing entirely.

Understand that losing weight is only part of the issue. Maintaining the weight loss is another, equally important part of this process. In order to do this, you have to change the way you live, and make a change that you can live with and maintain once your weight is where you need it to be. This lifestyle change has to include both diet and exercise. One without the other, will not be as effective.

Your goal should be gradual weight loss. A couple of pounds a month is really quite reasonable. And if you are losing your weight at this rate, you are more likely to be able to keep the weight off.

In terms of successful dieting, two things seem to be key: portion control and accountability. One of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful is that the meals provided have set proportions. This is one way to limit your caloric intake.

Stepping on the scale each day, or a couple of times a week is key. This makes you accountable for your weight, and it lets you know where you are in the process

But most importantly, don't get discouraged! Slow and steady wins the race. Also be aware that as you lose weight, the skin of your abdomen will get looser, and sometimes even look worse. Remember, this is temporary and will be fixed with your tummy tuck. So hang in there.

Best of luck!

David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Weight Loss

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I suggest to my patients that they first visit their Primary Care Physician for a physical and once they receive the go ahead, they should look into a method of regular exercise. I routinely give out referrals for gyms, trainers, and nutritionists. My goal is for my patients to be in their best shape possible prior to surgery. I re-evaluate patients three months into their diet and exercise regimen to measure results. Typically, at three months, patient who work hard are seeing the benefits of their new lifestyle choices. Together we come up with a game plan for the next three months, either surgery or additional working out. best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tummy tuck and weight loss

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You should be at a steady weight for at least 2 months before an abdominoplasty. You definitely should not be on any type of crash diet at the time of surgery. It is not healthy. It really does not matter what your weight is for an abdominoplasty. If you are heavy, you will still be heavy, but you stomach will look better.

Anthony Dardano, DO
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

You don't need to be at ideal body weight to have tummy tuck.

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As long as you are in good health, you can benefit from a tummy tuck even if you are overweight .  Of course, you will still be overweight afterwards, but you will have a much flatter stomach.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Achieving the right weight beofre a tummy tuck

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It is critical to lose the weight before a tummy tuck to get the best and safest result. That being said, the tried and true way of losing weight is simply to increase your caloric use and decrease the caloric intake. If you simply can't do this and lose weight, you should seek the advice of a bariatric surgeon and discuss lap band and gastric bypass options and whether these are appropriate for you. Then lose the weight and have a beautiful tummy tuck done.

Weight loss before tummy tuck

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This is a very common situation and here is what I tell my patients.

1. Take 3 months and put yourself on a diet of choice(there are so many that work, weight watchers, nutrisystems, etc) and exercise. Pick the date that you will be done so that you recognize that you will not be doing this for an extended period of time.

2. If you reach your goal-great you have done it

3. If you do not reach your goal-do the surgery, it is probably unrealistic to expect to reach ideal body weight

4. If you are losing but not at your goal, keep at it for another month.

It is my feeling that being at the ideal body weight is great but in most people is unrealistic.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How to Achieve Ideal Weight Before Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question.  Although potentially challenging, generally speaking, it is always best to achieve long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with body contouring surgery. Doing so, will increase the safety of the operation, will likely improve the outcome of the operation, and will decrease chances that additional surgery will become necessary subsequently.

In my practice, I do not ask specific patients to achieve a specific weight prior to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. I simply ask patients to achieve a long-term stable weight where he/she feels comfortable and does not expect significant fluctuation postoperatively.

I would suggest that you start with your primary care physician for a good medical workup; make sure that there are no medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, which make weight loss even more challenging.   Then, recruiting other professionals such as personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians who specialize in weight loss concerns etc. may be helpful to you.

When the time is right, seeking consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will be your next/best step.  I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes.

Cure Dunlop Disease BEFORE a Tummy Tuck

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The BEST Tummy Tuck results are seen in women who are of normal weight - BMI 25-27. The more the excess weight / the higher the BMI - to worse the results and the higher the postoperative potential complications.

You state that you are "genetically predisposed to having "dunlop disease". (and that your) mother, her mother and aunts all have (it) ". When you have a serious "Dunlop Disease - IE your belly "done-lops" over your belt and you have fat elsewhere you would get a MUCH better outcome with weight loss (Bariatric) Surgery.

After losing all the excess weight not only will you be healthier but your Tummy Tuck results will be WAY better.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

See a physician

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It sounds as if you need help with your weight loss. There are many physicians around who specialize in Bariatric Medicine ( weight loss) see one who does not advice surgery first. People who gain weight usually do so by eating. If you diet and exercise you will lose weight.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.