Am I a good candidate for tummy tuck? (photo)

Weight loss surgery 2 yrs ago. Start weight of 287 lbs down to 189 lbs. I love my new body but the excessive skin around my tummy and waist is excessive. Should I consider surgery now? Extended tummy tuck? I only have $8000 saved...should I have consult or keep saving?

Doctor Answers 14

Tummy Tuck Post Weight Loss

Congratulations on your weight loss! Significant weight loss is quite an accomplishment, but just like you describe, it does result in skin laxity issues. When contemplating when to proceed with cosmetic surgery to address these concerns, it is best to wait until you are close to your ideal weight to proceed with the consultation process. As a result, if 189 is your target weight then now is a wonderful time to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. However, if you intend on additional weight loss, it is best to wait until you are close to your target weight, usually within 5-10 pounds.

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Best time for a tummy tuck is when you have reached your final goal weight

Thank you for your question.  Congratulations on your standing weight loss.  You should be very proud of your self.

If 189 is your final goal weight then it is appropriate to seek consultation for a tummy tuck.  However if you plan to lose further weight it is best to delay tummy tuck until you have reach that final goal.  If you have a tummy tuck before you have reach that wait the skin will re-sag.

Please consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in tummy tuck surgery and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

When to have a tummy tuck

Congratulations on your weight loss!  The time to proceed with a tummy tuck is when you feel your weight is stable and you are no longer intending to lose significantly more weight.  When you are at that point, it is a great idea to visit with a Board Certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you and let you know what you can expect from a tummy tuck operation.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


Congratulations on your weight loss, even with the surgery it takes determination to overcome obesity. By your descriptions and the pictures, it looks like you are a good candidate. But before you ask if there are indications for a TT, first thing to look at is are you stable at this weight? If you keep loosing weight after the surgery, you will end up with excessive skin again in your abdomen. Secondly, do you have kids? Keep in mind that if you are planning to have kids after the surgery, after pregnancy, your TT will be spoiled, and you would probably have to do it again. Those are just a couple of things to keep in mind before you go through. As for what you have saved, it should be more than enough to cover the surgery, specially here in Dominican Republic. My advise, if your ready, start looking for a Plastic Surgeon, and hear at least a couple until you find the one that inspires you most. Good luck!

Jose Leon, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Am I a good candidate for tummy tuck?

   From your description you sound like a good candidate.   You can likely find an excellent plastic surgeon to perform the extended tummy tuck for you for the amount you have saved.

Try to research this to find the surgeon who consistently produces the results you would expect. Look at reviews on this site and see who gets the surgery right every time.

Find a board certified plastic surgeon who performs hundreds of tummy tucks each year. Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Tummy tuck extended tummy tuck 360 lower body lift

Congratulations on your weight-loss. You should be very proud of yourself. Based on your photos, it is difficult to say.  A thorough physical examination and/or extensive photos would be best.   However, based on your history and limited photos you have provided, I would suggest either an extended tummy tuck or a 360 lower body lift.  The difference between the extended tummy tuck and the lower bodylift would be that the 360 lower bodylift would raise your buttocks. It would also eliminate that roll of skin and fat that is typically above the buttocks after massive weight loss.   If you are worried about excess skin and fat in the upper and middle buttock,  I would suggest doing a 360 lower body lift, rather than a extended tummy tuck. If your buttock does not bother you,  then I would do an extended tummy tuck.  
There is a difference in price between a 360 lower bodylift and a tummy tuck. Typically, the 360 bodylift is more expensive.  First, I would consider what surgery you think you need.  Then, I would find a plastic surgeon and would inquire about price.

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 194 reviews


Great job on the weight loss. You should be very proud. One of the problems with weight loss of this magnitude is the excess skin. Looking at your picture it does appear as if you would be a good candidate for surgery. I would recommend seeing a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to consult on what would be best in your particular situation. You will also be given a price quotation so you'll know exactly where you are with the money. Good luck, Dr T

Scott Tucker, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Tummy tuck timing

Congratulations on your weight loss!    A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) should generally be done after most of your weight loss is completed.  You did not indicate if you're close to your goal weight, but that should be taken into account.  Without an examination, it is not possible to determine if you're currently a good candidate for a tummy tuck, but the money that you've currently saved is likely adequate to cover the vast majority of the fee in many offices.  I would suggest that you consider going in for a consultation at this time with a board certified plastic surgeon (or two) to obtain answers to all of your questions.  An abdominoplasty will help remove the excess skin and fat around the waist.  Best of luck.

Eric T. Emerson, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck After Weight loss

The problem you describe is a common one with weight loss. You have worked hard to change your life and feel like you should be able to better enjoy your results. The extra skin, however, is preventing that to some degree. 

The question of when it is best to get a consult is an easy one. Whenever you are at your goal. There is not one absolute solution to the abdomen. Finding the right surgery for you requires that you find a surgeon who does multiple different versions of a tummy tuck so that the procedure is matched to your body and your goals.  It is often helpful to have the discussion before you are absolutely ready for surgery so that you know what to expect and you know what you are saving for.

There are essentially five kinds of tummy tucks.
1. Mini: This can mean a lot of things but, at its core, means that the belly button is not freed at the skin and so the skin that can be removed is limited to an amount below the belly button. The length of this scar is not often a lot shorter than other methods and the term mini applies more to how much skin is removed. This is not a great operation for most people. The muscle can be tightened or left alone depending on the problem.
2. Standard: A standard abdominoplasty involves an incision that is roughly hip to hip but depends upon the person. It usually ends at the roll. This involves cutting the skin out between the pubic bone and as far above the belly button is possible. The muscle is repaired and the skin pulled down like a window shade to the level of the pubic bone. At the same time, a little liposuction is done in the flanks to further improve shape.
3. Extended: Similar to a Standard except the incision is carried as far back as necessary on the hips. This extra incision can allow a fair amount more skin be removed.
4. Fleur-de-Lis: Similar to an extended or standard except there is also a vertical incision in the midline. This is typically used when pulling mostly up and down still leaves enough excess that a good shapely figure is not likely. This adds the downside to an up and down incision but can be very powerful in helping tighten the sides and providing a great shape in clothes.
5. Circumferential or Lower Body Lift: These carry the incision all of the way around and remove tissue in the back as well, allowing the buttocks and hips to be lifted and smoothed to some degree as well. Again, this added scar can provide a dramatic improvement but the downtime is more and the risk of temporary complications increased.
Hope this helps,
Dr. Pyle

Dr. Pyle

Jeremy Pyle, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Am I a good candidate for tummy tuck?

  Congratulations on your significant weight loss; you should be very proud of this accomplishment! Based on your history and description, you will likely be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck surgery at some point. What type of tummy tuck operation you will benefit from will depend on your physical examination and a full communication of your goals.  It is not possible, online, to give you specific enough advice in this regard. For this and other reasons, it will be important for you to select your plastic surgeon very carefully. Make sure that he/she can demonstrate significant experience helping patients in your situation, achieve the results they are looking for.  Generally speaking, 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.
  I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 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.