Do I have to be at goal weight before having skin removal or lipo surgery?

I have lost 118 pounds over the course of 3 years I am currently 138 pounds. I fluctuate 3-5 pounds. I am trying to get down to my goal weight before I check out doctors for skin removal or lypo. But I was just curious do I need to loose that extra 17 pounds before I have surgery? I am 5'4 and would ideally like to be about 115-125. TIA for your assistance!

Doctor Answers 5

Goal Weight

I generally recommend patients to be at or near their target healthy body weight (within 5 lbs) before body contouring procedures because drastic shifts in weight, both up and down, can change the way the skin and surrounding tissues respond.  I would suggest making a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon when you are within a few pounds of your goal weight and have maintained this weight for 3-6 months.


Hilton Head Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Do I have to be at goal weight before having skin removal or lipo surgery?

Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. This is the surgical procedure that revolutionized cosmetic surgery becoming one of the most performed cosmetic procedures. Subcutaneous tissue or fat is removed in order to contour the body in a way that is harmonious and pleasing to the senses. It can be performed in almost all regions of the body such as the neck, chin, abdomen, back, buttocks, thighs, arms and ankles. Usually done through a small incision in the skin through which a cannula connected to a vacuum is applied, it can be performed alone or in combination with other procedures. After liposuction your body is going to be really swollen for at least 2 to 4 months after your surgery. It is important for you to wear your compression garment for at least 6 months, the first 3 months 24/7 and then the last 3 months at least 12 hours per day for your body get use to not having the faja for so many time. When you remove it, your body can get swollen and also you can have pain. Remember to also compress your body to prevent a seroma which is an accumulation of liquid that has to be drained, it is hard to touch and also really painful. Bruises are completely normal for almost 3 months from surgery, that’s why is better for you to use a bruising cream and apply it all over your body 3 times a day. To prevent bad circulation and swollen legs, use compression socks. Brazilian butt lift can be performed with the same procedure and for a month it will be swollen and it will drop a little bit without losing it’s shape if you use your garment.. If you’re going to perform liposuction on your inner, outer, anterior, lateral, postetior thighs, be careful and consult with your surgeon what’s best for you, sometimes we have more extra skin than fat, that can cause severe sagginess on our legs, which can be only be reversed performing a thigh lift…

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 358 reviews

Weight loss

Hello and thank you for your question. Congratulations on your weight loss.  With the amount of weight you have already lost, it sounds like you are a good candidate for skin excision procedures to improve contour.  The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Tummy tuck and lipo

Thank you fo your question and congratulations on your weight loss. Ideally you want to be at your ideal weight but also a weight you are able to easily maintain before this procedure. Your weight should be stable and maintained for at least 4-6 months. Generally with this type of weight loss patients are left with excess skin tissue that can be removed with a tummy tuck. Liposuction can also be added to shape and contour your abdomen. Being at your ideal weight and losing any weight before surgery is important since this will allow your surgeon to better determine the amount of skin that can be removed and areas that will need contouring, ultimately leaving you with a better aesthetic result. Hope this helps, good luck. James Lee

James Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Weight loss and surgery

I think that with that kind of weight loss as long as your weight is stable, it seems reasonable to go ahead with what liley would be skin excision procedures. Best to evaluate you in person.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.