Calculating Ideal Weight Prior to Loose Skin Removal Via Tummy Tuck

I have lost 115 lbs with diet and exercise & am considering a tummy tuck for removal of loose skin. I know I should be within 10 lbs of ideal weight prior to tummy tuck. But how do I calculate that when I don't know how much the loose skin weighs? I am 5'6" and have 141 lbs of lean mass according to a body fat (dunk tank) test. (Lots of muscle as I am a competitive powerlifter.) 20% body fat would be 169 lbs but that's without extra skin.

Doctor Answers 15

Why I don't agree with the concept of an "Ideal" weight for surgery

Hi there-

Most people who diet and increase their exercise in order to have surgery do not maintain this new diet, level of exercise, and therefore body habitus after surgery... Therefore their long term outcome is NOT as good as it could have been.

I believe it is much better to have my patient stable (for at least a few months) at their surgical weight, and living a healthy lifestyle that they can comfortably maintain over the long term.

In other words, find the healthy diet and level of activity that you can maintain over the long term, allow your body to stabilize at whatever weight results from this healthy lifestyle, and then proceed with your body contouring procedure confidently.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

I would guess Tummy Tuck would remove 5 to 10 pounds of your current weight.

I would guess Tummy Tuck would remove 5 to 10 pounds of your current weight. Not having seen you, that's just a guess. If your lean weight is now 141, 10% body fat or 160 scale weight would probably be reasonable. The leaner you are the tighter can be the tummy tuck.

You can do the surgery at a higher weight, but the result will be less good. It's worth getting to a stable low weight to get the most out of the surgery.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Ideal weight for a tummy-tuck

It certainly sounds like you're within an acceptable weight range for an abdominoplasty. You will most likely have an excellent result at your current weight. Should you loose any weight in the future your results will only get better.

Robert M. Jensen, MD
Medford Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Ideal Body Weight

There really is no ideal body weight for everyone that have your height.  Meaning, what is ideal is what you can maintain over your lifetime.  It is the weight you are comfortable at and not some weight that you can get from plugging in the sex and height of a patient.  Once you are stable at the given weight for minimum 3 months then you are in good shape to have a tummy tuck.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Safe body contouring with low BMI

At your current height and weight you have a BMI of 23.  You have an excellent status for a good result with body contouring surgery.  If you are in good physiological shape and good nutrition status you are an ideal candidate for body contouring surgery.

Best Wishes.

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Don't need to be near ideal weight for tummy tuck.


From your description, you can have a tummy tuck anytime.  Don't worry about ideal weight.  In Manhattan, we often do tummy tuck  on  people who are moderately  overweight, with fine results. 

They are still overweight afterwards, but they have a flat stomach, which can be a motivating factor to improve their eating and exercise habits.  Habit modification is really the only way to maintain weight loss.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ideal weight before a tummy tuck

You ask a good question and congratulations on your weight loss and improved lifestyle!  Basically though, you know that 10 pounds from ideal is what we recommend for most people but the real key is whether the abdominal skin has lost most of the extra fat and is mostly just loose skin.  If that is the case, it really doesn't matter exactly what your weight is becasue losing more won't thin the abdominal skin more.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Body mass index and fat content prior to body-contouring

I don't look too much at ideal weight to determine when a patient is a good candidate for surgery. You have to look at patients as individuals with his own DNA, genetics, habits, and culture. What I look at is lifestyle. You want to be in a healthy, stable lifestyle that optimizes you level of fitness. You might have already attained this without determining your "ideal" weight.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Timing of Tummy Tuck

Congratulations!  You are now a good candidate for body contour surgery with a BMI<25.  With the degree of weight loss that you have achieved, you might benefit from a body lift rather than a tummy tuck.  Obtain a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon with whom you relate well.  He/she can provide you with advantages and disadvantages of each procedure.

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

Body weight before Abdominoplasty

Congratulations on your successful weight loss. From what you said, it is hard to calculate your BMI. If you weigh 169, it is 27.3. The ideal is between 20 and 25. The larger your bone structure and the more muscle mass you have, the higher this number can be. You can calculate your BMI at You do not have to subtract a lot for the weight of the skin as it is not that heavy. About the most I ever remove with abdominoplasty, even in someone who has had a massive weight loss, is 4-5 pounds.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.