Too soon for a Tummy tuck (abdominalplasty)? (photos)

For years I have been stuck at the weight of about 130-125. I have lost about 50-60lbs. I'm 5 ft and 21 years. Recently a PS told me I am a good candidate for a full TT with flank lipo. He wishes for me to lose about 10 pounds before February 16. My question is do I have enough lose skin for a full tummy tuck so that the scar can be very low? Or should I hold off until I am at my ideal weight of about 105 pounds? I'm just concerned I will end up with a high horizontal scar or even a vertical one

Doctor Answers 26

Comprehensive Abdominoplasty


You do not need to loose any weight, and if you did, it would not change the dynamics of the surgery by any significant amount. More importantly, you need to go to a surgeon that prioritizes scar placement over 'getting the belly button hole out'. Regardless of how much skin you have or don't have, there is a precise and optimal place for your low horizontal incision: at the thigh/abdomen border laterally and low across the pubic mound, about an inch and a half above the commissure of your labia. If the skin excess is insufficient to get the belly button hole out, it should be closed vertically.  It is much more inconspicuous and aesthetically pleasing to have a small vertical incision in the midline then a long horizontal incision placed too high, cutting straight through your abdominal aesthetic unit. Worse than that is 'floating' the belly button into a non-anatomic position.  In addition to prioritizing scar placement, find a surgeon that de-fats the abdominal skin flap, uses progressive tension sutures to optimize skin tension, and avoids using drains. Best of luck!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Tummy tuck

Hello and thanks for your photos

You appear to be a great candidate for abdominoplasty. While it's always best to be close to your ideal weight prior to surgery for best results, an additional 10# may not make a huge difference. From your photos, it appears that you'd be a good candidate for a full tummy tuck. The incision can usually placed very low, and most women don't require a vertical incision. Of course it's important to be examined in person and to discuss your goals with your surgeon.

Best wishes-

Susan MacLennan, MD
Banff Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Too soon for a Tummy tuck (abdominalplasty)?

Thank you for the question and pictures. Based on your photographs, I think that you will likely be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck surgery;  I see no reason why your incision/scar cannot be kept quite low. I also think that you and your plastic surgeon have a good plan. Best to achieve a long-term stable weight prior to proceeding.

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 (again) has reached a long-term stable weight.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Best wishes as you work towards your goals and for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Too soon for a Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty)?

I don't think that the amount of weight that you need to lose will significantly impact your results. Without examining you, I cannot completely comment on where your scar could be placed. There should not be a problem in keeping it low, but there may be a small vertical scar in order to do that. This would be an appropriate discussion with your surgeon of choice between now and February.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Tummy Tuck

Based on your photos, you look as if you'd be a great candidate for a full tummy tuck. In terms of your weight, I always tell my patients that they need to be at a maintainable goal weight. The last thing you want to do is get a tummy tuck and then gain weight. I always think it's a good idea to get a second opinion from another board certified plastic surgeon who can assess you in person. 


Kouros Azar

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I A Candidate?

Thank you for your question and photos. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck. The abdominal skin excision could give you an excellent contour as well as improve the tone of the anterior abdominal wall. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for an in-person examination to discuss the specific details of the procedures. Ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what can be achieved. Hope this helps!

Steven J. Rottman, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Weight loss after tummy tuck

Given that you have lost so much weight and then plateau'd, I don't see that you need to lose 10 pounds prior to surgery. Correction of the diastasis, in my experience, has a minor 'lap band' effect wherein appetite is suppressed which will help you to lose that final weight. 

Scar location depends upon the surgeon - you should not end up with a vertical scar.

Diane I. Duncan, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Tummy Tuck with Liposuction

Thank you for your question. 

Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for liposuction surgery:

  • Areas of fat deposits that are out of proportion with the rest of your body and do not go away with diet and exercise – so called “diet resistant fat.’
  • Areas with minimal amounts of excess skin (liposuction removes fat not skin) and good skin elasticity.

Adding the tummy tuck will tighten up the waist leaving no hanging skin, as it would with just liposuction. 

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Board Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Too soon for tummy tuck?

Thank you for providing photos with your question. It is usually preferred that you are as close to your ideal weight as possible, but “ideal” is not always realistic. Up to 10 pounds really should not affect your surgical result, and you should still be able to have a low horizontal incision. Most of the time, the vertical incision is not needed, but if it is, it is typically very small and low. You are an excellent candidate for a full tummy tuck, so good luck!

Dustin L. Reid, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Ready for a tummy tuck?

Your photos show us that you  have  a significant excess of loose skin and some stretch damage after your weight loss. Congratulations on your effort thus far. Now, it's time for a tummy tuck. You can expect a tremendous enhancement of your figure if the loose skin and remaining adipose collections are removed. Plan to consult a Board Certified plastic surgeon who can demonstrate plenty of experience with tummy tuck after weight loss.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 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.