Do I Need to Be at my Goal Weight and Have Maintained That Weight in Order to Be Considered a Good Candidate for Abdominoplasty?

I have lost close to 70 # over the past year but would like to lose about 30 - 35 more # to be at what I consider my optimal, or goal, weight. I am close to 5'10" and currently weigh 185. I want to get a tummy tuck to remove the loose skin, stretch marks and scars from numerous other abdominal surgeries. Should I wait until I hit and maintain my goal or am I good candidate now? I also had an emergency unilateral oopherectomy last yr to remove a 17 cm benign tumor and have a bad diastasis.

Doctor Answers 19

Losing the weight first may be "ideal", but must be tempered by reality

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While your ideal weight can be extrapolated from tables, your PROGRESSION in WEIGHT LOSS over the past couple of months may be a BETTER INDICATOR  as to whether you should wait further to achieve that "ideal" weight or move to have the abdominoplasty sooner.  In other words , rapid weight loss over the first few months followed by weight loss of 3- 4 pounds a month may mean you are close to reaching your plateau in weight loss and ready for abdominoplasty.  If your weight loss has been 10 pounds a month for the past 7 months and steady, then maybe you should wait until the weight loss starts to tail down.


Another way to look at it is that contouring the body at a smaller weight will be more likely to maintain that tightening from the surgery.  In contrast, if you have the tightening from surgery, but continue to lose weight, the tightening of the early surgery may loosen up as you lose weight and fat volume under your previously tightened skin.


Have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in weight loss body contouring.  See him now as well as at periodic intervals so that he can advise you on the timing of the abdominoplasty.

Best of luck!

Weight loss and abdominoplasty

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I agree that you should get within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight prior to having an abdominoplasty.  The results will be better and longer lasting.  The surgeon will be able to focus on getting you the best result possible and you will be happier in the end.  I am concerned that you may have a ventral hernia as a result of the ovarian surgery you had.  This needs to be evaluated and may need to be addressed.  A hernia repair will be more likely to succeed if your weight is under control. 

Weight and tummy tuck

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Congratulations on your weight loss.  You are likely a good candidate for a tummy tuck procedure.  I would need to examine your abdominal wall.   If you still have some intra-abdominal fat (fat deep inside your tummy), I would recommend waiting until you've lost more wait.  However, based on my exam, if I feel that you've reach a point of good weight loss in your tummy, then I could clear you to proceed with a tummy tuck.   The bottom line is that we want you to get the best results from your tummy tuck procedure.    So please visit with a member ASPS surgeon in your area to learn more about your options.   Best of luck.


Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

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You have lost enough weight

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By the looks of your body photos you have lost ample weight; your problem now is more body contour, and loss of function of the abdominal muscle/fascia wall. The complete classical abdominoplasty, including an aggressive repair of your fascia(Linea Alba), not your 'muscle', is definitely needed. And naturally to repair any incisional hernia that may be present.

If you continue to loose more weight, you will be loosing  the wrong fat, and won't be changing your weight on the scale, but Rather will be looking older and older, as your shin loosens all the more, and your face deflates, often leaving your Psyche deflated as well.

Put the skids on the weight loss effort and accept were you are presently. You will do well with the abdominoplasty;  and ask for a pain pump as it will make all the difference in your recovery.   Dr WDM

William D. Merkel, MD
Grand Junction Plastic Surgeon

What is the "Ideal Weight" for Proceeding with a Tummy Tuck?

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Dear Pasadena3814,  Yes, if we lived in a perfect world, every one would be at their ideal weight before undergoing an abdominoplasty but the last time I checked, we do not live in a perfect world.  The goal is to at or near your target weight and that weight varies in every patient.  Target weight is not "ideal weight" as defined by some insurance table.  It is the realistic weight that a patient can obtain through diet, exercise, surgery, etc. How close you need to be to your target weight before having surgery varies greatly since someone who 5'10" in height has more latitude than someone who is 5'0" in height.  How close you need to be is something you and your surgeon need to determine and requires a consult.  Also, remember that even though an abdominoplasty procedure is a contouring procedure and not a weight loss treatment, you will loss some weight with a tummy tuck so you again do not have to be at your exact target weight before proceeding, just near it.  From your photos and your description, I would suggest continuing your current weight loss efforts to get closer to your target goal which will enhance your final result and increase your safety with the surgery.  I also agree with my colleagues that you should be certain you do not have a hernia from your previous surgeries that will also need to be addressed.

Good Luck.

The best weight for your tummy tuck

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It is hard to disagree that the best weight for tummy tuck is your ideal body weight, but the alternative is the goal that you can achieve and can maintain. This should be your 'best' weight, and you are almost there. You are a candidate for a tummy tuck now, though the extra weight loss may just make your result a little better, or the recovery a little easier. You can do it.

Best of luck,


Ideal weight before tummy tuck

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It would be wise to get closer to your ideal weight before having an abdominoplasty.  This will lower your risk of complications and improve your result.  In addition, if you lose the weight after surgery, you may develop more loose skin.  I would recommend being within about 10 or so pounds of your goal weight. 

Yes, you should be at optimal weight before a tummy tuck

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In order to "be a good candidate" for a tummy tuck you should be within 10-15 pounds of your optimal goal weight before surgery and demonstrate that this is a stable weight.  Also, you need to be examined by a surgeon as you look more like you have a ventral hernia after the abdominal surgery rather than just a rectus diastasis.  This can be fixed at the tummy tuck but also requires optimal weight for best results.

Lose most of your weight before having a tummy tuck

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If you are planning to lose 30-35 more pounds, you should do that first before having a tummy tuck. You will have a better cosmetic outcome and will have a lower chance of having complications. Be sure to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon for a complete evaluation.

Best wishes,


Okay to have a tummy tuck even if you are over your ideal weight

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Good job.  You can have a tummy tuck anytime.  With your height and body frame, 185 pounds is well within range.  The key anatomic consideration for the surgeon is whether the abdominal muscles will come together in the midline.  You already meet that criterion.  Many patients have the surgery, even if they are 20 pounds or so above their goal weight.  You will lose some weight as a result of the surgery itself, and will not doubt go on to lose the rest of it because you will find yourself even more motivated once your abdominal deformity is corrected.  Some patients worry that if they lose 20 pounds after their tummy tuck the skin will get loose again, but this is not the case.  It takes a great deal more weight loss than that to cause the skin to get loose.  Incidentally, you would benefit from simultaneous liposuction.  This combination will deliver the best results.  There are plenty of examples on my website.

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.