Ideal Weight for a Tummy Tuck for Patient with Thyroid Issues?

I gained 80 lbs in 28 weeks of pregnancy due to HELLP syndrome and renal failure. I have stretch marks and loose skin everywhere. I have had weight problems due to Hashimoto's desease (hypothyroidism) probably brought on my the trauma of my pregnancy. I finally have my thyroid under control and am loosing weight.

I am 5ft 4in and was wondering at what weight would be ideal to go for a consult on a Tummy Tuck. This is very painful for me as I have always been very thin and in shape and have had a problem getting past the effects of this condition.

Doctor Answers 10

Management of thyroid disease is important before considering tummy tuck

Thank you for your question. A personal exam and consultation is always best.

That said it is important that your thyroid disease the well-managed and that you received medical clearance for cosmetic surgery from your treating physician. Ideally you want to be as close to your ideal weight as possible for the best possible result after your tummy tuck.

Be sure to consult a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, experienced in your procedure, and who has an excellent reputation in your community.

Ideal BMI for tummy tuck between 25-30

I recommend a body mass index of less than 30 and if possible closer to 25. The thyroid issue is more complicated and should be addressed with either your primary care physician or an endocrinologist. 

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Can do tummy tuck even if overweight.


Of course, your thyroid function and kidney function and general health need to be completely OK.  Then you can have a tummy tuck even if you are overweight.  You will still be overweight afterwards, but having a flat stomach can be a great motivator to lose more weight.

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

Ideal weight for tummy tuck

There is no ideal weight for this procedure.

In your specific case, the most important factors will be health related, and goal weight.

Make sure that all of your health issues are optimized and you work closeley with your internist. Once healthy, you may think of this large procedure.

You need to decide what your target weight should be. This is a weight that you can attain and maintain. When your weight is stable, and you are healthy, you will be a good candidate for the procedure.

Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Thyroid issue and tummy tuck

Before you consider any surgery you should make sure to have your thyroid issues under control. Best to have your weight stabilized and be mentally and physically ready. Cosmetic surgery is exciting and every surgeon wants their patient to be rock stars in surgery!

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tummy tuck planning?

Thank you for the question.   Congratulations on surviving some very serious pregnancy related complications!  Medical optimization and clearance from your internists will be helpful prior to proceeding with elective surgery.

There is no magic number of months to wait.  You will know physically (when you are at your baseline weight) and emotionally when you are ready to proceed with this major operation.  This planning would involve making sure you have enough help for your children (if relevant) and yourself during the recovery period (approx. 3-4 weeks).  

I do however have another  word of advice for you. Patients who are about to undergo tummy tuck surgery spend a lot of time thinking about the physical preparation for the procedure (for example weight loss issues) but do not spend a lot of time thinking about the emotional aspects.
It is not uncommon for patients who undergo the procedure to experience severe “mood swings”. These emotions may range from depression ( “why did I do this to myself”) to elation  (which may lead to over activity). I think it is helpful to be aware that these emotional swings do occur postoperatively. 
Suggestions I have for patients undergoing this procedure: 1. Make sure you have a strong support system in place who have time/patience to take care of you. 2. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. 3. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies. 4. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work too early and let others take care of you (for a change). 5. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the emotional swings that you may experience. 6. Keep in mind the end result!

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Ideal body weight for Tummy Tuck varies based on the body frame

You will need to tke care of the medical conditions first and then try to lose as much weight possible before surgery. Please see your local board certified plastic surgeon to get more information.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 122 reviews

Ideal weight for tummy tuck

Generally speaking at 5 foot 4 inches your ideal body weight is 125 pounds plus or minus 10--15% based on your body and skeletal type. This will keep within an ideal BMI to lower your overall risks of undergoing a surgical procedure. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Lose weight before tummy tuck

First you need to get all of your thyroid issues under control. Next, you need to assess the weight situation. You should lose the weight you want to lose prior to the tummy tuck. Give yourself a good 3 month trial of diet and exercise and see how that works for you. You should try to be within 10 pounds of your ideal weight but that is not a hard and fast rule. If you are obese, a tummy tuck is not a real good option. If you are overweight there you can compromise and do the procedure.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Timing of a tummy tuck

 First, you need to be done having kids before a TT.  Next, you should be 10-15 pounds from your ideal weight, then visit a Board Certified plastic surgeon who dose lots of tummy tucks and decide when the timing is right for your recovery.  Make sure your medical doctor clears you for this also.

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