How close to goal weight should I be for a tummy tuck?

I have lost 92 pounds in 13 months with diet and exercise and am 35 pounds away from my goal weight. My lower tummy is awful! I've had three kids and three csections, and my lower belly swings and hangs low. I can roll it up like a yoga mat. I'm planning on a tummy tuck and Lipo - my question is, how close to my goal weight should I be before I get the plastic surgery ball rolling?

Doctor Answers 9

Go get a consult now, but you may have more to lose!

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It's impossible to tell without seeing you.  Yes, as you lose weight, your abdomen will look terrible!  The more you lose, the worse it looks.  But that's a GOOD thing!  That means your postop results will be better and your surgery will be safer.  Go see a plastic surgeon boarded by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in your area and make sure they are either an ASPS or an ASAPS member.  Good luck!

Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Good to Reach Goal Weight First

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When patients have experienced extreme weight loss due to diet and exercise, #gastricbypass surgery, or #stomachstapling  or #lapband surgery, there will be excess body skin that needs removal. In order to correct this problem many patients will need a #TummyTuck surgery, #panniculectomy, or #abdominoplasty.   This is becoming a highly requested procedure among patients who wish to rid themselves of excess skin and tighten muscle in their abdominal area. This procedure can be beneficial for women with loose skin and stretch marks following pregnancy, and patients who have undergone significant weight loss.

Other tummy tuck patients may recently have lost a lot of weight and need to have excess skin and tissue removed. Many women choose to have an abdominoplasty following pregnancy. Older patients may be candidates for a tummy tuck due to reduced skin elasticity.

Since there is a tendency for weight loss in general to cause loose skin around the abdomen it is a good idea to be at your goal weight before a tummy tuck, or to combine a liposuction with the tummy tuck to make sure that all excess fat is removed along with the skin tightening.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Reach a Consistent Weight

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Ideally, tummy tuck patients are within a few pounds of their goal weight. If you're continuing to consistently lose weight, I would recommend postponing the tummy tuck until you're nearing that target. However, as most of us know, losing those last few pounds can be quite difficult. You may want to revisit your goal and move forward with the tummy tuck once you've reached a weight that's comfortable to maintain. Most importantly, be sure to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is an experienced body contouring specialist.  

Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

How close to goal weight should I be for a tummy tuck

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I prefer my patients to be within a 5 pound range of their target weight that they will be able to maintain. If you can lose weight but then are likely going to gain it back due to a starvation approach, then just have the tummy tuck done when you are at the weight you can maintain.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

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I appreciate your question.

For health and safety reasons, best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



How close to goal weight should I be for a tummy tuck?

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Congratulations on your weight loss. Most plastic surgeons suggest that you finish having children, get your weight within 10 pounds of your ideal weight, and have a BMI less than 30 before undergoing a tummy tuck with repair of the stretched out abdominal muscles and liposuction of selective areas, in order to achieve the best long term cosmetic result with the least potential complications. 

Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D.,FACS 

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Goal Weight and Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for your question.

Congratulations on your weight loss!  Really, the best time to see a plastic surgeon is early in the process.  They will be able to evaluate you, discuss options, and set goals for the timing of surgery.  It's never too early to start the discussion.  I will say that often, when patients have plateaued with their weight, having plastic surgery to remove excess skin and tone other areas of the body jumpstarts additional weight loss (working out becomes easier to do if you don't have lots of abdominal skin or very droops breasts or large arms and thighs).  I recommend consulting with a plastic surgeon with extensive body contouring experience.


Dr. Dan Krochmal

MAE Plastic Surgery

Northbrook, IL

Daniel Krochmal, MD
Chicago General Surgeon

Weight Loss before a Tummy Tuck

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Congratulations on losing all of that weight with diet and exercise alone!  That is fantastic!  You are at a point now where you should see a couple of plastic surgeons for consultation.   Starting now will help you to select a plastic surgeon and to plan financially.   If you have a significant amount of skin and fat that you can "roll it up like a yoga mat", those doctors might be able to estimate how much weight will be removed with surgery alone.   Then you can use that number when calculating your weight loss goals.  Without knowing your current weight and height and without examining you, I would only be estimating that you should get within about 10 to 15 lbs of your goal weight before undergoing your surgery.   

Best Wishes!

How close to goal weight should I be for a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for the question and congratulations on your weight loss thus far.   You should be very proud of this significant accomplishment. Generally speaking, it is always best to achieve (as close as possible) to your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with  body contouring surgery. Doing so, will increase the safety of the operation, will likely improve the outcome of the operation, and will decrease chances that additional surgery will become necessary subsequently.

In my practice, I do not ask specific patients to achieve a specific weight prior to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. I simply ask patients to achieve a long-term stable weight where he/she feels comfortable and does not expect significant fluctuation postoperatively.   

 Seeking consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will  be your next/best step.  Ask to see lots of examples of their work,  communicate your goals carefully, and prepare for a significant operation (with a significant recovery period,  both from the physical and often "emotional" standpoints, often underestimated by patients). Best wishes.

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.