Is There a Recommended Target Weight for Tummy Tuck?

I am 35 and have constantly battled with my weight. I am 5'2" and currently weigh 180. I have weighed as much as 200 and have gone up and down from about 150-200 in the last ten years. I have had 2 C-Sections and the horribly ugly overhang. Is there a recommended weight to reach before getting a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 13

You can benefit by a tummy tuck even if you are overweight.

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To msboogs,

Hi! This is a common source of confusion. There is absolutely no reason to demand that you become thin before you can have your "ugly overhang" removed. Losing weight and aiming for a flatter stomach are independent issues.

So you can have a tummy tuck now. Some people just cannot come close to their ideal weight, and asking for this is just another way of saying "Never!"

There are two important points:

1) The WAY in which a tummy tuck is done should be different if you are overweight. So technique is important. You should have more liposuction and less undermining of the skin, for example.

2) There may be some additional risks if you are overweight, so we take special precautions. For example, we use blood thinners when doing a tummy tuck on an overweight person to prevent blood clots. Some people are afraid that blood thinners cause extra bleeding during surgery, but they don't, if used properly.

So go for it!

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Within 20lbs of your ideal weight before tummy tuck

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First, the most significant determinant of a good candidate for abdominoplasty is the amount of loose skin that is below the belly button. Often, this loose skin is caused by significant weight loss or by pregnancy. In both cases, the abdominal skin has been stretched beyond its ability to shrink.

If you can easily grab and pinch a large amount of loose skin, it is likely that an abdominoplasty would provide a highly noticeable improvement for you. If, on the other hand, the skin feels very thick and is not particularly loose, it is likely that an abdominoplasty is not for you. In fact, liposuction may be more appropriate.

Secondly, as far as what weight you 'should' be? There is no set weight that is ideal, but I recommend that my patients are within 20lbs of their ideal body weight. This will allow the focus of the procedure to be on the removal of extra skin and will yield better results.

Hope this helps!

There is no recommended weight for a tummy tuck.

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Although it would be nice to operate on all patients at ideal body weight, that is just not the way things are.  Overweight patients get dramatic results from abdominoplasties.  It does not make them thin, but it can server as a psychological jumping point for further weight loss.

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Ideal Weight for Tummy Tuck Candidates

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Ideally you should be close to your goal weight before undergoing a tummy tuck. This will allow for the best results, because if you continue to loose more weight you may end up with a bit of excess skin. If you wait, your results will allow for even better contours. Although, if you are losing 20 lbs or under, it is often not a problem.

It is always important to remember that liposuction and tummy tucks are not to be used as a means of weight loss. Liposuction is often performed alongside a tummy tuck for the purpose of contouring the body and getting rid of stubborn fat deposits. Large volume liposuction is not recommended and should only be performed in a hospital setting as a safety precaution.

Tarick K. Smiley, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Target weight for a tummy tuck

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Tummy tucks are an extremely popular and effective way to contour the abdomen. There is no perfect weight before a tummy tuck. Your best is to work with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has a great deal of experience in abdominoplasty, liposuction, and body contouring. You should also be at a stable weight and as close to your personal target as possible. Keep in mind that the more weight you lose before your tummy tuck, the better your result will be.

To learn more about tummy tucks, see photos, and help you decide which one is best for you, please visit us at the link below:

Reaching your ideal weight prior to surgery

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Ideally, I would recommend that you get as close as possible to your goal weight prior to surgery. In order to achieve the best and safest results possible, patient's do the work to lose weight or wait until their weight is stable. The last thing we would like are complications or the need for revisionary surgery. Unfortunately, plastic surgery does not guarentee permanent results.
Factors that may affect the results include weight loss, weight gain, gravity, aging, and pregnancy. To avoid additional surgery, it is in your best interest to work your hardest to lose weight. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedures you are interested in. For more information regarding recovery and to compare before and after photos, go to my website. Good luck!

Ideal weight and tummy tuck

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You should really get down to a weight that is closer to your ideal weight but a weight that you can maintain. Then consider a tummy tuck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

You need to get to a weight you can maintain after tummy tuck surgery

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Really large patients do not see as much improvement after tummy tuck surgery as smaller patients, but you do not benefit by losing weight only to gain it afterward. It is all relative. I am not saying you can't get good results. Some of this depends upon what you define as a good result. You just can't expect to be made really thin by surgery if you are larger in the first place.

I usually tell my patients to find their "maintenance weight" and then come for evaluation. Then we figure whether or not the surgery will result in an outcome with which we can be happy.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Timing for tummy tuck surgery depends on you

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Tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) works best for individuals who have come as close to their goal weigt as possible and have been able to maintain this weight for several months. Abdominoplasty is not a substitute for weight loss and diet and exercise are important in maintaing and optimizing your results. Abdominoplasty is a rewarding surgery for many people and can help you get over the hump that exercise and diet can only partially provide.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

If it is too hard for you to lose weight, you may not have to lose too much

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As I'm sure you know, you are not alone in your battle with weight. I often have women who are frustrated with their weight and the look of their midsection and often find themselves working hard with little results, hoping that a tummy tuck will finally give them a positive change.

If you are healthy enough, it is possible that you may be able to have the surgery with little or no weight loss, depending on the policies and comfort level of the plastic surgeon you chose. It is always good to try to lose 10 or 15 lbs - it certainly won't hurt to try and it will give you a little better result.

Whether or not you will be asked to lose weight depends on your plastic surgeon, your overall health, and the composition of your abdomen area. Often times, most of the fat is outside of the muscle layer and it will be removed with the tummy tuck.

In rare cases, much of the fat is inside the muscle and your results will not be as good because your plastic surgeon will not be able to tighten the muscle as much as he would like.

It sounds like your situation is the first scenario, which is good. I wish you the best of luck.

Thomas T. Nguyen, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

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.