My BMI is over 30. I want to get a tummy tuck and BBL. Can the surgery still be performed, or will I be turned away? (Photo)

I'm 5'5 and I weight about 205. It's going to be extremely difficult for me to get my BMI under 30 hence the reason for the surgery, I have had children so I seem to carry a lot of extra baggage in my mid section. I like my size, however I wish my overall body shape was a bit more proportioned. I'm confident that if the fat from my mid area was shifted to my butt, I'd look fabulous!!

Doctor Answers 7

Patients with BMI above 30 should not undergo aesthetic plastic surgery


Thanks for your question. 

You are being very intelligent on asking about this. Many patients that seek plastic surgery are above 30 on their BMI because they do not know the risks of having surgery as an obese patient. 

I never perform surgery on patients with a BMI30+ because of 2 main reasons: 

1. Risks increase exponentially the higher the patient's BMI is. And if you stop and think about it, this is an elective procedure (not an emergency) which means you can perfectly program yourself to face it as healthy as possible. I do not ask of them to be skinny or perfectly fit, but within  a healthy operable range (usually 27 or less). 

2. The outcomes of overweight obese patients are drastically different from a patient with a healthy stable weight. Plastic surgery works to enhance the shape, not to loose weight or make you look thinner. In fact, the weight usually stays the near the same after surgery because fat and skin (which are the main tissues removed in most of body treatments) weight very little. 

You'll find plenty of surgeons that perform surgery on obese patients, but they're assuming a risk, and what's at stake here is your life, so keep that in mind. 

Talk to a nutritionist. See a bariatric surgeon if you feel that you have tried everything and you cannot loose more weight. But try to get as healthy as possible to face surgery. 

Just my humble recommendation.

Good luck on your journey, 

Dr. Fernandez Goico

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

My BMI is over 30. I want to get a tummy tuck and BBL. Can the surgery still be performed, or will I be turned away?

Thank you for the question and picture.  Generally speaking, it is always best to achieve 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. As you know, recruiting other professionals such as personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians who specialize in weight loss concerns etc. may be helpful to you.  You may find the attached link, dedicated to patients who have experienced significant weight loss, helpful to you as you consider your options. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 reviews

My BMI is over 30. I want to get a tummy tuck and BBL. Can the surgery still be performed, or will I be turned away? (Photo)

Hi. Let's star off by saying that the best results are obtained in patients at or near their ideal BMI. That being said, I also realize that there are patients who will not be able to teach that goal. Photos taken from your back would have been helpful in giving you a better assessment.

 I always caution patients against having both procedures done at the same time for fear of affecting fat survival and eventual results. I am not in the camp that advocate doing both (Tummy Tuck and BBL) at the same time. Think about it, When fat is transferred to the buttocks, the fat cells need all of the oxygen possible in order to survive. Fat transfers (BBL) require a rich oxygen environment in order to attempt the highest rate of survival of the fat cells. Fat is not just transferred to the buttock region. In order to obtain that shapely pear shape behind you must transfer fat to the area of the hip laterally to make for more attractive curves. If you lie on your side it will place undue pressure on the transferred fat cells and perhaps flatten out the area. We recommend that our patients do not place any significant pressure on their butts for 4-6 weeks following the BBL.

If you have a tummy tuck done at the same time, how are you going to avoid lying on your back, face up when the TT prevents you from lying face down? I recommend that the BBL be done first . After a minimum of three months, the patient is brought back and the tummy tuck performed.

I am certified but the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have practiced in the Miami area for the past 29 tears. As you we'll know, the South Florida area has become a hot bed for Brazilian Butt Lifts. Unfortunately, cosmetic surgery down here as also given rise to a number of mom and pop clinics who perform surgeries at unimaginable low prices. Buyer beware.

The key is............ does the surgeon have a keen sense of aesthetics? Can he/she create a shapely, attractive buttock or are they just technicians that wind up with large unshapely behinds? The same holds true for the liposuction portion of the procedure. Understand that liposuction whether SAL, PAL or UAL ( not including LAL because the fat obtained through this technique will not be useful) is not that technically challenging. However, the keen aesthetic eye will determine the eventual work of art.We are creators and have the ability to turn out beautiful works of art. Simply put................not all artists create quality work.

Always seek out the opinion of a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with years of experience in liposuction and fat transfers . Furthermore request to see before and after photos of previous patients by that doctor....not a clinic or surgery center. Do your homework......research and verify the doctor's credentials. Have they had problems with the Board of Medicine, disciplinary or otherwise. Any law suits?

How about the center, clinic or facility? Are they accredited by a national organization or do they just have State approval. Understand that at the current time, there are three nationally recognized organizations responsible for the highest levels of patient safety, AAAASF, AAACH and JCHO. You owe it to yourself to position yourself for the best possible results but under the most stringent safety regulations.

How about anesthesia? Will you have a medical doctor certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology or a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA)? Understand that there is no substitute for research. Cosmetic surgery, no matter how simple it may be to the patients, are invasive procedures and as such carry certain risks and complications.

In our office we use TouchMD which is a web based program in which patients have the ability to load their picture unto the program. We can accommodate patients from as far away as California. I then evaluate them and can actually draw on the picture to show a potential patient where the incisions would be located and how the procedure is to be realized. It's all done to comply with HIPPA which is the federal law that protects the patient's medical information. Look them up.

Give yourself the highest percentage of a sucssesful operation. Good luck, Dr. PG

Jose Perez-Gurri, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

BMI and liposuction/Brazilian butt lift

The issues is the safety of the surgery. Liposuction can be done the waist can be smaller and the stomach can be flatter.  The issue is safety. There is no exact number that makes the surgery completely safe are completely dangerous, it's a continuum. When you have a higher BMI you are at higher risk for blood clot and airway problems . So losing weight before the surgery will increase the safety of the surgery and decrease chances for complications. The other thing to consider is how much volume you remove with the liposuction. Think of liposuction like an internal burn. Just like a burn liposuction stresses the body and causes you to weep fluid. When you burn yourself you weep fluid outside skin and when you do liposuction you'll weep fluid inside the body. Nobody dies from a 3% third-degree burn every body dies from a 90%. The other thing is blood loss the more liposuction you do the more blood loss you have. These are the things you have to consider when you're doing a heavier person.

It's all about safety. The food in America is horrible if you read anything on box you're going to gain weight. So eat clean and that's the key to losing weight.

Wendell Perry, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 229 reviews

BMI over 30

It can be unsafe for you to undergo an Abdominoplasty and a Brazilian butt lift with a BMI greater than 30. See a nutritionist, adopt an exercise program and try to lose weight prior to surgery. The benefits will be worth your while. 

Carlos Burnett, MD, FACS
Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

My BMI is over 30. I want to get a tummy tuck and BBL. Can the surgery still be performed, or will I be turned away?

Not really since your intra abdominal fat or visceral fat is so large the results would be limited. Best to consider a gastric bypass or sleeve op first.. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Tummy tuck and breast lift

Your best result would be at a realistic stable lower weight.  Most surgeons may not feel you are the best candidate at this weight.  Although the world is made of all types, for the majority of surgeons their primary goal is to make you look awesome!  That is why we do this work.  If they do advise you not to have surgery it is only because they want the best for you. Take comfort in the fact you have a trustworthy doctor. 
Dr Rodger Shortt
Oakville Ontario Plastic Surgeon.

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 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.