Should I Loose More Weight Before Getting a Tummy Tuck? BMI 29.8

I'm 32 years old, and over the past 1.5 years I've dropped from 312 lbs to 206 lbs. I've stabilized for the past 4 months at 206-208 lbs, I have excess skin hanging off of my stomach and love handles. My BMI has me at 29.8, I'm 5' 10' with a large frame. I've been trying to loose more weight but have not been able to, I lost all of the weight by diet and exercise alone. I'm just wondering if I should continue to loose weight before getting a tummy tuck or if I would be a good candidate?

Doctor Answers 14

Congratulation for loosing so much

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It is not only the amount of weight lost but how you intend to keep it off.  The best results that I have with patients are those who have just changed their eating habbits and life syle to those who go on diets.  I have had great success with patients that have removed their excess tissue before they have reached their ideal weight.  This gives them a boost.  However the less fatty tissue the quicker the healing and the more excess skin can be removed.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Tummy tuck vs more weight loss

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Congratulation on losing weight!  I would consider a tummy tuck at your current weight as you have reached a plateau and a tummy tuck may help you with your additional weight loss goals by improving your self esteem and making it easier for you to exercise.  

Losing weight before tummy tuck

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It is more important that your weight be stable at a sustainable level for you than that you lose weight before the surgery (although you should be aware that, in general, patients with higher BMI's are at higher risk of complications). If you are planning to lose more weight (and also that it is likely that you will--most of us would like to lose weight but realistically we aren't going to), then by all means wait until you have lost the weight and are stable at the new weight.

You ask about a tummy tuck but you should be aware that there are several, quite different, procedures that remove excess skin from the abdomen. A regular abdominoplasty leaves the belly button where it is and pulls the excess skin down and makes a new hole for the belly button. This is sometimes difficult or impossible in patients who have lost a lot of weight (congratualtions, by the way, loss of over 100 lbs is an impressive achievement) as the position of the belly button may have stretched too much. A panniculectomy removes the excess skin of the lower abdomen usually including the belly button but does not raise the flaps that an abdominoplasty does so the risks can be lower.  There is also a lower body lift which removes skin from the flank and back area in addition to the abdomen. Which procedure is right for you will be best determined in consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon. Good luck to you and again, congratulations on the weight loss.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Stable body weight before tummy tuck

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You should be at a stable body weight before your tummy tuck surgery. Congratulations on losing over 100 pounds so far.  I would try and lose some more weight before surgery as you will have fewer complications after surgery if you are at a lower weight. The actual number is not that important. What's important is that you stay at a weight that is comfortable and realistic for you to maintain. I would not be too concerned with your BMI either. Your body shape and excess skin distribution is much more important. If your weight plateaus over the next 3-4 months you may not lose much more, and you may be ready for surgery. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine that you are in fact a good candidate for a tummy tuck or body lift.

You should receive medical clearance from your primary care physician prior to surgery.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Loose weight or not?

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You should get your BMI or weight as low as you can; the goal is to be at your best.  Also, I would not give up on loosing weight as I tell my patients to give it at least 12 to 18 months to loose weight (it is not about loosing the weight but rather changing your habits to eating correctly and exercising and then the weight will come off on its own).  Also, you should have a stable weight for at least 6 months before thinking of plastic surgery.  Don't be in a rush to loose weight.  You can also visit my website and look at the before and after section under tummy tuck and also body lifts to get an idea of what types of patients/bodies are candidates for plastic surgery.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Likely good candidate for tummy tuck or lower body lift after 100 pound plus weight loss

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Congratulations on your over 100 pound weight loss. If you feel that you can lose some more pounds, that would be to your benefit with regard to the outcome. You may have  5 - 10 pounds of tissue that could be removed by an extended tummy tuck or lower body lift.

If you feel that you won't be able to lose more weight, then you still would be a reasonable candidate for either an extended tummy tuck or a lower body lift that addressed the circumferential skin laxity that you may very well have. Consult a board certified plastic surgeon who can provide you with all the information that you would like and who could make appropriate recommendations.


Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

At what BMI to do Tummy Tuck

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You gave only a few of your statistics. Therefore, it is impossible to answer your question. Since you have been exercising, your BMI may not reflect your state of health, as muscle weighs more than fat. Look at your body as a whole and your abdomen in particular. If you suck in your abdomen, you should be less than 33 inches around the waist. (Waist is more important than weight.) You should also not have excess fat over the rest of your body. If this is so, then you are ready for surgery as long as your body has stabilized otherwise and your metabolic profile is OK. (Your surgeon should evaluate the latter before surgery.) If you haven't attained the above, then continue to lose weight until you attain the above.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Should I lose more weight before an abdominoplasty?

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First of all, congratulations on your outstanding effort to lose 100 pounds!  That is an incredible achievement.  If you feel comfortable with the weight you are at currently, then I think it would be entirely appropriate to proceed with an abdominoplasty.  If you would like to lose more weight first, then give it a reasonable trial of a few  more months.  There is no magic number as to what your BMI should be.  It is a guideline and not always a very accurate measurement .  Body style is also an important guideline.  Bottom line is that your surgery is now safe to perform.

Jeffrey E. Kyllo, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

I have a BMI 29.8. Do I need to loose more weight before I get a tommy tuck.

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Of course it would be better if you got closer to a htBMI of 25, But you have to see how practical this is for you and if you drop the weight, could you sustain it. You may have reached the best weight that you can maintain in the long run. You should congratulate your self for what you have done so far. For patients like yourself a lipoabdominoplasty would allow your surgeon to remove some additional fat without haveng to raise skin flaps. You obviously have to discuss this with your plastic surgeon and find out if you are a candidate for it.

Lose weight befor tummy tuck if you can

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A BMI near 30 is still quite high, and all would suggest that you lose more prior to tummy tuck if you want the best results. If you are stuck above 200 you might need help. I hope you watched the Biggest Loser finale. It can be done, if you have decided it is what you want.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.