Should I Wait to Lose 10lbs Before Having Tummy Tuck?

I am scheduled to have a Tummy Tuck in about one month. I still have roughly 10 lbs to lose (5'7", 150 lbs). Should I reschedule surgery to a later date or is losing that amount of weight after surgery not going to make that big of a difference? I don't want to risk messing up the procedure.

Also, is muscle tightening part of every Tummy Tuck procedure? I'm confused because from what I've read, it seems that sometimes it is done, and sometimes it is not.

Doctor Answers 18

Waiting to lose 10 lbs before tummy tuck

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Hi there-

If it's only 10 pounds, there is not reason to think it will make a significant difference to your outcome, recovery, or experience.

With regard to muscle tightening, this is an important part of a tummy tuck for patients whose muscle layers have been stretched apart by pregnancy, weight gain and loss, or a congenital defect. There are many variations on the traditional tummy tuck procedure, and only your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon would be able to tell you exactly what is planned for your procedure.

Good luck and congratulations on your new body!

A sustainable healthy weight before tummy tuck surgery is important!

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Sounds like you are a good candidate for your procedure. My recommendations is to be very near your goal weight for a few months prior to surgery. This usually means within 10 pounds for most patients. Accomplishing this and sustaining your healthy weight before surgery should improve your ability to maintain a healthy weight after surgery. With only one month to go I would focus on healthy nutrition and regular exercise to optimize your recovery. Losing weight in an unhealthy manner before any surgery is a bad idea. Tightening the abdominal wall muscles is a common part of most tummy tuck procedures. Your surgeon should be able to tell you if this is a planned part of your proposed procedure. Good luck.

Dr. Mosher

Mathew C. Mosher, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

If your doctor plan to do liposuction at the same time,no need to wait for the weight loss

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The problem with trying to lose weight before surgery is the possibility of the gaing the weight back after suergery. If you plan to have lipo and tummy tuck at the same time,no need to wait.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Weight loss prior to tummy tuck

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I advise my patients that weight loss up to 20 lbs after tummy tuck will not have a significant effect on the results. It will still look as good. The tummy tuck will also remove a little weight as well so you will be real close to your goal weight even after the tummy tuck without loosing any more weight. Because you are so close I would not recommend postponing the surgery that is already scheduled.

As for muscle tightening, this is part of the tummy tuck procedure in almost all instances in order to get the flattest abdomen. It works like a internal corset to flatten the front of the tummy and also bring in the waist. The only times I do not need to do that is if a women has never been pregnant and has strong stomach muscle and sometimes in men as well. I'd say I include muscle tightening in 98% of my tummy tucks.

Robert B. Pollack, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

10 pound weight loss before Tummy Tuck

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Although it is always preferable to be at or near your ideal body weight when undergoing a tummy tuck, a 10 pound weight loss is probably not going to make a significant difference in the result you achieve. Muscle tightening is almost always a part of my tummy tucks, but I do occasionally see patients who do not require this part of the procedure.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Goal Weight

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You can certainly try to lose the remaining 10 lbs, but it shouldn't make too much of a difference in terms of your surgery. A tummy tuck does not necessarily involve muscle tightening. That is only done if required to achieve the desired contour.

Best to be as close as possible to your ideal weight before tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. First, the reason you want to be at your ideal weight before tummy tuck is that you do not want to lose weight after your tummy tuck as the skin may sag again.

Muscle repair is only done during a tummy tuck if you need it and have a diastasis recti.

Tummy Tuck vs Panniculectomy

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You are 10lbs from goal so I do not think it will make much difference. Tummy tuck is mainly to improve shape and contour by plicating your core tight then redraping the skin. A fat and skin resection is a panniculectomy.

Ideal weight before surgery

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While the ideal situation is to reach your target weight prior to the surgery, losing 10 pounds after surgery should not alter the results. If you lose significantly more, than you may require a revision. Muscle tightening is a frequent part of the surgery but is not always required.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Losing weight prior to surgery

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The ideal situation is for you to lose all of the weight and be stable in regards to weight prior to surgery - that will give you the best result.  If you have the surgery and then lose 20 more pounds, you may need to have another surgery because there may be additional loose skin to be removed....10 pounds may not make a big difference. Most patients want the muscle repair (they want the tight abdominal area after surgery) and are sometimes surprised that their surgeon didn't do the repair - CLEAR COMMUNICATION with your surgeon is KEY! Ask him/her about the muscle repair and make sure you are happy with the answer.

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.