Lose Weight Before Mommy Makeover?

I am in my mid-40s, and do not plan on any more children. Unfortunately, I am about 50 lbs overweight, and having a tough time losing. Do I need to focus on losing the weight before I consider a "Mommy makeover?" Thanks!

Hi there,

It would be very helpful if you were to include your current measurements (height/weight), so that the doctors can give you the most helpful answer.

Thank you.


Sarah, RealSelf Team.

Doctor Answers 19

Losing weight before a mommy makeover

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If you can get to your ideal weight for your body type and maintain it. That of course is the ideal situation. But we have to be realistic in what a patient is willing and capable of achieving. If you have tried everything and can't lose any more weight, then now might be your time for surgery. I of course would like you to get to your goal weight. I recommend in my practice the "Gracie Diet"(no commercial ties). This manner of eating healthy is truly life altering and works. It is not a true diet but a way of eating.


Good luck and thank you for your question.




Anire Okpaku MD FACS


Miami Plastic Surgeon

There is no "Ideal" weight for surgery... Just people

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Hi there-

Without getting to know you a lot better, understanding your past, your current lifestyle, your goals, and your current anatomy and concerns with your appearance, it would be very difficult to know whether or not (and how much of one) your extra weight is a problem for your safety or your happiness with a Mommy Makeover.

In other words, responsible, quality medical and surgical care still requires a healthy doctor patient relationship (even in the age of the internet)...

It is possible that a qualified surgeon would tell you that you definitely need to lose weight in order for the surgery to be safe, or that you need to lose weight in order for your goals to be met. But it is also possible based on the important details that could only be gleaned through a careful consultation and examination that such a surgeon would tell you that you are not as overweight as you think and that the majority of your problem is related to your pregnancies.

There is simply no way to know without a consultation and exam.

I personally do not believe that it is usually in the best interests of the patient to diet and exercise aggressively in order to improve their candidacy for an operation. When patients do this, because it often represents a significant deviation from their usual lifestyle, and because as such it is often a lifestyle that they know they will not be able to maintain after their surgery, they gain some (if not all) of the weight back after surgery, and they never look as good as they could have.

I think it is much better for you to live the healthiest lifestyle you can maintain over the long term- see what weight you settle at, and then proceed with your surgery.

I hope that helped.

Lose Weight Before Mommy Makeover?

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You will be doing yourself a favor if you can lose some of your excess weight before your surgery.

  • Your result will be better
  • You will have lower risks of a number of complications
  • You will be less likely to need a secondary or touch up procedure.

If you really cannot lose that weight, you will most likely still have a nice improvement (seeing photos would help). Even if you can lose a little it will make your procedure safer. Strive for a BMR (basal metabolism rate) of under 30, which seems to be a cutoff, albeit somewhat arbitrary for safer tummy tuck surgery. You can find BMR calculators on the web, and all you need to provide is your height and weight.


Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Better results and reduction in complications

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It's always best to be at a stable weight before undergoing any surgery, and to maintain the results, you should remain at that stable weight afterwards as well. There are many good reasons why you should be within a healthy BMI range prior to surgery:
1. It can reduce the risk of complications related to surgery, such as bleeding.
2. It can make your recovery relatively easier than if you were overweight, since your body would be better able to repair itself. As a result, you'd be able to heal faster.
3. It can reduce your chances of experiencing post-operative complications, such as infection and life-threatening blood clots.
4. The aesthetic results will be much better.
5. There have been cases where patients undergo surgery while overweight then are so encouraged by the results that they lose weight after their surgery. This subsequent weight loss negatively affects their results, and they decide to undergo another surgery. 

These things may not relate to you, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, you may want to consider making positive lifestyle changes that facilitate weight loss (if you are in fact overweight). I know this is easier said than done, so you may want to seek the advice of a nutritionist or personal fitness trainer. Of course, the best way to determine whether you're a viable candidate for a mommy makeover is to talk to a surgeon directly.
Wishing you the best of luck!

Weight loss before mommy makeover is best, IF you can keep it off!

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Operating on someone that is overweight carries some increase in risk, though these are still generally quite low. Having someone that is healthy enough to heal all my work for them is a critical component of "good surgical planning."

I have told my overweight patients for years that IF they can lose weight in a healthy way and maintain that weight loss after srugery, they will obtain their best results and have the lowest risks.

BUT, if they start some crazy "concentration camp diet" to lose XX pounds of weight in order to satisfy some surgeon's numerical requirement, and end up making themselves unhealthy at a weight they can never maintain, this is a fool's weight loss. And a result that is messed up rapidly as weight returns to "baseline."

I would rather operate on an overweight patient that has the nutritional building blocks to heal properly, than someone at "ideal" weight who has starved themself to an unsafe state.

Still, your abdomen has a large amount of mesenteric and omental fat, and trying to stuff all those intestinal contents into a slimmer cylinder (your new abdomen) doesn't always work. (Sort of like trying to put a 10 gallon head in an 8 gallon hat! Won't work!)

When we are confronted with patients who remain overweight and still wish to proceed, we have to make sure they understand that their result will be suboptimal, and their expenditure may not give them their desired result. That is always a difficutl discussion, but one that you need to take to heart before you say "I can't lose any more weight." If that is true, then godspeed and your surgeon will do his or her best! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Mommy Makeover and Weight Loss?

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Thank you for the question.
Generally, most plastic surgeons would agree that complications are decreased when patients are at their long-term stable weight. Complications such as the venous thrombosis (clots in the legs)  may be increased  if patients undergo surgery when they are overweight.
Also,  the chance that patients may require revisionary surgery is greater if they undergo the body contouring procedures while they are overweight.  Once these patients lose weight after surgery,  additional surgery may be necessary to improve the results.
You are correct in that the  last few pounds may be the hardest to lose;  some patients benefit from professional help their internist, trainers and/or dietitians.
I hope this helps.


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In regards to loosing weight before surgery its really up to you, getting the surgery can actually help with the loosing weight and motivate you too loose more weight. You would get results either way.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Weight loss before mommy makeover

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Ideally patients should be at a stable weight that can be maintained indefinitely after surgery. Do not lose 50 lbs., have your surgery, and then gain it back - you will ruin your result. If you cannot commit to keeping it off, it is better to have the surgery at your current weight ( if your surgeon thinks it is safe to operate on you at your current weight).Losing weight after surgery generally will improve your result, not make it worse. 90% of people who diet to lose weight (rather than losing it by making a permanent lifestyle changes) will gain it back. Hope that helps.

George W. Weston, MD
Reston Plastic Surgeon

Mommy make over

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If you loose the weight, 50 lb your results from Mommy Makeover would be much better. If you maintain the weight after surgery you then will have a better result for much longer time.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Weight Control and the Mommy Makeover

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The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction. In addition to a one-on-one consultations with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures.  We screen every patient and their medical records for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measures.  MWL (massive weight loss patients of  75 lbs or more) tend to have poor skin elasticity and will frequently need additional tightening even afte 6 -12 months regardless of who or how their surgery is performed. This is simply the nature of such body tissues and the ability to heal with the lack or limited elasticity.

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