How to Lose Weight After Tummy Tuck?

I love my new look but had recently put on 10lbs since my surgery 9 mts ago. What exercise and diet should I do and be on to lose the 10lbs. I look good but I do see achange. What to do dr? I also noticed some fatty deposits at the top of my waist. Help!

Doctor Answers 11

Diets do not work.

Hi! Your problem is almost universal. You are in very good company.

1) Diets don't work except in the very short term. So don't try to diet. Read the writings of Michael Pollan on healthy eating. See the link below from my web site about Pollan.

2) You will only exercise regularly if it brings you pleasure. So try to find an activity strenuous enough to make you sweat, that you really enjoy, and that you can do for 30 or 45 minutes, 3 or 4 times a week.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Diet and exercise most important after Tummy Tuck

Plastic surgery is usally very motivating and patients see the changes afterwards and usually want to keep going with their diet and exercise, but we all lapse and fall into bad habits and sometimes need a bit of help. Diet is really 2/3 of the issue with weight gain. Getting a nutrionist and finding out what you eat, how much, when, etc. is very important. Exercise is also important and getting a trainer is helpful in showing what kind of exercise will burn the calories, etc.

Fixing those issues will drop the 10 lbs right off, especially the diet. I have many patients that "go to the gym" but really don't know what to do at the gym (in terms of which machines, how to target specific muscle groups, etc.) and they lapse into eating burgers and fries all the time and wonder why they are gaining weight.

It is also very important to point one that in a standard routine tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), there is usually not ANYTHING done to the fat in the upper abdomen because of concerns with blood supply that can jeopardize circulation to the skin in the lower abdomen. There are some techniques that are more aggressive involving lipo in the upper abdomen at the same time as the tummy tuck but it is more risky and most of us don't do this. A tummy tuck removes the loose skin from the pubis to the belly button and often there is some liposuction on the flanks and hips, but not much to the upper abdomen for this reason. What results is often a disproportion between the upper and lower abdomen. The lower abdomen is usually flat and straight and the upper abdomen will often be a bit thicker and still have much of the fat it had prior to surgery.

I tell all my tummy tuck patients that at 3 months after the surgery, we often schedule ahead of time a 1 hour completion liposuction procedure that will contour out the rest of the upper abdomen to bring it "back into balance" and complete the procedure. So even with all the exercise and diet in the world, it is very likely you will still have some upper abdominal fullness unless it is addressed with focal lipoplasty by a plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Calories In Calories Out

The diet industry is a billion dollar business because people are constantly looking for the next best diet or easiest way to lose weight. First, it's never easy because in most of us will power is significantly lacking. Second, it doesn't take a fancy diet to lose weight. The fact is it's Calories In vs. Calories Out. It's really simple, if you take in less calories then burn in a day you'll lose weight.

Okay I've recently lost 35lbs so I know I sound like a reformed smoker. First you have to determine your daily calorie needs. There are many sites for this. The one below I think is too high. I would do the calculation then take off 300 calories and this is your starting point.

A pound is equal to 3500 calories. So if you take in 500 cal less then you burn each day you'll lose a pound in 7 days. This is the best route. You have to be very diligent in counting calories. The milk in the coffee etc, 10 calories here and there adds up.

Find the exercise you like to do and stick to it. One of the hardest things for me is to work out after a long day. But after I do I always feel better. Finally, don't fret when you're working hard but the weight isn't coming off. In reality it is because you're losing fat weight but gaining muscle weight. And the more exercise you do makes your body more efficient and therefore you need less calories.

Good Luck!!!

Christopher L. Hess, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Eat right and exercise

Miss Kitty,

If the answer was simple, there wouldn't be a thousand diets and exercise programs out there.  You need to figure out what fits best into your lifestyle and stick to it.  Try a trainer for an exercise regimen.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

You need to start a lifestyle of healthy eating and EXERCISE!

At nine months post op, your body (and muscles) should be fully healed. At this point, you should focus on a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise. I'm sure you paid a lot to have that tummy tuck and the last thing you want to do now is ruin things with a large weight gain!

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 163 reviews

The only way to lose weight is to stop eating

If you want to lose weight, you have to decrease your caloric intake. With exercise you might burn 300 to 600 calories an hour. You can counteract that by eating one too many doughnuts! Cut your caloric intake to less than 1500/day (high protein) and add some exercise to feel good. Hard to do, but you should be able to drop about a pound a week at that rate. That means you have to keep going for two and a half months to drop your ten pounds! Then you can return to about 2500 cal per day. A hard regimen, but the only way.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
3.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Think about a nuttritionist or dietician

Obviously, the best option is to achieve long term control and this may best be done by consulting with a nutrionist. Many of my paitents find that weight watchers or jenny craig are excellent alternatives.

Avoid fad diets, tablets, or pills as these are only short term solutions that are doomed to fail once your stop.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Loss weight the normal way

Nine months after a tummy tuck you can do any exercise or activity that you desire. Weight loss will need to be a stable and constant effort. Don't try to crash diet or starve. Try to figure out where you can live normally and maintain your weight. in a manner that fits your life style.

Once your weight is stable you can then do some body contouring to get the fatty deposits taken care of.

I hope this helps.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Rationale is a little bit reversed

In general, you should have established a healthy and stable lifestyle prior to body-contouring procedures like tummy tucks. Having the surgery and then trying to figure out how to maintain it is prone to disappointment. The surgery should be the reward for having achieved a fit and stable body. Of course it is not too late to do so but it will require your commitment to find a program of healthy diet and regular exercise and physical activities. You might have to assess your habits as well such as drinking or smoking or snacking. The formula is easy: diet and exercise. But the right combination might be more challenging. Also, remember that weight is not the goal, it is lifestyle and fitness. DIfferent people with different genetics will have different weights with the same level of fitness. Don't go overboard trying to achieve a certain weight with a program that is unsustainable or unhealthy.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Same as if you hadn't had a tummy tuck

Having had a tummy tuck makes no difference in weight loss options. Just increase your daily expendature of calories (cardio exercise), build lean muscle becasue it burns more fat (weight training), and decrease your caloric intake and modify it's composition to increase protein and decrease fat and carbohydrates. Good luck!!

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.