Should you lose as much weight as possible before a full TT?

Friends of mine that have had a tummy tuck have said that for optimal results, you want to lose as much weight as you can before your surgery, to allow for more skin and fat cell removal. I am at my goal weight, but could easily lose a few extra pounds before my surgery in a few months. I eat a healthy diet, which should help with post-op healing, but If I will get better results if i lose a few extra pounds before surgery I can do that without sacrificing nutrition.

Doctor Answers 17

Should I lose as much weight as possible before my Tummy Tuck?

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A patient having a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) should be in their best shape possible before their surgery, but this does not mean as thin as possible. While being thin may allow a greater amount of skin to be removed, losing an extreme amount of weight before surgery will not necessarily put a patient in their best shape. A patient having a Tummy Tuck should be at a healthy weight that they can easily maintain, with an emphasis on protein and healthy carbs in their diet. This will promote fast healing and a strong recovery! 

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/Vaser High Definition Procedures/Tummy Tuck Revision

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I appreciate your question.

For health and safety reasons, best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Should you lose as much weight as possible before a full TT?

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You want to be at a healthy BMI of under 30 before moving forward with cosmetic surgery. It is true that you want to do the majority of your weight loss before surgery in order to get the tightest results, but you also need to be at a weight that you will be able to keep stable after surgery. 

Lawrence Bundrick, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy tuck

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It is always a good idea for several reasons to try to get as close to your goal weight as possible before proceeding with a tummy tuck. Your results will be proportional to how much you weigh at the time of your surgery.

More ideal body weight = better tummy tuck results (and safer)

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Your friends are absolutely correct.  The less overweight  you are, the less visceral (intra- abdominal fat) you will have, and the tighter we can plicate (tighten) your abdominal wall fascia, the more excess skin we can remove, the more definition we can give you and the lower we can place your scar to hide it better.  Also, you will have lower risks for complications such as seromas, wound healing issues, infection and DVT (deep venous thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism (which can be fatal).  You will also just recover quicker and easier if you are less heavy.  Tummy tucks are one of the biggest surgeries we do, and one that involves the most risks and demands the most from you for the recovery.  Thus, you should take your time and do everything you can (including achieving your ideal body weight and choosing the right surgeon) to give yourself the best chance possible to heal successfully.  I would recommend you see several board certified plastic surgeons for consultation.  If they don't seem too concerned about the risks of being overweight for tummy tucks, then I would recommend you go on to the next candidate (because being overweight is one of the greatest risks for complications for tummy tucks).  Best wishes.

Weight loss prior to tummy tuck

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It is ideal that your weight should reflect a Body Mass Index of about 24-28. If you are at your goal weight or close to it, then  you can have a tummy tuck at any time. There will be a modest additional weight loss as a result of the surgery itself. In my experience, this is anywhere from 2-10 pounds,  depending on the shape of one's tummy at the start of the operation. It's also good that you plan to maintain your post-surgical weight within a 5-15 pound range after surgery by following a habit of healthy eating habits combined with conditioning exercise.

Tad Grenga, MD, FACS
Suffolk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Weight loss and abdominoplasty

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I think that if you can get down to your goal weight, then you will probably have a better outcome from surgery.  

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

TT timing

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Thank you for your question. Certainly you can wait and have TT later. But make sure your weight stable at the time of surgery


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If you are at your target weight, then you are ready for your procedure.  In other words, further weight loss pre-op will not improve your outcome.  In fact, if you continue to lose weight after your procedure, this will enhance your result since you are talking about only a few pounds.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Ali Mosharrafa

Ali Mosharrafa, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews


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Thank you for the question and the best advice is to be at a stable weight for your height prior to surgery.  Weight fluctuations can adversely affect your result.  So get at the weight you want to stay at prior to surgery

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles 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.