Should One Lose Weight To Avoid a Muffin Top Forming After Tummy Tuck?

If someone is considering a tummy tuck. is it possible after a tummy tuck for the fat to push up above the stomach and on the side giving the person an odd looking rolls? What can one do to prevent this? Should they lose a lot of weight before getting this procedure done to avoid fat rolls forming Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Liposuction should be a part of abdominoplasty to avoid this problem

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 It is ideal to loose as much weight as you desire and keep it  stable for at least 3 months before the surgery. Also you have to remember about a good healthy lifestyle after you procedure to be able to maintain the happy outcome of your surgery. However, in my opinion the tummy tuck procedure shouldalways be done with liposuction of abdomen and flanks to avoid   muffin top reult. 

Muffin top after tummy tuck

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It is very important that you are at a healthy and stable weight prior to having abdominoplasty.  This does not mean you have to be at your "ideal" weight which is unrealistic for many patients.  Healthy weight means you do not have any problems related to your weight such as sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.  Your doctor can likely tell you if your weight is in the healthy range.

To prevent muffin top, sometimes an extended abdominoplasty is done or very careful liposuction around the hips is done at the same time as abdominoplasty. 

It is also super important to maintain a healthy weight after surgery.  If you gain substantial weight, there is no predicting where the extra fat will end up except I can almost guarantee it wound end up where you would like it to.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Treatment for Muffin top....

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Getting as close to your comfortable weight prior to surgery will enhance your post-tummy tuck results.  I generally include liposuction of the flank area as part of my tummy tuck to further enhance the waist and hip area.  If I feel that liposuction from the front-only will not adequately address the excess fat in the muffin top area, I generally recommend an additional area of liposuction from the back to really reduce that area.  While an extended tummy tuck incision (going a little further towards the back side) will reduce dog ears and puffiness at the ends of the tummy tuck incision on either side, I do not think it particularly reduces the appearance of a "muffin top" without the addition of liposuction as well.

Muffin top and tummy tuck

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There is no doubt that having an ideal weight would give you the best results for surgery. But, choosing the appropriate type of tummy tuck is also important. There is one tiummy tuck procedure that fits all. In many occaions, it is neccessary to perform what is called extended tummy tuck to get rid of the extra skin and fat in the wiast area. This woud make the scar longer, but the altimate reuslts better and no muffin top. Your plastic surgeon should be alble to advise you the type of procedure apropriate for you.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck results

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Thank you for the question. I think you have a good plan to drop weight prior to surgery. This will allow you to achieve the best result possible. It will also minimize  the chances that you will need further surgery (for example if you were to lose weight after the procedure further surgery may be necessary).

You should be aware however that often an “extended” tummy tuck is necessary to treat the muffin top area. This extended tummy tuck procedure involves flank and back skin and adipose tissue excision as well as liposuction surgery. If liposuction alone is done the patient may still end up with the muffin top and require further surgery to improve the waistline in the future.

Make sure you're working with a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

Always Best To Be At Ideal Weight For Tummy Tuck

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You will always get the best result if you are at, or at least near, your ideal body weight at the time of surgery.  You neither provided photos nor gave your dimensions so it is difficult to comment on your particular situation.  Fat rolls do not "form" after tummy tucks, but residual fat may be relocated. 

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Avoiding a muffin top...

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Any body contouring procedure will have the best outcome if you are at an ideal, stable body weight.    A tummy tuck does not cause fat to be moved or relocated to other areas, but if you have more body fat (in your love handles, upper abdomen, etc.), the proportions of your body might be altered and you may perceive that you have more fat rolls somewhere else because your abdomen is flat.   I usually include liposuction of the love handle/flank area with tummy tucks, which helps create a smoother contour.

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.