I am overweight; how much more weight should I lose before getting surgery? (Photos)

I am a 31 year old female. I have had 2 children and am not having any more. I am overweight and have been most of my life. I have been on a doctor monitored weight loss plan for 6 months and work out 4 days a week I have lost 35 pounds but I am still 235 pounds. I do not have any desire to be "thin" just want to get rid of my excess skin and have a flatter stomach. Do you think I am a candidate for a tummy tuck with Liposuction?

Doctor Answers 11

Reach a healthy weight you plan to maintain before having body contouring surgery.

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Before scheduling your tummy tuck and liposuction, it’s important to reach a healthy weight which generally means a BMI less than 30. Once you reach that weight, make sure you have established the self-discipline and the healthy lifestyle habits necessary to maintain that weight long term. If you have your body contouring too soon and then continue to lose more weight, you will likely feel frustrated that you spent the money and endured the procedure and still aren’t fully satisfied with your results. As difficult as it may be, I would recommend staying the course with your weight loss efforts and have body contouring surgery once you’ve lost more weight.

Eugene Plastic Surgeon

You can have body contouring procedures now

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if that is the size you will maintain with your current diet and activities.  Your risks for wound complications will be  higher and you must be accepting of this.  In addition, the procedure may produce other areas that appear disproportionate that will require more surgery to correct.  When having body contouring, the most important thing is to be at a stable weight.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Losing weight prior to tummy tuck

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Hi TYmom321.  I am happy to hear that you are trying to lose weight responsibly prior to considering tummy tuck surgery.  It's major surgery involving surgical risks and requires a lot of effort on your part for the recovery phase.  It's a fact that the less overweight you are prior to surgery, the less complications you will have during and after your surgery.  Also it's true that the less overweight you are the easier your recovery will be.  A BMI over 30 is usually considered overweight by most surgeons.  The more overweight you are, the greater the risks overall (including a higher risk for a DVT and pulmonary embolism- very serious and potentially deadly complications).  So if you don't have to take the risks yet (which you don't because this is totally elective), take your  time to try to lose more weight.  It's only been 6 months and you have been able to lose 35lbs (great job!).  Take another 6 months and see how much more weight you can lose.  Also, the less obese you are, the tighter and flatter we can make you.  You have 2 children so you want to be around for them (and you want the best results) so take your time.  Once you are more within your ideal body weight, I think you will have a great result with a tummy tuck and liposuction.  Best wishes.

I am overweight; how much more weight should I lose before getting surgery?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.   Congratulations on your successful weight loss thus far.

Generally speaking, it is always best to achieve long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with body contouring surgery. Doing so, will increase the safety of the operation, will likely improve the outcome of the operation, and will decrease chances that additional surgery will become necessary subsequently. In my practice, I do not ask specific patients to achieve a specific weight prior to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. I simply ask patients to achieve a long-term stable weight where he/she feels comfortable and does not expect significant fluctuation postoperatively.   When the time is right, seeking consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons will be your next/best step. Best wishes.


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Thank you for the question and I would get to a stable desired weight ideally under a BMI of 30 and then proceed with surgery with an expert in your area

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

I am overweight; how much more weight should I lose before getting surgery?

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Thank you for your question.  Ideally, try to get your body mass index (BMI) under 30 to optimize your aesthetic result and reduce the risk for complications.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Dr derby

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You are definteley a good candidate for TT with Lipo. The best is to have your BMI less then 34 for a safe surgery and positive recovery . Best of luck

Derby Sang Caputo, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 99 reviews

I am overweight; how much more weight should I lose before getting surgery?

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This is an important point and I'm glad you are considering it. For elective surgery we want a patient's BMI to be under 35 forSAFETY. That is different than for results. To get the results you want from a TT the BMI needs to be under 30. Patients that do surgery at a higher weight are almost always disappointed they spent so much money without the results they were hoping for. As much as we surgeons like to thing we are miracle workers, in truth we have to work with what the patient brings us and the closer you are to an ideal weight the better your surgical results will be. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Tummy tuck

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You appear to be a great candidate for a tummy tuck and liposuction based on your photos. Your BMI should be under 34 for surgery. Please consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

How much more weight should I lose before getting surgery?

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Congratulations on your weight loss.

Most plastic surgeons suggest  get your weight within 10 pounds of your ideal weight and ideally have a BMI less than 30 before undergoing an abdominoplasty with repair of the stretched out abdominal muscles and liposuction of selective areas, in order to achieve the best long term cosmetic result with the least potential complications.

Following the advice of anyone who would presume to tell you what to do without seeing photos and more importantly without taking a full medical history, examining you, feeling and assessing your tissue tone, discussing your desired outcome and fully informing you about the pros and cons of each option would not be in your best interest. Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California.

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 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.