Tummy timing with body composition. At what approximate body fat percentage would you recommend a tummy tuck?

Thanks for taking the time to read my question! I was wondering that if you, as a surgion and specialist had to design the perfect weight loss journey and subsequent tummy tuck procedure, at what approximate body fat percentage would you recommend that a woman get a tummy tuck assuming that she were to stay at that body composition. Most of the most successful tummy tuck results in my opinion seem to be done on women after they have gotten quite lean and the extra skin looks very "deflated".

Doctor Answers 10

At what weight should a tummy tuck be done for best results?

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A tummy tuck can be done at almost any weight for I usually do extensive liposuction during the procedure and the tissue, including fat that is between the belly button and public area is removed. It is easier to remove just skin but is unrealistic and unnecessary to have someone lose enough weight to get to that stage. 

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Timing for a tummy tuck

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There is no one body fat percentage or BMI when one should have a tummy tuck. It is generally a good idea to reach/try to reach your target weight. Once you do and the weight stays stable - see how much skin laxity is there and if there is any weakness of the tummy muscle. Tummy tuck may help if you have significant amount of skin excess and/or muscle weakness.

Anindya Lahiri, FRCS (Plast)
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon

Tummy timing with body fat composition. At what approximate body fat percentage would you recommend a tummy tuck?

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There is no ideal BMI for patients who may be candidates for a tummy tuck.  However, patients with a BMI greater than 30 do carry a greater risk of complications.  In general, getting your weight down can be helpful and can improve results.  If possible, a BMI of 25 or less should help make you a reasonable good candidate.  Best wishes, Dr Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews


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Thank you for your question and I agree with the other consultants that the best results for an abdominoplasty are achieved in those patients who stable are at their ideal body wieght prior to surgery essentially a BMI of 25

Dr. Corbin

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

Tummy Tuck Timing

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You are correct that the most beautiful results occur in women who are not overweight, but do have loose or excess skin and possibly loose abdominal muscles. It is therefore best to lose excess weight BEFORE the tummy tuck, attempting to reach an ideal weight IF POSSIBLE. This will not only lead to a nice cosmetic result, but decreases the risk of complications during and shortly after the surgery. That being said, there are many women who are still well above their ideal weight, but have never been able to approach that weight despite numerous trials of dieting and exercise. For some, it's truly difficult to run or perform other aerobic exercise due to the loose abdominal rolls. For others, it's difficult to maintain motivation since any weight loss achieved is difficult to see or appreciate due to the loose, hanging tissues or rolls of skin. Many of these women can benefit tremendously from a tummy tuck, and indeed these are the patients who hug me and shed tears of joy in my office, telling me how the surgery dramatically changed their lives for the better. I have had patients who have lost 60 pounds or more after their tummy tuck, maintaining a smooth, tight tummy, when they could never lose such weight before the surgery. The bottom line is that you should try to reach your ideal weight before surgery. If you can't reach the ideal weight despite a good effort, you can still often be a reasonable candidate for surgery with expectations for a dramatic improvement. As I mentioned above, and others on this page have mentioned, overweight patients do have a higher complication rate, so it's important to attend an in-person consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can advise you best.

Andres Taleisnik, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tummy Tuck Timing

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Your observations are accurate. The closer you are to your ideal weight the better your cosmetic results with  the added benefit of having a lower risk of complications as well. Fluctuations of ten pounds around your ideal weight is not significant but in excess of 20 becomes problematic.

Rather than percentage of body fat, surgeons use a calculation called the Body Mass Index. Ideally this number should be 25-28. Once the number reaches 30 the risks of complications with body contouring surgery go up significantly. There are BMI calculators on the internet and only require you input your height and weight.

The other approach would be to seek out a board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate you and guide you in the process. Good luck and I hope this was helpful.

Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Tummy tuck ideal weight

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It is always best to get down to your ideal weight that you will be able to maintain long term.  This will not only maximize your results but put you on a healthier lifestyle to maintain your results.  We have all seen patients who have had their tummy tucks and then go on to gain back 20 to 30 lbs.  Make sure to see a board certified PS who can examine you and go over your options.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

BMI of 24-25

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BMI is a better indicator than body fat percentage for the purpose of answering your question, and a BMI (body mass index) of 24-25 would be the most ideal for a patient who wanted a tummy tuck. Best regards.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

At what approximate body fat percentage would you recommend a tummy tuck?

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Most plastic surgeons suggest that you finish having children, get your weight within 10 pounds of your ideal weight, and 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.

Keep in mind that following advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you what to do based without examining you, physically feeling your tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that you find a surgeon certified by the American Board of American Plastic Surgery and one who is ideally a member of The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, M.D., FACS

La Jolla, California

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

BMI and candidate for tummytuck

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Hello and thanks for your question,
I would suggest that you go to a consultations with a board certified plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or facial plastic surgeon. During the consultaion, you can discuss your concerns, answer questions and together work to build the surgical plan that will help you achieve your overall desired look. You should meet a surgeon who has a great reputation and passion for this artistic and rewarding procedure.Best wishes,
Dr Sajjadian

Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 205 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.