Do You Have to Be Within Normal Weight Limits for a Tummy Tuck?

Can you get a TT if you are overweight? What happens if you lose weight after the TT? I am 5'5' and weigh 190 pounds. I've been trying to lose weight a long time. I'd really like to weigh 150 lbs before a TT, but I am 61 and not getting any younger.

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck works in overweight patients.

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I would say it is now or never for your tummy tuck.  You will still be overweight afterwards, but with a flat stomach.  Surgical technique and good post-operative care will minimize risk.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Sometimes "Ideal" weight is not attainable

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Hi there-

While most would agree that in the perfect world, all tummy tuck patients are at their ideal weight on the day of surgery, the fact is that for most patients, an "ideal" weight is not attainable or realistic.

Certainly at your age, your slowing metabolism would make the degree of weight loss necessary to achieve the ideal weight (in my opinion) unsafe for you.

In other words, go ahead and have your tummy tuck. If you choose a good surgeon, you should be able to achieve a very pleasing improvement with a high degree of safety.

Tummy Tuck on the the Moderately Overweight / Obese

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In an ideal world, there is NO doubt that the best Tummy tuck results would be those obtained by operating on healthy women who completed their families, who are thin and whose weight does not fluctuate.  But all you have to do is look at the news to realize that we are NOT living in an ideal world.

If you cannot lose your excess weight which currently puts your BMI in the 31.62 category ("Obese"), I see no reason why you should wait in vain for a day that may never come.

If you are otherwise healthy and do not want to wait anymore you can still have the operation and you most likely would look a lot better and flatter than you do today. If you go one to lose a lot more weight, you will have a varying amount of loose lower tummy skin. But in any case, the muscle tightening and skin removal of the tummy Tuck would still get you an overall satisfactory outcome.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Lose the weight BEFORE a tummy tuck

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The tummy tuck is only appropriate when you have lost the weight first.  The surgical results are better, the surgery is safer, and at 61 your longevity will be challenged by staying overweight.

Ideal candidates are within the normal BMI range

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It's always best to be at a stable weight before undergoing any surgery, and to maintain the results, you should remain at that stable weight afterwards as well. There are many good reasons why you should be within a healthy BMI range prior to surgery:

1. It can reduce the risk of complications related to surgery, such as bleeding.
2. It can make your recovery relatively easier than if you were overweight, since your body would be better able to repair itself. As a result, you'd be able to heal faster.
3. It can reduce your chances of experiencing post-operative complications, such as infection and life-threatening blood clots.
4. The aesthetic results will be much better.
5. There have been cases where patients undergo surgery while overweight then are so encouraged by the results that they lose weight after their surgery. This subsequent weight loss negatively affects their results, and they decide to undergo another surgery.

These things may not relate to you, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. For this reason, you may want to consider making positive lifestyle changes that facilitate weight loss (if you are in fact overweight). I know this is easier said than done, so you may want to seek the advice of a nutritionist or personal fitness trainer. Of course, the best way to determine whether you're a viable candidate  is to talk to a surgeon directly.

Ideal weight for Tummy Tuck

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In an ideal world all patients requesting tummy tuck surgery would have a normal BMI.  However this is not a;ways the case.  From your height and weight your BMI places you in the obesity category. I would first recommend a weight reduction program. 

Surgery performed at your present weight has a much higher risks of complications such as pulmonary embolus, wound healing problems, infections, seromas, anesthesia problems just to name a few.  Do yourself a favor and get rid of that extra baggage and then have your body contouring.  In the long run you will have a much better cosmetic result.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

normal weight limits for a tummy tuck

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Very hard to determine the standard in the USA for this question. I like the patient to be within 20% of ideal HT/WT ratios.


Weight for Tummy Tuck

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Tummy Tuck is really just to remove excess skin and tighten your abdominal muscles.  If you have significant weight to loose, then you really need to do that first.  You may want to check with you doctor about a referral for a gastric bypass or other weight loss procedure.  Good luck.

Safer and better results with tummy tuck when weight is close to normal

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There are two issues to consider, one is the long-term results. If you have the tummy tuck now and then lose some weight, the skin will not be as tight and it won't look as good. The more important consideration is safety. The risk of healing problems as well as life-threatening complications is higher with this type of surgery in patients who are overweight. Fortunately these types of problems are rare because most plastic surgeons enforce some sort of weight restriction on patients having abdominoplasty.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 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.