Am I Ready for a Tummy Tuck? I've Lost The Recommended Weight.

I am 46, 5'7", I consulted with a board-certified plastic surgeon who suggested I lose between 20-30 lbs before considering abdominoplasty. I started at approx 238lbs, have lost approx 20lbs with the help of a board certified nutritionist. I exercise daily and have significantly improved my eating habits. I am now eating properly and feel 100% better. However, I now have more loose skin than when I started this regimen. Am I ready to have a tummy tuck at this time?

Doctor Answers 14

Timing of TT and weight loss

You have conquered the hardest part of all; changing your eating and exercise habits.  At your current weight you have a BMI of 34 which is still considerably overweight.  My feeling is that the stability of your weight is more important than the weight itself.  If you plan to continue your current lefestyle you wil lose more weight.  Your surgical risks will be less and you will look better after surgery.  I would encourage you to wait until your weight plateaus to get the best result.  If you plan to go back to your former eating habits then you are ready for surgery.   You will likely gain weight again, but your abdomen will be flatter and tighter which may be all that you wanted in the first place and make you happy.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck - Am I Ready for a Tummy Tuck? I've Lost The Recommended Weight.

"Ready" incorporates lots of factors - your weight is only one of them.

In order to be ready for this (or any other) surgery, you need to be in generally good health, have a medical clearance if appropriate, be off certain medications (such as ibuprofen) but be on others (that are prescribed), etc.  Another consideration is what your weight is - both the ideal weight, your current weight, and the trend

For someone who is 238 pounds at 5' 7", I would think you need to find out what your ideal weight would be and then - and this is what I usually recommend - try to get to and stay at the lowest weight that you believe you will reasonably maintain.  There's no point in dropping lots of weight, having surgery, and then putting it back on again.

I would suggest that you continue to follow the advice of your surgeon.  Since your skin is visibly loosening as you lose weight you may want to continue that process before you have the surgery, or you may comfortable with however far you've gone.  Those are things to talk about with your surgeon and, once you've gone through all of them, you'll figure out when you're ready for this surgery.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Am I ready for a TT yet?

Good start with those 20 lbs.  What is your goal?  Just to get rid of the excess skin?  Then you're ready.  If you want to look thin, then you might not be quite there.  Best wishes

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Ready for tummy tuck?

Go back to your surgeon. it sounds like he/she is steering you in the right direction. If you are still seeing results with your diet and exercise it couldn't hurt to continue until you plateau.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Abdominoplasty at near ideal weight is best

Congratulations.  You are doing great.  Do you want to lose a little more weight?  If so, and since you are being so successful, I would recommend having the surgery when you have reached or are near your goal weight.  This will give you the best result; if you have surgery now and lose another 20 pounds afterwards, you may have skin laxity of the abdomen again.   In addition, if you have surgery when you are still a little overweight, your risks of surgery are slightly higher.  That being said, if are not planning on losing anymore weight, you could consider having the surgery, accepting the higher risks involved.  I would definitely consult again with your plastic surgeon.  Meeting with her/him again to discuss your goals, give you some positive encouragement, and maybe even picking a date, might make it easier to meet your weight loss goals.  Good luck.  You are doing great and making yourself healthier by losing weight.

Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD, MS

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Ready for a tummy tck

Firstly, congratulations on your weight loss! having sad that, although certainly a better result from a tummy tuck is now possible than prior to the weight loss, for you height, ideally you could lose a little more. Yes that will make you skin sag more, but the closer you can get to the weight you want to maintain long term, the better it would be before performing the tummy tuck. If you do the tummy tuck now and then continue to lose weight afterwords, the muscles will not be as tight as they could have been and you would get some loose skin too.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

At what weight should i have a tummy tuck

I think you should decide on a goal with your nutritionist and personal trainer. What is your goal? You want to lose al the weight you can before the procedure, not afterwards. that way you do not end up with additional laxity after the procedure.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tummy tuck after weight loss

Congratulations on losing weight! The right time for a tummy tuck is when your weight is stable. If you're still losing weight, now is the time to do your homework and find a plastic surgeon with whom you're comfortable. Plan on having surgery about six months after your weight loss is complete. If you continue to lose weight, the skin will stretch more so it's important not to operate prematurely. Best of luck toward achieving your goals!

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

It is fine to have a tummy tuck even if you are somewhat overweight.


1)  My thinking on this is a little different.  If you ask most women to get down to a certain weight in order to have surgery, they may do it, but typically the weight then drifts back up after the tummy tuck.  It is better if your weight is stable, even if high.

2)  Being overweight and having a bulging stomach are two different issues.  After the tummy tuck, you will still be somewhat overweight, but you will have a flat abdomen and you will like your body much better.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ready for a Tummy Tuck

If you have reached a steady state for your weight then you may be ready for a tummy tuck.  However, there are many factors such as your general health, your anatomy, etc.  So, without any pictures or seeing you in person, it is impossible to give you specific advice on surgery.  Congratulations on the weight loss.


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.