How much more should i lose?

I have lost 21 pounds since January of last year. I was at 197, and now I am 176. I did this through diet and exercise and i strive to improve this everyday. But I have reached that plateau you hear about and i got down to 172 and fluctuate between there and 176. I want to have a tummy tuck this summer and wondered how much closer i need to be. Its getting really frustrating.

Doctor Answers 12

Weight need to be at safe limit before tummy tuck

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your weight loss journey. I understand your frustration in loosing weight and plateau phases do happen. However I would suggest that you work hard on loosing that little bit more as the contour you are likely to achieve will be a lot better. Keeping that end goal in site and infact having a conversation with a qualified plastic surgeon may be the kick start for this phase.
I normally will not operate on patients with a BMI of 30 or over as the complication rate is un acceptably high. This could compromise your outcome.
Invariably with higher weight category there is an increased need for liposuction and this will add to longer recovery and cost.
I would strongly recommend getting to the right weight and then having surgery to avoid disappointment. 
There are a lot of book out there with different dietary regimes and exercise plans and it is worth consulting these as you have done so well already.
Keep focus on the end goal and you will surely get there sooner than later.

Thunder Bay Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

How much more should I lose? -Tummy tuck

Congratulations on your weight loss. In general, a BMI of 30 or less is considered ideal but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Most plastic surgeons suggest that you finish having children and get your weight within 10 pounds of your ideal weight 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 19 reviews

So weight is just part of it

Honestly, you could be 172 lbs of muscle or you could still have a lot of stubborn fat to lose.  You could also be 6'0" or 5"0", so absolute weight doesn't tell the whole story.  It would be best to visit with a plastic surgeon who gets great results with abdominoplasties and understands your goals and devises a plan for you to reach it!  Consult with board certified plastic surgeons and don't stop interviewing them until you are certain you have found the right one!  Hope this helps.


J. Garrett Harper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How much more should i lose

First, congrats on your weight loss and for doing it through diet and exercise! When my patients are considering tummy tuck but are wanting to lose weight I usually tell them that it is better to lose their weight before surgery and then be able to maintain that weight loss. I believe the closer one gets to their ideal body weight for height and age the better. This will not only help improve the health of the person but also make the cosmetic result even better.

The most important thing when it comes to weight loss, especially before surgery, is to make sure its being done in a healthy manner. Some people will do fad diets or take pills and sometimes this can affect your nutritional balance and therefore affect wound healing which is not something you want when you are about to have surgery!

Sometimes, people think they are doing everything right in their diet and exercise program when in fact they are not. It may be helpful to see a board certified weight loss specialist who may be able to get you past your plateau. If you are happy with the amount of weight you have lost, then I would say start looking for a board certified plastic surgeon and try and stay stable at your weight for a couple of months.

Good luck, I hope this helps!

Ankur Mehta MD

Ankur Mehta, MD
Sugar Land Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How much more should i lose?

Thank you for your question and congratulations on your weight loss!  A lot goes into a patient's candidacy for surgery and though weight plays a large role, it is important to understand where and how you carry the weight.  If you are looking for surgery over the summer start looking for your surgeon now so that you can be evaluated and decision on dates can be entertained for further motivation towards weight loss.  It will also allow you sufficient time to understand the procedure and its recovery.  Some patients find investments into nutritionalists and trainers useful to break through plateaus. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Weight loss prior to tummy tuck

Congratulations on your hard-fought weight loss!  It is preferable to be near your ideal weight at the time of your procedure.  It allows for a better cosmetic result--likely more skin and tissue can be removed and the muscle repair can be more taut.  It may be time to change up your exercise routine with the addition of interval training or weights to jumpstart your metabolism if you find yourself at a plateau and would like to continue to lose more weight.

Alyson Wells, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How much more should i lose before tummy tuck surgery?

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. Keep in mind, that it is a major operation, associated with a significant physical (and often emotional) recovery period. Having enough help/support at home for yourself and children will be important part of the planning process.
Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Lose More Weight Before Tummy Tuck?

Congratulations on your weight loss and doing it in a healthy way. Getting close to your ideal weight is preferable, however you didn't mention how tall you are or at what weight you would be comfortable.  At this point I recommend you see a few Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in consultation and see what they recommend. Good luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How much more should I lose?

Thank you for your question. Congratulations on your weight loss. We normally suggest for patients to be at their ideal weight prior to surgery. I would recommend visiting a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation. In-person assessments are always best. 


Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 469 reviews

Weight loss prior to a tummy tuck

Congratulations on your success thus far!!
When I advise patients on weight loss prior to undergoing a tummy tuck, I think that the best results are achieved when one is within 10-20% of their ideal body weight. That being said sometimes that is also unrealistic.
A visit to a board certified plastic surgeon with an examination to include your height and body habitus(shape) is the first step to determining the amount of weight you need to lose.
Best of luck!

Joel M. Stewart, Jr., MD
Newnan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 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.