Why and how necessary is weight loss before Tummy tuck? (photos)

Working to lose weight before November tummy tuck but definitely stressing about how much I should lose (about 20) and the fact that I really do not like exercise. Why is it so necessary and what happens if it doesn't happen? Does weight loss have a correlation to recovery or success of surgery?

Doctor Answers 12

Why and how necessary is weight loss before Tummy tuck?

Thank you for the question. I would suggest that you don't "stress" too much; based on your photographs, I think that you will have a very nice outcome with a well executed tummy tuck  procedure.

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.

You may find the attached link, dedicated to patients who have experienced significant weight loss, helpful to you as you consider your options. Best wishes.

Why and how necessary is weight loss before Tummy tuck

There are 2 reasons why weight loss has been suggested prior to your tummy tuck. The first is that patiens with a higher body mass index are more prone to complications like infections and poor healing. Secondly, the amount of visceral fat, the fat around your organs and under the muscles of your abdomen will limit the ability to narrow your waist line. Tummy tucks done on patients with significant amounts of fat inside of their abdominal cavity can have a tummy tuck and any hanging skin will be removed but most of them still look full and round afterwards with no decrease in their waist

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Weight Loss Before Tummy Tuck

Recommend that you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine if additional weight loss would improve the outcome of the TT. 

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Beverly Hills and Los Angeles Location

Benefits of weight loss before tummy tuck?

When I assess a patient in person I judge the amount of resistance to tightening and flattening the stomach from internal fat (and organs).  If a patient is too heavy the resistance and pressure from tightening against excess visceral fat may lessen the quality of the outcome and even raise the diaphragms excessively.  It just makes sense to be at a maintainable and healthy (maybe not an ideal weight) weight to obtain a better result and lessen any anesthesia risks.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Weight loss not required prior to tummy tuck

if that is your stable weight and you're accepting of the lesser results when still heavy.  Working hard to lose weight for a procedure, only to regain it after is self-defeating as it will alter your results in a bad way.  My requirement is that my patients are able to maintain their weight to preserve their results and I've had many over 200 pounds who have been delighted with their results.  If your surgeon is demanding that you lose more weight, find another surgeon who is more empathetic and realistic with outcomes.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Weight loss before a Tummy Tuck

In my practice I do not ask patients to lose weight unless they are considering doing this before any surgery.  I find a Tummy Tuck to be a great motivator for women to lose weight after it has been done.  Losing weight after a Tummy Tuck tends to enhance the results.

Christopher Costanzo, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Weight Loss Prior to Abdominoplasty


Weight loss should only be a consideration for people with a high BMI (greater than 3), or who have significant intra-abdominal fat deposition.  The former is a matter of safety, the latter prevents significant or predictable muscle repair and abdominal wall flattening. 

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty/Liposuction/High Definition Procedures

Thank you for your question.

It is best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Dr. Schwartz
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute

Why and how necessary is weight loss before Tummy tuck?

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 exactly 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 19 reviews

Weight loss before tummy tuck

If a patient loses a substantial amount of weight, it is possible that the skin becomes looser.  You would not want this to happen after surgery, so generally it is recommended that  you are at a comfortable, stable goal weight prior to your tummy tuck.  

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 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.