Should I Get a Tummy Tuck While Still Overweight?

I am 31 and a mother of 3. I am 5'3" and weigh 180lbs.I have been dieting and excercising since April of 2010 in hopes of getting a tummy tuck & breast lift. I have lost 17lbs and now it is becoming harder to lose even one pound.I spend 90 minutes/5 days a week at the gym.I am starting a dental program on Jan.15 - the end of April.I don't want to have to wait until May to do it and don't know if I can lose much more weight by then.I want to do it now before my class starts. Should I just do it??

Doctor Answers 19

You can get tummy tuck and liposuction at the same time now

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You have a lot of extra skin and only tummy tuck will help. You also have extra fatty tissue over the upper abdomen and waist and liposuction in combination of the tummy tuck will help.The combination will help you to achieve the look and also as you lose weight, you will lose from other parts than the abdomen area.

Tummy Tuck Now or Later

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Kind of a tough question because it very reasonable to continue to lose weight.  I use BMI as a guide to who may be appropriate for body contouring surgery.  Usually a BMI around 30 or so it my cut off.  Your BMI is 31.9. Secondly, you are cutting it pretty close with a planned procedure of this nature in regards to recovery before embarking on your dental training.  With all this in mind the best answer would be to do it May at your summer break.  Discuss this with your plastic surgeon so that he/she can review the pros and cons.

Dr. ES 

Timing your tummy tuck

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While the best results are obtained when tummy tucks are done near or at your ideal weight, we are interested in having you continue your quest for the ideal body and health through lifestyle redirection.   If lifestyle changes are not enough, then the motivational boost from surgical reshaping can be useful.   Surgery is really a last resort to correct difficult lifestyle consequences, but can be used in this way to keep your momentum on track.  Don't be discouraged if the shape is not perfect, we will work with you to get you as close as possible on your journey.

Tummy Tuck Before Ideal Weight Loss

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While it is ideal to get within 10 pounds of your target weight before a tummy tuck, many women opt to have their surgery sooner, because of timing contingencies or hitting a plateau oin their weight loss efforts.

As always in plastic surgery, there are trade-offs for you to consider in your consultation with your surgeon.

You are ready for your tummy tuck

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From the appearance of your abdomen, I think you are ready and would benefit highly from a tummy tuck.  That said, if you are able to lose more weight before your tummy tuck, you will undoubtedly get an even better result.  So, if you can go ahead and lose more weight.  However, if you cannot wait, then go ahead with the surgery now.

Loose as much weight as you can!

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In general it is better to be "too light", have your tummy tuck and gain a little weight. Your result will still be fine!

However if you do your procedure before reaching your realistic weight, there is a good chance that you will be very happy with your result! As a result you will exercise more, and loose more weight, unfortunately then you risk to be less happy with your operation as it seems as if more could have been taken off.

So: Know yourself, set a realistic weight that you can reach, and go for it. Once you reach it your reward will be the operation. You will feel good about yourself and have a good result as a bonus!

good luck,

Ivar van Heijningen, MD
Belgium Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck in overweight people

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Depends what is your end goal. To be the best you can be or get less than ideal but acceptable outcome. If you want the best results, you need to be at your ideal weight 140-150 lbs. The key is to keep the weight down, not just get thewre. you are doing enough exercise and now you need to address your nutrtional status. If you can't wait and consider surgery, you will need a lot of liposuction of the back, hips and thighs in conjunction with the abdominoplasty. I often incorporate a breast lift at the same time. You also need to know, that if you loose weight after the abdominoplasty, you might need further skin excision and liposuction. You need to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in these combined procedures. Good luck.

Timing of Tummy Tuck and Weight Loss

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A Tummy tuck is most effective when  the problem is more one of excess skin and muscle laxity then of excess fatty tissue.  As noted , it is best to be as close to your ideal body weight as possible.  Being overweight may also contribute to other risk factors for surgery in general as well.  Discuss your particular situation carefully with your surgeon regarding timing of surgery.   Good Luck.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Safer & Results Better If Not Overweight

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Although you could have your tummy tuck performed now, your results will be better if your are nearing your ideal weight at the time of sugery.  In addition, the likihood of having a complication would also be lessened if you are not significantly overweight at the time of surgery.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck and weight loss

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A Tummy Tuck is not a weight loss procedure but instead addresses stubborn areas that diet and exercise have not been able to get to. The ideal Tummy Tuck candidate will be in relatively good shape but want to refine their abdomen. This is not to say that someone who is not in optimal physical shape is excluded from being eligible for this surgery, but it is important for these patients to have realistic expectations and understand that they will not end up with optimal results. I tell my patients that if  they are planning on losing weight or becoming pregnant, I recommend that they wait until your body size and weight stabilize before undergoing the surgery.

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.