Will Hypothyroidism disqualify me from having Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck? Current weight 216 5'6. Thank you.(photo)

Hello my current weight is 216 and I'm 5'6 close to 5'7. For the last five years I've been struggling with my thyroid levels and know their finally normal. I work out, run, eat healthy but it's extremely hard to loose weight and my weight is now stabilized between 210-216. My dress size is 14, some 12. Will I be disqualified due to my BMI for surgery? This is very stressful because I'm active and work out and eat healthy but my weight remain stabilized. I do not qualify for gastric sleeve.

Doctor Answers 11


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thanks for your query. I can see that you have worked hard to get to this point and am sure you are a good candidate for lipo and abodominoplasty. As long as the thyroxine requirements are stabilised, your recovery should be no different than an average patient (provided the rest of the parameters are within normal limits)
warm regards
Dr Prashant

India Plastic Surgeon

Hypothyroidism and Body Contouring

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In general, whenerver you have a medical condition that can affect surgery, it needs to be corrected/stabilized prior to surgery. Of course this is for your health and safety. As long as hypothyroidism is under good control and the rest of your medical history is not prohibitive, you can have cosmetic surgery. If the hypothyroidism has just gotten under control, it would be best to give it at least 3-4 months (6 months would be better) to be stabilized before having any elective surgery, As your hypothyroidism gets properly controlled you may likely see that you may be able to lose more weight. It would be ideal for you to lose more weight before any abdominal/tryuncal contouring surgery. If you truly are trying to lose weight through a diet and exercise program after your hypothyroidism is well controlled and you cannot, then body contouring can be considered but goals for results need to be realistically set. This needs to be done in person with your Plastic Surgeon after they examine you and review your medical history. Just looking at your photos you most likely will not be a good candidate for liposuction alone, but an abdominoplasty with possible liposuction of the hips and flanks for contouring may be appropriate.

Hypothyroidism and cosmetic surgery

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Thank you for your pictures. You certainly would like your BMI around 30. Maybe your primary care physician can help you with management strategies to achieve that.  I do not think liposuction is the best answer for you.  Eventually going to abdominoplasty for the best, with liposuction as I complementary procedure to improve result.

Hypothyroidism and an abdominoplasty

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If you have a medical condition such as hypothyroidism then you will need to have medical clearance prior to considering surgery.  I would also be good if you could get your weight down about 50 pounds prior to surgery.  If you absolultely can not lose weigth you would most likely be okay

Hypothyroidism and tummy tuck

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Dear Turinky,
     Hypothyroidism is quite common and does not preclude surgery as long as you are treated and your TSH is within  normal range. Your real problem is high BMI - 34. It is associated with lots of medical conditions. Losing weight should be your goal in order to reach the optimal BMI of 25. In your case that means a weight of around 160 lbs. It's very difficult to lose weight. I would recommend to you a book by the name of 'sugar busters' that talk about life style change ( not a diet ) as far as eating the right low glycemic food . Another excellent way to lose weight is tummy tuck. By tightening the muscles of the abdomen, you can not eat the quantity of food as before surgery and consequently lose weight. So, in addition to geting healthier you will also look terrific. Lipo is not an option for you due to the skin laxity, strech marks and muscle laxity. Consult with board certified plastic surgeons who operate in accredited surgery center for your safety. Most importantly, check the before and after to make sure that they are numerous, consistent and attractive. Check also the 'realself' reviews for positive patients experience which provides important information about the surgeons.
             All the best,
                                Dr Widder

High BMI and tummy tuck

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Sorry to hear about your thyroid issues.  Your current BMI would not prohibit you from having surgery and getting a good result.  A pre-op clearance from your primary doc would be advisable.  I have photos of women larger than you in my before/after gallery under tummy tucks or circumferential tucks if you are interested in seeing how much improvement you can expect. We also have detailed information on liposuction and tummy tucks.  I hope it goes well for you. 

Hypothyroidism and tummy tuck

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Hypothyroidism will not prevent you from having a tummy tuck. In my Raleigh, NC practice, I frequently perform tummy tuck on patients with a higher BMI than yours.  A physical exam is definitely recommended with consultation. Labs, EKG and a letter of medical clearance from your primary care provider may be required.

Best of luck,

Tummy tuck and health concerns

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Dear turinky,

Every plastic surgeon will have his or her own guidelines for a tummy tuck candidate.  I suspect most plastic surgeons will be fine with your current health and BMI.  A medical clearance may not be a bad idea from your primary care doctor.  For your procedure you may want to also discuss the possibility of liposuction of the lower back as that may add to the final aesthetic appearance of your waist overall.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews


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Most surgeons use 30 as a guideline for selecting patients for abdominoplasty.  Primary reasons are the higher risk to patients with BMI above 30, and the better outcomes in patients who are thinner. 

However, it is a guideline, not an absolute. I think you will be able to find a surgeon willing to do your procedure given your history, and with the understanding that you face higher risk of complications of your surgery.

Thanks for your question and photos, all the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Want tummy tuck or liposuction but have hypothyroidism

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Hypothyroidism, if treated as your is - will not affect your ability to have surgery.
Nor is it the cause of your excess weight.
Low thyroid leads to no more than a 5 pound weight gain. Even people dying from thyroid disease will be thin if they exercise and eat little.

It appears your chief problem is too many calories and too little exercise, not thyroid disease.
For some overweight people, calories must be restricted to 1000 a day or less with 1 hour of vigorous exercise to lose weight.

Your BMI is 35. See a Board Certified Plastic surgeon to see if a liposuction will motivate you to lose weight. From the photos, I am not sure you need a tummy tuck and definitely not if the bulging tummy is from internal fat but an exam is needed to be sure.

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.