Can I Weigh 280lb and Get a Tummy Tuck?

Doctor Answers 21

Tummy tuck while overweight?

Thank you for the question. 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.  As you know, recruiting other professionals such as personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians who specialize in weight loss concerns etc. may be helpful to you. 

 Having said the above,  occasional patients do benefit from panniculectomy surgery as a “jumpstart” to achieving their final goals. 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.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews


That really depends on your height, general health and state of your mid-section. I would need more details to see if you would be a candidate.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews


 Most likely you would need to loose weight first. Liposuction alone will not get rid of the excess skin and fat. A complete examination would be needed to determine if you are a good candidate for this elective procedure.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Appropriate weight for Tummy Tuck

Thank you for your question.   I would need to see your height, perform an exam, and review your history before making an educated decision.

Generally speaking, with elective cosmetic surgery, we want to take all preventative steps to minimize surgical risk and maximize surgical outcomes.   At your current weight, the risk outweighs the potential benefits.  I would recommend that you visit with a weight loss clinic with a goal in mind of losing the weight, so you can reward yourself with a tummy tuck.   The result will be so much better and you will handle the surgery and recovery much more safely.   I wish you a safe and healthy journey to your tummy tuck.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Plastic Surgery and Obesity

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index in excess of 30.  Body mass index is calculated based on height and weight.  Obese patient are known to have a much higher complication rate after plastic surgery than patients that fall into normal BMI measurements.  

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Are you a candidate for a tummy tuck

As tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure to contour your abdominal wall.   One of the relative contraindications for a tummy tuck is excessive intraabdominal obesity.   Without knowing your height and abdominal wall anatomy, I will have to guess that you may have too much excessive abdominal fat to safely undergo a tummy tuck.  In these cases, I recommend follow up with a weight loss specialist or a bariatric surgeon.  Please visit with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn more about your options.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Options other than tummy tuck if I weigh 280 lbs

Although a tummy tuck can be done in a person weighing 280 pounds, the results may be minimal and the risk high compared to someone who is getting it done at a more appropriate weight.

A better idea may be to enter a medically monitored weight loss program that offers a sensible weight loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds per a week through a combination of sound dietary and nutritional principals and regular exercise. If that doesn’t work, an evaluation by a bariatric surgeon would be the next step.

With either route, a weight loss of 50 to 100 pounds in 1 year is possible. Once you are at a reasonable and stable weight, a tummy tuck (and possibly other body contouring procedures) would be much more appropriate, safer and cost effective. You would also gain the overall life-long health benefits of the controlled weight loss.

Good luck!

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Tummy Tuck at 280


Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is a surgery designed to remove skin and fat from the tummy, tighten the abdominal muscles, and tighten the remaining skin.  It is a powerful and transforming surgery as you have probably seen from before and after photos.  However, this surgery is not for everyone.  There are both safety and aesthetic (cosmetic) considerations that will make this a successful and safe surgery or a surgery that did not meet your anticipated result or worse, caused you harm.

There are many scientific studies looking at the complications after tummy tuck associated with a high 'body mass index', which is a number that looks at your height and weight.  The higher this number, the greater your weight compared to your height, and the much more likely you will have complications after a tummy tuck, some of which are life threatening.

From a cosmetic perspective, if you are too heavy, your result may not be what you were hoping for either.  This is not a surgery that is designed to make a heavy person thin.  The best candidates for a tummy tuck are those fairly close to their ideal body weight (within 20 to 30 lbs).  Without looking at your photos, you may be a good candidate for a simpler and faster surgery that will remove any hanging skin and allow you to exercise and diet more effectively.  This surgery is called a panniculectomy and it carries less surgical risks for people who are still too heavy for a tummy tuck.

Remember it's 90% diet and 10% exercise!  I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor to loose weight and get healthy. 

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Tummy Tuck Results and Risks in a person weighing 280 pounds

While some surgeons may be tempted to operate on you, I would probably decline doing so for several reasons. A Tummy Tuck operation is often done with other operations (as in a Mommy Make-Over procedure) and may be associated with uncommon but potentially serious complications in normal weight individuals. In over-weight or morbidly obese people, the Tummy Tuck results would be predictably poor to average and the potential complications would be significant making for a poor trade-off in my opinion. Furthermore, should you do well with this ill-advised / ill-timed Tummy Tuck and proceed to lose weight, there would be further significant skin sagging requiring another operation(s) to improve your appearance resulting in a larger expense.

It is far better and safer as well far likely for you to get much nicer results if your weight was much lower preferably below a BMI or 30.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Abdominoplasty at ideal weight

Thank you for the question.

Without further information, it is difficult to give a safe recommendation. A weight of 280 is not contra-indicated for a tummy tuck, so long as you have been cleared for surgery with a physical exam, ECG, and requisite labs. Additionally, your body mass index (BMI) must fall within reasonable parameters to ensure upmost safety during your procedure.  I would recommend you follow up with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area for a full evaluation.

Warmest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 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.