How Much Weight to Lose Before Body Lift?

I am a 41 yr old female and I weigh about 285 lbs. My height is 5 ft 9 in. How much weight must I lose to have a Body lift?

Doctor Answers 27

Weight loss prior to body lift

I usually perform a lower body lift after a patient has lost about 100 pounds or so either through gastric sbypass or diet and exercise. That is not a hard and fast rule, however. What is more important to me is that the weight loss is stable.

I prefer to operate once all the wieght you are going to lose has been lost and you can't lose anymore regardless of your final weight. The more weight you lose the better the result. As long as your expectations are realistic we can then consider a lower body lift.

Good luck!

Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Things to consider before a body lift.

Being in good physical health overall is an important component of a successful surgery, and this is even more the case when looking at a body lift or other procedures of that type. Although it’s hard to give an exact weight goal for you to reach, you should hold a healthy end weight as your target. A nutritionist can help you determine what that number means for you. More important than the exact number of pounds you lose is your ability to maintain a healthy weight for several months before surgery. I like to see my patients holding steady for about six months prior to any type of lift procedure.

Frank Campanile, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

There is no magic number...

There is no magic number of pounds you need to lose before a body lift.  The most important thing is to have reached a stable weight.  I have typically found with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, vertical gastric sleeve and duodenal switch that most patients lose their weight at approximately 10 to 12 months.  Lap-band patients tend to maximally lose their weight at approximately 20 to 22 months.  This is a gross generalization, but appears to hold true for most of my patients.  After you have lost your weight and your weight has been stable within 5 pounds for approximately 3 to 4 months, then I believe you are ready for a body lift.

Based on your individual height and weight, I would estimate with a Roux-en-Y procedure you could lose over 100 pounds.  Though as mentioned above, the most important factor is to have a stable weight for approximately 3 to 4 months after your significant weight loss.


Thank You,

Dr. J. Timothy Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 195 reviews

Ideal weight loss prior to body contouring surgery.

This also depends on your height. Given an average estimate of 5"4" Your weight should roughly vary from 120-145 lbs. Given this upper limit I am estimating that you are about 140 pounds overweight.

It would be ideal for you to achieve this but perhaps not realistic. You may want to consider nutrtional counseling and supervision and possible contemplate bariatric surgery first.

This is an extremely brief synopsis and many other issues will affect this decision.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Weight loss prior to body lift.

Generally speaking, it is best to be at a BMI of 30 or below before having a body lift performed.   This would mean that considering your current height and weight that you would need to loose at least 82 pounds to be under a BMI of 30.  I would advise that you be as close to your goal weight as possible before you have any procedures performed to avoid possible revisions in the future.  Another thing to keep in mind is that when someone has a lot of excess weight in the midsection, a lot of this fat is around the organs and called visceral fat.  Since it is around the organs, this cannot be removed by any procedure, be it liposuction or a tummy tuck.  Plastic surgery is not a weight loss solution.  Being at a higher BMI also puts one at greater risk for complications with any surgery so it is best to be at a healthy BMI before someone has anything done.  Always be sure to see a surgeon that is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Michael L. Workman, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Pre-Operative Weight Loss

There's no question that being close to your ideal body weight improves the results from body lift surgery. It also decreases the potential for complications with this type of surgical procedure. For these reasons, we prefer that patients be within 10% of their ideal body weight at the time of surgery.

Unfortunately, reaching an ideal body weight is easier said than done. The vast majority of patients are unsuccessful at losing this additional weight. It's also important to realize that even when patients are overweight, they can potentially benefit from body lift surgery. We, therefore, evaluate every patient on an individual basis.

We encourage patients to lose weight before surgery and prefer that their weight be stable for at least six months. In someone who currently weighs 285 pounds, it's not unreasonable to lose 100 to 120 pounds prior to surgery. We realize that some patients will have difficulty losing weight. We, therefore, encourage patients to be in a supervised weight loss program. Even with that help, some patients will be unsuccessful in their effort to lose weight. Even without optimal weight loss, many of these patients will still potentially benefit from body lift surgery.

It's important to realize that weight loss following body lift surgery can affect the final result. This could even result in the need for revisional surgery. For these reasons, it's important to thoroughly discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Weight loss pre surgery

It's best to be at your ideal weight before proceeding with surgery. There is no specific number but you want to be at a stable, healthy weight before your surgery. If you proceed to lose more weight after surgery you may need a revision. So being at your ideal weight pre surgery ensures the best result.

Morris Ritz, MB, BCh, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Weight loss

Good question.  There is no magic number.  Generally, though, your weight loss should be complete; i.e. you should be at a stable weight for at least 6 months, preferably 12 months.  This weight should be your best sustainable weight--which I define as the weight you can reasonable expect to maintain with a healthy lifestyle.  This may or may not not be your medically ideal weight or the weight that you were hoping to achieve, but is the weight you can maintain.  When you are at this goal weight, the surgeon is not trying to hit a "moving target" and you will get better overall results.

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How Much Weight to Lose Before Body Lift?

There are many methods of determining a healthy weight range.  For a woman 5'9" tall, the range is 130-160 pounds.  If the woman is particularly muscular, she certainly can weigh more and still be considered healthy.  With these numbers in mind, you will benefit from reducing your weight by  125-150 pounds.  Ultimately, you must decide what is a reasonable weight reduction that you can achieve and maintain long term.  It doesn't do you any good to loose a massive amount of weight only to regain it.  Once you have lost the desired amount, keep the weight stable for at least six months before undergoing any skin removing surgery.  Best of luck!

Paul Fortes, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

How much to loose before having a Body Lift .

I would personally recommend for you to first go with a bariatric specialist  or a nutritionist so they can adequately guide you in the correct and healthy way to loose weight. After the specialist has guided you and you have accomplished what he has recommended you can afterward see a plastic surgeon so he can evaluate you and let you know what would be the best choice in regards to plastic surgery. Hope this helps. 

Luis Suarez, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 54 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.