Tips to Lose Weight Before a Tummy Tuck

I have no children and yet I have this apron of a stomach. my concerns are that I can't seem to lose the weight to get these procedures done. what else can I do to loose this 60 lbs of mine. I exercise 3 times a week and eat healthy. -47 and looking for a face, breast and thigh lift and a long awaited tummy tuck

Doctor Answers 7

The horse or the cart

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Weight loss and plastic surgical procedures go han-in-hand, but not the way patients think. First of all, health and maximum individual fitness is the first priority of plastic surgery. This is not the same as ideal weight. The first thing you should do is make an honest assessment of what your lifestyle is as regards eating habits, exercise level, and daily activities. A fitness coach, nutritionist, or personal trainer, or your doctor can help you. Weight is less of an issue since different people with different constitution will weight different amounts. Once you have achieved a healthy and stable lifestyle, you can have a plastic surgeon assess whether or not you can achieve additional body-contouring improvements. One reality is that some people will not be good candidate for anything, or to put it another way, plastic surgery does not have a solution for every situation. However, usually there is some additonal improvement that can be gained if you are realistic in your expectations. Then you have to decide if that additional improvement is worth it.

As a final note, if you have a true "apron" or panniculus hanging below your pubis, there may be justification for doing a first-stage panniculectomy, not as a weight loss solution, but to "kick-start" you on your way to a healthy, stable lifestyle.

Good luck.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Tips on Losing Weight Prior to Tummy Tuck

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It is not so much getting down to your ideal weight (often an illusive goal) but rather getting to a weight that is will be your stable weight. Don't be frustrated, rather take the next step with a nutritionist that is associated with a weight loss medical clinic, get a personal trainer and see how you do as a few suggested steps.My experience is that your best choice is with a lifestyle change and that weight lost quickly by specialty diets often returns. You may require bariatric surgery if all else fails, especially if your weight is affecting your health Once your weight has plateaued you are ready to have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon and consider surgery  which as you already know is not a substitute for diet and exercise.

Best way to lose excess weight before a tummy tuck

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Dieting does not work because when we go into starvation mode our body lowers its metabolism and you cannot burn the excess calories. The best way to lose weight is similar to shifting gears in a sports car - just as you push on the clutch as you shift gears - you must greatly increase your calorie burning activities as you change what you eat (not necessarily eat less - but reduce caloric intake).

For the best looking results, you should have a BMI of 22 to 27 or so and your weight should be stable for 6 months while maintaining a good nutrition with a good protein intake.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Loosing weight before body contouring

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Dear Tonia,

You sound very motivated and you have the right idea: achieve your goal weight before proceeding with body contouring procedures. (I'd suggest reaching within 10% of your goal and then address your stomach first - you might notice a bump in weight loss after addressing your abdomen, as exercise becomes easier.) If you have plateaued with your self-directed weight loss program, I would suggest visiting a medical weight loss center. The physicians who run these programs will review your diet, caloric intake, and exercise regime. They may find areas that you can improve upon, and can redirect your efforts. The one thing to remember is that the best way to loose weight is calorie restriction - not exercise.

Best regards,


Weight loss before tummy tuck

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To lose weight it is really simple mathematics. Increase acitivity (exercise) and cut back on total calorie intake.  The true best way is to go to a nutritionist and get a personal trainer or someone at your gym to set up a work-out schedule for you. The 2 combined should help you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

It is very frustrating to try to lose weight and not see...

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It is very frustrating to try to lose weight and not see results. This is true for all of us! But you are doing the right thing and waiting until you do lose the weight before having a tummy tuck.

Basically, if your calorie expenditure is greater than your intake, you WILL lose weight ideally at 1/2 to 1 lb per week. Perhaps you should work with a personal trainer and a nutritionist who can professionally evaluate your exercise and diet regimens and make some productive suggestions.

Also, sometimes picking a surgery date in the future and putting it on your calender can make it a reality and motivate a patient to lose the weight they should to receive their best and safest surgery result.

Weight loss prior to tummy tuck

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AT this point in time, I would highly recommend that you see a weight loss professsional and seek a nutritional consult. You may need medical supervision and or prescription medication in addition to diet and exercise. 

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 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.