What Happens if You Lose Weight Post Tummy Tuck?

If you have a tummy tuck and diet to lose additional weight after, will that skin hang loose? I would like to remove excess skin now but weigh more than I would like and am planning on dropping more weight in the future.

Doctor Answers 18

It depends on your skin elasticity and how much weight you lose

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you lose less than 10-20 lbs after surgery, the skin would generally shrink nicely and not alter your result. If you lost 30-40 lbs after surgery, you might have a recurrence of loose skin.

In your case the smart plan would be to get within 15 lbs of your ideal weight and then have the surgery done.

Weight loss after surgery should no effect the results of an abdominoplasty.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Most patients who have abdomioplasties do lose a bit more weight after their operation.  It does not effect the result.  I would amend this if massive weight loss is intended (say 30 pounds or more).  This might leave some loose skin but even then, it shouldn't be too bad.

Losing weight after tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Normal weight fluctuation up and down by 10-15 lbs will have no effect on the results of the tummy tuck.

Losing 40-50 lbs will affect your results.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Weight loss and tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The best time to have a tummy tuck is when you are at a stable weight.  If you lose a significant amount of weight after a tummy tuck, you may compromise your result and end up with loose skin. Weight loss should be very gradual to allow time for the skin to retract and minimize the chances of having loose skin.

Please be evaluated by a board certified plastic surgeon for a detailed physical exam prior to surgery.

Best wishes,


Bottom line: be close to the weight you want to be prior to the tummy tuck

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have a large amount of weight loss after a tummy tuck, there can be some skin laxity or skin looseness. How much will depend upon the inherent skin elasticity, and the amount of weight loss. This is why it is best to be close to your desired weight prior to a tummy tuck.

On the other hand, many patients will lose ten to twenty pounds after a tummy tuck with no problems in terms of skin looseness. Bottom line: be close to the weight you want to be prior to the tummy tuck, and don’t worry if you lose a few pounds afterwards.

It varies by how much weight you loose and the quality/elasticity of the skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Ideally you would be close to your realistic goal weight prior to your surgery. As you try to loose weight make sure you do it in a healthy way, with a nutritious diet and exercise. Your surgeon will encourage you to get back to your fitness routine as soon as safe after surgery.

There is alot of individual variability. Most people would maintain their result after a loss of 10-20 lbs. More than that and you could have some increased skin laxity.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

It all depends on the elasticity of your skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

During abdominoplasty, we excise (cut out) all the excess skin to give you a nice flat tummy. However, if you loose weight after surgery, then it is like deflating a balloon. You can let out a little bit of air and the surface remains tight. However, if you let out a lot of air, then the balloon surface is no longer tight. Likewise, if you loose a bit a weight, you will probably be fine, since the natural elasticity of your skin can compensate. However, if you loose an extraordinary about of weight, your skin can not tighten up enough to compensate and you will have loose skin.

Patients sometimes come back years later for a "secondary abdominoplasty." Either they have gained more weight and need some more fat excised or they have lost weight and need the extra skin excised. In their case, it is usually not as extensive of a surgery when compared to the primary surgery.

I hope this is helpful.

Yes it may.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have a tummy tuck and then go on to lose more weight, the skin may sag.  It all depends upon how much weight you lose and for the most part the quality of the tissues that you started with.

Could affect results

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Wait until you reach your ideal weight because you could ruin your results if you lose weight after surgery. There's no guarantee, but it's probably better not to risk it, unless you don't mind getting another surgery.

Ideally, we operate when a patient is within 10% of their ideal weight...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
When weight loss occurs following abdominoplasty surgery the response varies from patient to patient depending upon a multitude of variables. When weight loss is relatively minor, the vast majority of patients don’t notice changes in their bodies. In contrast, significant weight loss can result in the development of loose saggy skin. Under these circumstances, revisional abdominoplasty may be necessary.
For these reasons, we generally recommend that patients be within 10% of their ideal body weight before proceeding with the abdominoplasty. When this approach is taken, the need for secondary revisional surgery is markedly decreased.

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.