When is the Right Time to Start Plastic Surgery? (photo)

I have lost over 120 lbs over the last 3 years. I am incredibly unhappy and becoming depressed with the appearance of my body. I want to continue building muscle but stay at the same weight. I want to know if I should put off procedures such as breast lift/implants and tummy tuck/lower body lift off until I feel like I have acheived the strength that I wanted, I plan on starting some weight lifting to get a more muscular appearance but didnt know if I should do that prior.

Doctor Answers 15


Well done on keeping the weight down. You are an excellent candidate for a LBL and breast aug/lift. It probably does not matter when you start to try building muscle, other than to say that if you start prior to the surgery you would need to stop for 6 weeks before you could start again. Good luck

P.S Keeping toned is always a great idea.

Peter Fisher MD

San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

When is the Right Time to Start Plastic Surgery?

Congratulations on having lost 120 pounds. That is truly an amazing feat. Good job. It took a significant amount of dedication and discipline to lose all that weight.
You should try not to be unhappy and depressed about the appearance of your body. Rather, you should be proud of all that weight you lost. You are certainly healthier now and they are things that you can do now that you may never have been able to do in the past.
I would say you're ready for plastic surgery when you reach your plateau weight. Your plateau weight is the point whereyou cannot lose anymore weight even with dieting and exercise.This may not be your goal weight.After you reach your plateau weight, your weight should be stable for approximately 3 months before undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery. I would suggest you start with a 360 lower bodylift. Approximately one month later, I would suggest a medial thigh lift. Approximately one month after your medial thigh lift, I would suggest an arm lift with a breast augmentation and lift. Congratulations on your weight-loss. Good luck on your reconstructive plastic surgery journey. Sincerely,

Dr. Katzen

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Timing of surgery after weight loss

Great job!! I would wait for 6 months of weight stability before you have surgical procedures. Unfortunately there is no effective non-surgical method.  However, a body lift can truly change your life. Excess abdominal fat  and skin is removed, the abdomen and your core is tightened, your hips are raised and defined and your buttock has new definition and shape.  The combination is powerful and the results are immediate. I would do the body lift first, then stage procedures every 4-6 months. Healing time is 2-4 weeks. The most important thing is safety. Please don't compromise on this! See a board certified plastic surgeon

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Timing of body lift after losing weight

Body lift surgery and breast lift surgery can produce amazing results.  Remember, though, that you'll need to refrain from putting stress on your incisions for at least 6 weeks after these operations.  So, no matter how much you work out currently, whenever you have surgery there will be a period of approximately 6 or 8 weeks where you won't be working out.  People tend to lose a little muscle tone during that period.  Weight lifting and cardio training can do wonderful things for a person but ultimately I don't think that will add much to your final appearance, unless you plan to lose more weight along with the exercise.  You should visit with two or more surgeons.  Each surgeon you visit with is likely to give you a different opinion, but you'll at least understand the options better and you can start developing a plan.  From your pictures it looks like you potentially may have some great results with breast and body lift surgery!

Kelly R. Kunkel, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Best time for Surgery after weight loss

Congratulations on your weight loss and body. The decision of when exactly to have surgery is yours. Its really a balance between your unhappiness with your body appearance versus how much more strength training you desire. You really want to be at 100% prior to surgery so that you achieve the very possible result and feel great about it. Following surgery you will need to take some time off from the gym (6-8 weeks). Best of luck.

Jason S. Cooper, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Body Contouring Significantly Improves Body Image & Quality of Life

Thank you for your question and photos. Congratulations on your weight loss and lifestyle change!  You would benefit from a tummy tuck and breast lift plus or minus implants at any time that is convenient to you.  You have earned your new body with hard work, but it is sometimes frustrating when your body image does not improve due to excess skin.  Body contouring procedures after weight loss significantly improve body image and quality of life.  They also tend to give you a "jump start" and renewed commitment to your exercise regimen because of the enhanced sense of self confidence.  I would encourage you to seek consultation about the issues mentioned. Congratulations again and best wishes.

Robert F. Centeno, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Unwanted excess skin from losing a lot of weight.

We require our patients to be at their ideal weight, stable for at least 6 months before your consultation.   If you gain or lose weight there is a chance you may need to get a touch up surgery. 

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

When is the Right Time to Start Plastic Surgery

It is quite common for massive weight loss patients to be frustrated by the excess skin, which can be as bothersome though in a different way than was the obesity that preceded it. 

It looks to me that you must be close to your desired weight, and therefore any time is the right time. It is totally your call about time priority for muscle building and for surgery. 

From your posting it seems that the lax skin is your main bother. I would think about the surgery first. During recovery, think about walking a lot to keep up the exercise until you can resume your current routine.

Thanks for your question and for the photos. Congratulations on the weight loss. Best wishes.


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Body contouring after weight loss

If your weight has been stable for at least 6 months, then you are ready to consider body contouring after weight loss.  I would suggest your prioritize your goals and decide which areas are the most important for you to address first.  Please start with a formal consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon well versed in weight loss contouring.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

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

Now may be the right time

Thank you for the photos. It's unfortunate that you feel unhappy and are starting to become depressed about your appearance. Judging from your photos, you seem to look in good shape physically, however have breast ptosis, excess skin, and maybe loose muscles in the abdomen, possibly from having children. These things will not be considerably improved with exercise and strength training.
The "right time" to have plastic surgery is totally up to you. If you find that your appearance would benefit from the procedures you want (breast lift/augmentation, tummy tuck/body lift), you'll feel happier and more confident afterward, you're at a stable weight and you have the time and resources to proceed, then it's most likely a good time.
However, you mentioned that you want to start weightlifting. Please remember that you'll need to be fully recovered from your surgeries before you start any vigorous form of physical activity, particularly weightlifting. This may be a matter of months depending on your rate of recovery. Would you be able to wait until you're fully recovered and have the green light from your surgeon before you start weightlifting? If yes, then chances are, now is the "right time"!
The best of luck to you, m0mom!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 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.