I Am a Women That is Overweight That Has Had 5 Vertical C-sections. Am I a Candidate For TT? (photo)

I am 43 years old that weight 220.5lbs and 5'4" height who has 5 vertical c-sections. I need to know what plan can I use to at least get back my body, which was at 140lbs. Is there a plastic surgery procedure that can get rid of my scar and extra skin where they can recreat a belly button for me? Or should I lose weight first then have this procedure? Because of my body image it has effect my mental state.

Doctor Answers 12

Tummy tuck, overweight

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
  • For best outcome and for safety, we prefer and Body Mass Index of 30 or lower.
  • Your BMI is 37. To get to 30, your weight should be a bit under 180.


If you can do that, you will have a better outcome, and considerably lower risk of complications which can be disabling when you are taking care of all those children. 

The good news is that you can expect a dramatic improvement, and probably be done with the vertical scar.


Good luck and best wishes.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck - weight considerations

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

You appear to be an reasonable  candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). Women and men who have excess skin and/or fat around the abdomen which does not respond to diet and exercise are candidates for abdominoplasty. Of course you would be a better candidate and have less risk with surgery if you could lose more weight prior to surgery.. As I am sure you are aware a tummy tuck is not a substitute for diet and exercise. Abdominoplasty candidates have excess abdominal skin which may sag, a disproportionate or protruding abdomen, weakened or separated abdominal muscles, or excess fat concentrated in the abdomen.

Other tummy tuck patients may recently have lost a lot of weight and need to have excess skin and tissue removed. Many women choose to have an abdominoplasty following pregnancy, since their skin usually ends up stretched out.

Tummy tuck and obesity

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

Body contouring is not a weight loss procedure.  That being said, you already know the best course of action is to lose the weight first followed by abdominoplasty.  At your height and weight and as evidenced by the photos you have both extraabdominal (subcutaneous) as well as intraabdominal fat.  The abdominoplasty can only address the extraabdominal component of the fat.  140 is a great goal, but you should move in increments and see where you are most comfortable.  Once you get to a more reasonable weight, the abdominoplasty will address the separation of your muscles from the pregnancies as well as the excess skin and scar from your belly button down.  Slow and steady wins the race for weight management.  You need to avoid any type of diet that involves pills and work on lifestyle management with a reasonable diet and exercise plan.

Tummy Tuck

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

At 220lbs. you are very heavey and would get much better results if you lost weight first. your vertical scar would be removed and be replaced by a long low lying scar from hip to hip. The skin and fat from the upper abdomen would be stretched to cover the lower abdomen. Loosing weight would make you a great candidate for surgery.

Tummy tuck and overweight

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

Yes, you can have a tummy tuck now but you will have an increased risk for complications after surgery and your result will not be as good as it could be. And, if you then lose more weight you may develop more extra skin and need further surgery. So, do yourself a favor and lose that extra weight first and then have the surgery. Most board certified plastic surgeons would like to see you within about 10% of your ideal weight and stable for at least a few months. And the good news is that you will probably be able to get rid of that vertical scar, particularly if you lose that extra weight. Good luck to you.

Margaret Skiles, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

It is best to be at a healthy weight before having elective tummy tuck surgery

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

The good news is that a tummy tuck would remove the vertical c-section scars below the belly button and reconstruct your belly button to look cute again.  To lower your risk of complications and improve your results, you should lose some weight before having surgery.  Look at the surgery as your gift to yourself after you have worked hard to take off the extra weight and improve your health!

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

I'm Overweight - Am I Candidate for a Tummy Tuck?

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


Dear stormtxs,


A tummy tuck is a wonderful way to remove sagging skin and extra fat from your abdomen.


Unfortunately, you are not yet a good candidate for a tummy tuck at your current weight of 220 pounds. For best results and safety, you should lose a significant amount of weight (eg. 40 pounds or more) before your tummy tuck. Reducing caloric intake and increase physical activity and exercise are the best methods for achieving long term weight reduction. A professional weight loss specialist may be able to help you with your goals.


Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD



Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Candidate

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

You are not yet a candidate for a tummy tuck. You will need to first get your long term stable weight. When you have lost the required weight, you can consult with 3 - 4 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to explore your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Tummy Tuck Candidate?

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

Thank you for the question and pictures. At some point, you will likely be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck surgery. Best to achieve your long-term stable weight prior to proceeding however. Doing so, will decrease risks associated with the procedure and improve the outcome achieved.  

I have also attached some advice that I provide to my patients who are about to go tummy tuck surgery:

1. Make sure you are doing the procedure for the right reasons (for yourself)  and that you have realistic expectations.  Be aware that an improvement in the “problem area” may not translate to an overall improvement in your life   situation.  You are bound to be disappointed with results of the procedure if your motivation for doing the surgery is not internally driven.

2. Time your surgery carefully; generally, it is not a good idea to have surgery done during or immediately after a stressful period in life (for example divorce or death of a loved one). The additional stress of surgery will undoubtedly be  more challenging to deal with if a patient's emotional reserves our already exhausted. Remember, that an improvement in your physical appearance will not translate to an improvement in your life situation.

3. If possible speak to patients who have undergone similar procedures and query them about the toughest times of their recovery period. Any practical hints previous patients can provide may be very helpful.

4. Make sure you are aware of potential complications that may arise how to reach your surgeon if necessary.
5. Make sure you have a strong and patient support system (several people if possible) in place who have time/patience to take care of you. Arrange for professional nursing if any doubt exists regarding the availability and/or stamina  of your caretakers.

6. Be patient with the healing process, understanding that it will take several weeks to months to feel “normal” again. It may also take many months/year to see the end results of your surgery.

7. Be prepared to distract your mind with things of interest such as books, magazines, and movies.

8. Expect less of yourself; do not go back to work, school or chores too early and let others take care of you (for a change).

9. Pick your surgeon carefully (a well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon) and trust in his/her advice. Keep in close communication with your surgeon and do not hesitate to communicate questions/concerns and the   emotional swings that you may experience.

10. Resume all medications that you were using preoperatively when cleared by your plastic surgeon and stop the use of narcotics and sedatives as soon as feasible after surgery.

11. Keep in mind the end results as you go through the tougher emotional times after your surgery.

I hope this,  and the attached link, helps.

Tummy tuck is not a good operation for "belly fat".

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

From your photo and weight, it looks like most of your excess fat in inside the abdomen - a.k.a belly fat, visceral fat, intra-abdominal fat.  Body contouring will not help much and I don't think it would be worth the risk.  If you were able to reduce you intra-abdominal fat, you may be an excellent candidate for tummy tuck.

Check out my blog on this topic.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 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.