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How Much Weight Should I Lose Before A Tummy Tuck?

Tummy tuck patients have different weight ranges that work for them. They have different shapes and sizes with different reasons for wanting the procedure. You must be close to your desired weight for six to twelve months before undergoing a tummy tuck. Most surgeons will recommend patients should be between 10-15 pounds from their goal weight. When you’re in the range of your goal weight, you will feel confident without needing to go on a crash diet to maintain it. If you want to lose weight, do so before getting a tummy tuck so the excess skin left over is removed.

There’s no universal ideal weight range for a tummy tuck

As everyone’s body is different, there is no specific number of pounds that a person needs to lose to get a safe and successful tummy tuck. For example, 20 pounds may be too much weight for one person to lose, but for others, it could be only a portion of the weight they need to lose to be at a healthy weight. Because of this, you can’t find the amount of weight you need to lose by searching the internet. Rather, schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon to discuss your ideal weight for tummy tuck surgery. 

It can be difficult for a patient to try to determine what their true ideal healthy weight is, so some people end up starting diet fads in an attempt to lose as much weight as possible.

This isn’t recommended. Rigorous, unsustainable dieting or weight loss pills can lead to large weight fluctuations. Weight fluctuations before a tummy tuck are not ideal, as you want to find a weight you feel comfortable and healthy with and that can be maintained long-term with lifestyle changes.

The amount of weight you need to lose before getting a tummy tuck also depends on your reason for wanting the procedure. Some tummy tuck patients come into our office after pregnancy, while others do so after losing a substantial amount of weight. Pregnancy causes women to have excess skin, stretch marks, and stubborn fat deposits while overcoming obesity leaves loose skin and isolated fat pockets.

The role of tummy tucks in your weight loss journey

Patients with a BMI categorized as obese, which is 30 or higher, have a much higher risk of complications, difficult recoveries, and infections going into a tummy tuck. Many women are unaware of the purpose of the tummy tuck, believing it is a weight loss procedure but it is more of a post-weight loss, sculpting procedure. The tummy tuck is meant to remove the loose skin left behind after losing a significant amount of weight.

If you are struggling to lose enough weight on your own with lifestyle changes related to diet and exercise, you may be a good candidate for liposuction to accelerate your weight loss process. Some women opt into getting both a tummy tuck and liposuction, as they work together to remove both stubborn fat and excess skin. 

Tummy tucks as part of mommy makeovers

Typically, mommy makeovers pair tummy tucks with liposuction. Women, especially mothers, use the mommy makeover as an opportunity to bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies by getting rid of fat in stubborn areas with liposuction and unwanted excess skin with tummy tucks. It is important to note that neither tummy tucks nor liposuction are a weight loss solution, but rather solutions for sculpting and tightening your body after you have reached your goal weight range.

Find your stable weight range

Throughout your life, you have probably noticed a weight range you tend to stay at when you are living a healthy lifestyle. This is the weight you should be at before a tummy tuck. If you undereat and overexercise, you will be at a weight that is difficult to maintain long-term. This can lead you to possible revision surgery because you may rapidly gain the weight back after your procedure from lack of nutrition. 

At some point in your weight loss journey, you’ll notice that you reach a plateau in which your weight loss slows down. As long as you have a healthy diet that isn’t too restrictive along with a regular exercise routine that works for you, reaching and maintaining your “ideal” weight is achievable. Always remember to listen to your body and find what feels right for you.

Wait until you’ve finished having children

To keep the best result, for the longest time, make sure you no longer want to have more children before getting a tummy tuck. Pregnancy will stretch the skin and could cause you to require revision surgery. Tummy tucks are one of the most popular mommy makeover procedures with women typically opting for the removal of excess skin from their stomachs caused by pregnancy after they have finished having children.

What if I don’t reach my ideal weight before getting a tummy tuck?

If you don’t reach your ideal weight before your tummy tuck, you will most likely lose more weight after the procedure and risk the possibility of revision surgery.  Waiting until your weight loss journey is complete reduces the potential for further cost and recovery downtime.

Why lose weight before a tummy tuck?

Dr. Liland recommends reaching the 15-20 pound range of your ideal weight before tummy tuck surgery because it yields better results and happier patients. To avoid further revision surgery, ensure a safe procedure, and receive the best results possible, find a weight you feel happy and healthy with before booking your tummy tuck consultation.