Tummy tuck patients come in all shapes and sizes. Some are mothers that have loose skin and stubborn fat deposits leftover after pregnancy; others are bariatric surgery patients who have overcome obesity but are left with loose skin and isolated fat pockets.
One of the universal questions that comes up in tummy tuck consultations at The Plastic Surgery Center is, “Do I need to lose weight before my surgery?” Unfortunately there is no simple or straightforward answer. Since everyone is unique and has their own set of circumstances, our surgeons’ opinion is different in every case.
Rule of Thumb
A general rule of thumb to consider is this:
The answer as to whether you should lose weight before tummy tuck depends on whether you are in (or within about 10 to 15 pounds of) your desired weight range. Your desired weight range is a range where you feel good and do not have to go on a crash diet to keep up. It is a range that you can comfortably maintain through healthy lifestyle habits.
If you are more than 20 pounds outside of your target range, you probably need to delay your tummy tuck until you can get closer to your goal.
The reason why our surgeons recommend this is that it helps them accurately plan your procedure and deliver the best result possible.
Also, it decreases the likelihood that you will need another surgery in the future. If you have tummy tuck surgery and gain or lose a lot of weight afterward, those weight fluctuations can negatively influence your surgical outcomes. Gaining and losing weight can stretch out the abdominal tissues, putting you back in the situation that led you to pursue surgery in the first place.
The same can be said of pregnancy: becoming pregnant after tummy tuck can stretch out the abdominal muscles and skin, jeopardizing the aesthetic improvements made by surgery. If the changes are very noticeable, you might be tempted to undergo another surgery to further refine your abdomen.
Therefore, you can understand why it is best to be at your goal weight at the time of your surgery (and not plan to fluctuate after surgery).
Learn More About Tummy Tuck
If you have questions about any type of body contouring surgery, whether it is tummy tuck, liposuction or another procedure, the group at The Plastic Surgery Center encourages you to contact our practice. We can schedule a consultation for you to meet our surgeons and discuss the best way to prepare and plan for your surgery.