Do I need to lose weight before getting a tummy tuck?
Patients occasionally consider a tummy tuck a form of weight loss. But the tummy tuck, medically known as an abdominoplasty, isn’t a weight loss procedure and often isn’t suitable for patients with a BMI of over 30. In fact, the best candidates for a tummy tuck are those already close to their ideal weight and who don’t expect any severe weight fluctuations shortly. That’s because a tummy tuck isn’t a weight loss procedure but, rather, a body contouring procedure.
This article explains why a tummy tuck isn’t suitable for patients with a 30+ BMI and how much weight you might need to lose before getting a tummy tuck.
Why would you need to lose weight before a tummy tuck?
A tummy tuck is a procedure wherein the surgeon removes extra skin and fat tissue from your stomach and tightens the underlying abdominal muscles. It gives you a lean, sculpted, more chiseled, and athletic look with a flatter tummy and better defined abdominal muscles. As such, a tummy tuck contours your body to give you the cosmetic benefits you want.
A tummy tuck is ideal for someone who is already close to their ideal weight but who can’t get rid of the stubborn fat pockets in the abdomen. Despite regular workouts and a balanced diet, most people have trouble losing the last bit of fat from the lower abdominal region. This can give a bloated look even if one exercises regularly.
A tummy tuck removes the excess fat tissue and tightens the underlying muscles to get you across the finish line. However, there’s a limit to the amount of fat and skin that can be removed with a tummy tuck. The surgeon can only remove enough skin and tissue to give you a sculpted look if you’re somewhere around your ideal weight.
If your BMI is higher than about 30, the tummy tuck procedure will have no real impact. In that case, you need to first lose weight and come closer to your ideal body weight through dieting and regular exercise, through bariatric surgeries, or other cosmetic procedures, such as Emsculpt NEO. Once you’re close to your ideal weight, a tummy tuck can help you get past the finish line.
How much weight do you need to lose before a tummy tuck?
Each individual is unique, so there’s no magic number for the amount of weight you might need to lose. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help you lower your weight until you’re within 10 to 15 pounds of your goal weight. If traditional methods don’t work, you can also consider bariatric surgery or other cosmetic procedures to reduce your overall weight.
Once you’ve lowered your BMI to under 30, you’ll have to maintain that weight for 6 to 12 months. People often relapse and gain weight soon after weight loss—the 6-12 month period ensures you maintain a stable weight before getting a tummy tuck. A sudden weight gain after the tummy tuck will reverse the results, wasting your time and money.
After you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, you might notice that you have excessive skin on your body. The tummy tuck procedure helps you remove the excess skin and tighten the underlying muscles, completing your weight loss journey to give you a sculpted and defined look. However, before all of that, you need to reach and maintain a reasonable weight.
Dr. Randall Craft is a double board-certified surgeon with years of experience in body contouring procedures. He’ll carefully examine your body, discuss your cosmetic goals, and recommend the ideal treatment option for your unique physique. If you don’t qualify for a tummy tuck, he’ll guide you on the next steps you can take to become a better candidate. Please schedule a consultation to discuss your tummy tuck options today.