Do You Have To Lose Weight Before A Tummy Tuck? — 5 Tips

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Do You Have To Lose Weight Before A Tummy Tuck

Do you have to lose weight before a tummy tuck procedure? The answer to this is yes, losing weight can actually help you get a better result after a tummy tuck.

It is recommended that you are within your goal weight before the surgery to successfully achieve the look you were going for and feel confident enough to maintain. A tummy tuck is meant to enhance your look and not as a weight loss procedure.

Not every individual is required to lose weight as each one is unique and so is the surgery. However, there are a few general considerations to help you understand how weight loss or weight gain can impact your tummy tuck.

What Is A Tummy Tuck?

It is used in cosmetic surgery to firm, smooth, and contour the abdomen. The tummy tuck procedures seek to remove excess skin and mend the strained underlying abdominal muscles.

Abdominoplasty, the medical term for a tummy tuck, is not a weight loss procedure and is frequently not appropriate for people with a body mass index (BMI) over 30. It is ideal if you are someone who is already close to their ideal weight but who can’t get rid of the stubborn fat in the abdomen. 

When diet and exercise alone aren’t doing enough to help you with your figure, tummy tucks may be a good option.

Why Do You Have To Lose Weight Before A Tummy Tuck?

When you are not within your ideal weight before undergoing the procedure, there is usually a layer of fat wrapped around your intestine, inside your abdomen. This type of deep fat that surrounds your internal organs is known as visceral fat.

If you have excess visceral fat, it will cause your stomach to protrude and it cannot be addressed by a tummy tuck.

There is a procedure you can combine with a tummy tuck and that is liposuction. However, it cannot be safely performed on all areas of the abdomen. When there is excess visceral fat in the middle of your abdomen, it cannot be addressed by liposuction due to the risks it poses.

Reaching within the 15-20 pound range of your ideal weight before your tummy tuck surgery yields the best possible results and a happier disposition. In addition, you avoid further revision surgery and ensure a safe procedure.

Tips To Lose Weight Before A Tummy Tuck Surgery

You will be an excellent candidate to get a tummy tuck if you are within an ideal weight range that you can maintain. You may find the recommendations below to help you lose weight before scheduling tummy tuck surgery.

  1. Regular Exercise and Dietary Monitoring: To achieve a stable weight that you can maintain, regular workouts with diet and exercise are a great help. Choose a diet and exercise you know you can maintain as well.
  2. Avoid Processed Foods and Alcohol: It only makes sense to avoid or consume as little of these as possible because they frequently include high calories and excess sugar.
  3. Get Enough Rest and Sleep: Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is an excellent approach to promoting a healthy weight. If you do this, you will feel refreshed and prepared to work toward your weight loss objectives.
  4. Increase Water Intake: There are times when a feeling of hunger is actually thirsting. Drink plenty of water, aiming for 10 to 15 glasses per day.
  5. Start Preparing in Advance: You must give yourself enough time to lose weight effectively. That is great if you have maintained a somewhat consistent weight for at least six months.

Different Tummy Tuck Options

The amount of excess skin patients may have determines several tummy tuck options. The plastic surgeon’s choice of incision site and length will depend on how much extra skin a patient wants to remove.

  • Full Tummy Tuck Surgery: The Full Tummy Tuck is intended to treat both the upper and lower abdomen. The areas above and below your belly buttons can be flattened and contoured with a full tummy tuck. This addresses the full length of your abdominal wall and may yield the best results. Your surgeon will remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles. Your recovery time depends on your age, level of fitness, and overall health. You might require drainage tubes beneath your skin for a few days. After the operation, which typically takes a week, you can resume the majority of your normal activities in 3 weeks, and you can completely exercise after six weeks.
  • Mini Tummy Tuck Surgery: The Mini Tummy Tuck targets the lower abdomen, or the region below your belly button, as opposed to a Full Tummy Tuck. A Mini Tummy Tuck may be an option for individuals who are bothered by a “pooch,” unwanted excess skin, or stretch marks below their belly button. Patients in good health have been observed to recover in two weeks. Once you’ve had surgery, you should wait at least six weeks before engaging in strenuous activity.
  • Extended Tummy Tuck Surgery: The features of a Full Tummy Tuck are included in an Extended Tummy Tuck, but the your flanks are also improved. If you have lost a significant amount of weight and want to enhance the shape of your body, you may benefit from this procedure. To obtain your ideal body contour, you may also benefit from liposuction, which is typically done on the hips, love handles, and flanks. Clothes or bathing suits can frequently conceal the postoperative scar that results from the surgery. The recovery time is similar to that of a Full Tummy Tuck.
  • Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck Surgery: The Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck is so named because of how the incision looks. The surgeons will make an incision that resembles the petals of a fleur-de-lis during the procedure. This is if you are with extra abdominal skin in the midline. Candidates for a Fleur-De-Lis Tummy Tuck usually had significant weight loss and both vertical and horizontal laxity. They have less roll of loose skin, but they also have additional side-to-side looseness. You are recommended to wait two to three weeks before returning to work and to wait six weeks before beginning any physical activity after surgery.
  • Drainless Tummy Tuck: During various tummy tuck procedures, temporary surgical drains are often put through a tiny incision. Drains are utilized to eliminate the fluid buildup that occurs after a tummy tuck treatment between the skin and muscle. The recovery process, however, can be significantly hampered by these drains. There are concerns specific to drains, such as hose crimping or clogging. People frequently find drains uncomfortable, inconvenient, and challenging to hide behind clothing, which makes healing much more constrained. Drainless tummy tucks are now possible thanks to advancements in tension sutures. Plastic surgeons can create a tighter bond and minimize the space for fluid to collect by quilting the abdominal skin to the underlying tissue layers. Drains are effectively unnecessary as a result, and undergoing recovery from the drainless tummy tuck is much smoother.
  • Tummy Tuck with Liposuction: A Tummy Tuck is a single-operation procedure meant to remove extra skin, not stubborn belly fat. Liposuction is a treatment that shapes the body by suctioning out pockets of fat. Adding liposuction with your tummy tuck procedure helps eliminate loose skin and repairs muscle tissue. Another benefit of combining these two procedures is that there is no need for post-surgical drains by using a layered suturing technique. With this approach, you won’t have to deal with messy drains while you recover, and the recovery period is usually shorter than that of a regular tummy tuck.

What Should I Ask My Plastic Surgeon Regarding A Tummy Tuck?

If a tummy tuck is something you are considering, here are a few questions to ask during your tummy tuck consultation to have all of the information you need to make a more informed decision:

  • Do you hold an American Board of Plastic Surgery certification? Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
  • Did you receive specialized training in plastic surgery?
  • How long have you been practicing plastic surgery?
  • Is the office-based surgical facility licensed by the state, authorized by Medicare, or accredited by a nationally or state-recognized accrediting agency?
  • What are my chances of success with this procedure?
  • What should I do to achieve the greatest results?
  • Where will you carry out my surgery, and how?
  • How long would it take me to recover, and what type of assistance will I require during that time?
  • What are the possible risks and side effects of my procedure?
  • How are problems resolved?
  • How will my stomach change over time or after giving birth (for women patients)? 
  • What are my choices if I’m not happy with how my tummy tuck looks cosmetically?

How To Prepare For A Tummy Tuck?

Maintain communication with your doctor: Any surgical procedure, including a tummy tuck, should start with a consultation with your plastic surgeon. Your doctor will assess the state of your health during this meeting.

Establish a solid support network: Recovery from an abdominoplasty takes a long time. Your family and friends will need to provide a hand.

Stop taking prescription medications: There are some medications you must stop using before your surgery. Always consult your prescribing doctor before doing so.

Take care of your health: With your plastic surgeon, go over any symptoms of sickness.

Don’t smoke anything at all: Stop using tobacco at least a month before your surgery. You run a higher risk of surgical problems if you smoke or use other tobacco products.

Don’t drink alcohol for at least a week prior to treatment: Alcohol might interfere with the anesthesia and alter blood coagulation, so refrain from drinking for at least a week prior to surgery as well as for a few weeks following.

What To Expect After A Tummy Tuck

After surgery, you are kept overnight for observation in order to reduce risks and potential problems. You are given a compression device to use at home to manage adverse effects, including swelling.

For a few days, standing and moving around could be challenging, so take it easy and rest during this period.

It’s typical for the skin and belly to feel constrictive and bloated right after surgery. Most of the swelling will have subsided by the third or fourth week after your recovery, revealing a smoother and thinner appearance. If your surgeon has given the go-ahead, you can start working out right about this time.

How Long Does A Tummy Tuck Result Last?

The outcomes of a tummy tuck are typically regarded as permanent because the skin and fat cells removed during surgery cannot regrow. You can typically enjoy your tummy tuck results for many years.  

However, significant weight fluctuations and future pregnancies can diminish your outcome. Pregnancy in women who have had tummy tuck surgery can potentially have detrimental effects on the abdomen, including progressive deterioration of the stomach muscles.


You should be close to your ideal body weight before a tummy tuck surgery to get the best results. Whether you are thinking about a full abdominoplasty or a mini-tummy tuck, take your time and only put your trust in a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Ensure you have a healthy diet and exercise plan that includes cardio and strength training. Having realistic expectations is another approach to guarantee that your tummy tuck results will come out successfully.


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