Do I Need To Lose Weight Before My Tummy Tuck Surgery?
A tummy tuck is a strategic body sculpting surgery performed to remove excess skin, trim fat, and tighten weakened or separated abdominal muscles. It is not a weight-loss procedure by any means. Therefore, clients should be at or close to their ideal weight before undergoing abdominoplasty.
Knowing this, potential tummy tuck patients may be wondering exactly how much weight they should lose prior to their surgery. Is it 10 pounds? 20 pounds? 50 pounds? The answer is actually not as straightforward as most people might think, as a tummy tuck is an individualized procedure and not a one-approach-fits-all endeavor. We will explore this complex issue below.
WHY LOSE WEIGHT BEFORE A TUMMY TUCK?
A tummy tuck along with liposuction are tools to help provide that last 10-20% of body contouring that the patient cannot achieve through dieting and exercise alone. They are not meant to completely replace weight-loss regimens. Being overweight can actually be detrimental to the surgical process, as it can increase the risk of certain complications and side effects.
Most plastic surgeons warn against weight fluctuations after surgery, which can negate the positive effects of abdominoplasty and compromise the final aesthetic outcome. Losing too much weight after a tummy tuck can lead to an abundance of sagging skin, necessitating costly and time-consuming revisions. The best approach is to get to the right weight, undergo surgery, and then maintain the same weight through a healthy lifestyle.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD BE SHED BEFORE SURGERY?
There is no specific amount of weight that any one person should lose. It’s all based on what is normal and healthy for the individual. People come in many different shapes and sizes, so weight loss will look different from body to body. Additionally, it’s difficult to tell what one’s “ideal” weight actually is. Some people will try to approach a particular number on the scale, while others will just eyeball it in the mirror. Most surgeons just recommend slow and steady weight loss that is the result of a healthy lifestyle rather than fad or crash dieting.
WHAT IS THE TAKEAWAY?
It can be tempting to want to achieve the “perfect” body before undergoing a tummy tuck but losing too much weight before surgery can foil your results when you inevitably gain back the weight later. Likewise, not losing enough weight before a tummy tuck may increase your surgical risks. The best approach is to use common sense. Follow a low-fat, low-calorie diet, exercise, and be reasonable about your eating choices prior to abdominoplasty. You want to focus on achieving a stable weight that you will be happy with over time.
The worst thing you can do after a tummy tuck is to succumb to dramatic weight fluctuations, which will surely compromise your results. If you need more help with your preparation for a tummy tuck, contact your surgeon and ask for advice based on your unique body type, shape, and current BMI. Your surgeon wants you to experience a successful, long-lasting tummy tuck outcome, so they will surely spend ample time helping you to properly prepare for your procedure.