This is a very common question; the ideal candidate for a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is at his or her goal weight and has minimal fat under the skin. But even someone who isn’t an “ideal” candidate can benefit from an abdominoplasty.
If you are thinking about abdominoplasty, first ask yourself: would you like to lose weight, or are you happy at your current weight?
- Planning to lose weight: If you are planning to lose more than about 10-15lbs, I recommend doing this prior to having surgery, as losing this much weight after surgery could result in having excess skin over your stomach, diminishing your surgical results.
- Comfortable at your current weight: If this is the case, you may still achieve a significant benefit from abdominoplasty, depending on the amount of excess skin you have, and how much fat is under the skin (subcutaneous fat). Having too much subcutaneous fat can result in poor healing. During your consultation, your surgeon will examine your abdomen to see how much subcutaneous fat you have.
Apart from the actual results of the surgery itself, keep in mind that risks of surgery increase as weight (represented by BMI) increases. Numerous studies have shown an increase in problems with wound healing in patients with high BMI. This increased risk occurs along a gradient, so there is no hard and fast weight over which surgery is too risky. But having a BMI over 30-35 kg/m2 does seem to be associated with a higher risk. Your BMI is based on height and weight, and is easy to calculate.
As always, if you are considering cosmetic surgery, I recommend seeing a surgeon board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Do you have any questions about abdominoplasty? We would love to hear them!