The Ideal Candidate for a Tummy Tuck

Who is an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck? I’m often asked this question, and for the most part, the answers are pretty straightforward.

To start, a tummy tuck candidate is someone who wants to remove specific areas of loose skin or abdominal fat that have been resistant to diet and/or exercise. The tummy tuck candidate should be close to his or her ideal body weight, have good skin tone and elasticity, and should be at a stable weight for at least 6 months or more. Potential tummy tuck candidates should also understand that abdominoplasty is not a substitute for healthy eating or an exercise program, and it is important to continue with good habits to maintain the best results.

Someone considering a tummy tuck must also understand that there are risks involved with abdominoplasty, as there are potential risks with all surgery. Without question, he or she should be in overall good physical health (and be a non-smoker). Further, he or she must be emotionally stable, and have realistic expectations of the desired outcome.

If a patient does not meet all of the above, yet meets some or most of the basic criteria, he or she may still be a good candidate for a tummy tuck. If this is the case, the plastic surgeon will need to determine whether or not to move forward with the procedure after a thorough consultation with the patient and conducting a full exam.

Another question that I’m often asked concerns whether or not to lose weight prior to abdominoplasty. As mentioned above, it’s best for the patient to be close to his or her ideal weight before undergoing a tummy tuck. If a patient is planning to lose more than 15-20 pounds, I would typically recommend that he or she lose the excess weight prior to surgery in order to experience an optimal result.

Also, if a patient is planning future pregnancies, it would be best to postpone the surgery until she is done having children, as pregnancy will stretch the abdomen.  In addition, it’s best to keep significant weight loss or weight gain to a minimum after an abdominoplasty in order to ensure the most successful, long lasting outcome.