Tummy tuck surgery is commonly done after weight loss or after pregnancy.  Significant weight loss often results in loose abdominal skin that has lost its ability to bounce back following the reduction in weight.

There are three different types of weight loss related tummy tuck procedures:

  • Complete weight loss: normal weight tummy tuck
  • Incomplete weight loss: plus size tummy tuck
  • Incomplete weight loss: overweight tummy tuck

Normal weigth tummy tuck

For complete weight loss/normal weight tummy tuck patients, a tummy tuck is designed primarily to remove excess skin, tighten the abdominal wall laxity, and rejuvenate the shape of the belly button.  Some liposuction is almost always helpful as well since the tummy tuck shaping will benefit by being blended into the waist . This is especially beneficial around the waistline.

Plus size tummy tuck

The incomplete weight loss/plus size tummy tuck patient is someone who still has perhaps 5-35 pounds to lose, depending on their body height and type.  These patients are often told to lose the weight first and then come back for a tummy tuck.  Although being at your ideal weight is preferable for most body contouring procedures, a plus size tummy tuck has an added advantage. It allows the plastic surgeon, if he has that understanding, to reshape the residual fat present to allow (at times) an even better tummy tuck result than a complete weight loss/normal weight tummy tuck patient.

Overweight tummy tuck

For the last category, we have the incomplete weight loss/overweight tummy tuck patient.  This patient is one who is 35lbs or greater from their ideal weight depending on their body height and body type.  This category of tummy tuck patient can often be divided again into three separate categories:

  • Those who can loose enough weight to be plus size
  • Those who cannot loose any more weight but are still a candidate for a tummy tuck
  • Those who cannot loose any more weight and are not a good tummy tuck candidate

The last category are patients who are significantly overweight in the obese or morbidly obese BMI range, as well as those patients who have a significant amount of intra-abdominal fat.  This last category of patients should seek medical or surgical weight loss help or find a diet and excessive regimen that works for them to be able to at least lose enough weight to get into the category where a tummy tuck is possible.

The second catchword above, the patients who cannot lose any more weight and are overweight tummy tuck patient candidates, often benefit from proper and judicious use of liposuction before and/or during the tummy tuck procedure.  Although even these patients can achieve great tummy tuck results, some discussion about the limitations of these types of tummy tuck procedures is recommended to allow for proper expectations.

I hope this discussion of plus size and overweight tummy tuck procedures was helpful.

All the best,

Dr. Remus Repta

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