What is a Good Weight for Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty?

Why you need to be the right weight for Tummy Tuck – Abdominoplasty Surgery – How your BMI Impacts Surgery Results

  • Do you know how much you should weigh before getting a tummy tuck- abdominoplasty?
  • What is the ideal BMI to get optimal abdominoplasty results?
  • Interested in finding out how to lose weight before your abdominoplasty surgery?

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most popular plastic surgeries for mums and patients after weightloss. It helps to eliminate excess skin. The goal of the surgery is to trim down excess fat, skin, and fix the stretched skin & muscles in the tummy area. To get optimal results you should be near an ideal weight for Tummy tuck – abdominoplasty surgery. An Abdominoplasty is suitable for excess skin reduction – It is NOT a weight loss procedure like gastric sleeve surgery.

While you can get rid of excess fat, no amount of diet and exercise can target loose skin. That is where tummy tuckabdominoplasty surgery can really help. Good candidates for a tummy tuck are the ones who have a lot of loose skin as a result of rapid weight loss, pregnancy, ageing, and can’t seem to eliminate the bulge despite trying all sorts of exercises.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan has performed hundreds of body procedures on men and women after massive weight loss or pregnancy.

CLICK to Download Dr Michael Kernohan Excess Skin Reduction Guide

Guide Excess Skin Reduction


Do you need to lose weight before surgery?

Patients come in to see Dr Kernohan after consulting other surgeons who tell them that they are ‘too fat for a Tummy TuckAbdominoplasty’. While this might be medically correct, it isn’t something that should stop you from getting this surgery. Moreover, the right attitude will help you put a plan in place to lose a bit more weight and achieve the best surgical outcome.

A BMI of less than 30 is considered to be good for abdominoplasty surgery. If your BMI is higher, you can shed the excess kilos with the help of a positive attitude, realistic lifestyle changes, and encouragement. Many patients have also been seeing their local doctor for weightloss injections like saxenda or ozempic.

You can achieve the best surgical outcome with abdominoplasty surgery if you are at a stable weight, are healthy and near the ideal weight for tummy tuckabdominoplasty.

Good BMI for Tummy Tuck Abdominoplasty Surgery

Let’s quickly go over what BMI is. BMI essentially stands for Body Mass Index. It is a ratio between your height and weight. This ratio gives you an indication of your overall witness as per your height. You can find many online resources to help find out your BMI. All you have to do is provide your current weight and height.

As per National Health and Medical Research Council, a healthy BMI range for adults is 20-25. The range of BMI is as follows:

  • Underweight – below 18.5
  • Ideal Range – 18.5 and 24.9
  • Overweight – 25 and 29.9
  • Obesity class I – 30 to 34.9
  • Obesity Class II – 35 and 39.9
  • Obesity Class III – 40 between 45

Here is an online tool to Calculate Your Body Mass Index.

Importance of Learning about Your BMI

When considering the surgery, it is important to understand that you will get optimal results from the surgery when you are close to or have reached your ideal BMI. Dr Kernohan considers a BMI of less than 30 to be good for the surgery. With that being said, you might still be able to get great results if your BMI is a little over 30, but not too much.

What Happens if My BMI is 30 or Above?

Having a BMI of 30 and above is definitely not considered to be ideal for the procedure but it doesn’t mean that the surgery can’t be done. However, Dr Kernohan might ask you to lose some weight prior to getting the surgery. The closer you are to your ideal weight range, the better will be the results of the surgery.

A Higher BMI always equates to higher surgical risks. Also, the patient satisfaction rate is lower in terms of end aesthetic results. This is mainly due to the fact that you might lose weight in the future which can leave you with additional excess skin and call for another revision surgery.

Nearly all surgeons do not perform this surgery on patients who have a BMI greater than 40. Many will not perform surgery if your BMI is higher than 35. You will be advised to go seek help to lose more weight if that is the case.

Risks of having a Tummy TuckAbdominoplasty for Obese People – BMI > 30?

A higher BMI will not only impact the result of a tummy tuckabdominoplasty surgery but also expose you to plenty of surgical and health risks. It is best to be at a healthier weight before getting the surgery for the following reasons:

Being in a good health will help you with a smooth recovery. Your immune system plays a critical role in healing and recovery. If you have a higher BMI, you will end up with a weaker immune system which equates to slower recovery.

Excess body weight will increase your risks during and after the surgery. It could lead to post-operative complications that could otherwise be avoided. Poor healing can lead to wound breakdown, infections, skin necrosis, delayed recovery, scarring and the increased possibility of revision surgery.

Are You Ready for an Abdominoplasty Surgery?

If you are at your ideal weight or even slightly overweight, you are generally considered to be a good candidate for the surgery. However, BMI isn’t the only factor that must be taken into account.

Make sure you are close to your ideal weight (within 10 kg). Your weight should be stable for a minimum of six months to a year. If you are constantly gaining or losing weight, the procedure might not be recommended for you at this stage.

Healthy eating as well as a healthy lifestyle pre and post-surgery is of critical importance to maintain your health and overall results. Make sure that you are in a physically healthy condition with no serious medical conditions. The healthier you are, the minimal will be the chances of complications.

If you are planning future pregnancies or planning to lose weight, it might not be the right time to undergo a tummy tuckabdominoplasty. Considerable weight gain or weight loss can alter the results of your abdominoplasty.

If you are a smoker and can’t quit for a specified duration, this isn’t the right procedure for you. Smoking can affect the flow of oxygen through the body and will slow down internal and external wound healing. Smokers are more prone to getting infections and wound breakdown. Dr Kernohan will ask you to quit smoking before, during and after the surgery for a specified time frame to achieve the best results.

It is also important to have realistic expectations from the surgery. The surgery is not intended to help you lose weight. Rather, it is aimed at repairing muscles and removing excess fat, skin, and tissues to contour your waistline. If you wish to lose weight, this isn’t the right option for you.


Weight Loss and Abdominoplasty Surgery

Generally speaking, it is not something significant, it might be just a few kg on scales. In some cases, patients can expect to lose up to 8 kg after the surgery.

As I said, the abdominoplasty isn’t a weight loss surgery and you shouldn’t expect to lose a lot of weight. The overall goal of the surgery is not to lose weight, but rather to improve the contours of your body. Have realistic expectations and you won’t be disappointed.

Dress Sizes and Tummy TuckAbdominoplasty Surgery

Patients need to have realistic expectations about losing cm on their waist as well. You simply can’t expect to become a size 8 when you are a size 20. However, most patients will drop a size or two after the surgery. You will not only be able to see a difference in cm but also improved body proportions.

Losing Weight Before a Tummy TuckAbdominoplasty Surgery

If Dr Kernohan has recommended you to lose weight before abdominoplasty, here are some tips for you. The following suggestions will help you shed excess weight before getting an abdominoplasty surgery:

1.     Stay Clear of Crash Diets

Most people resort to crash diets to achieve quick results. A lot of them will end up cutting entire food groups which is unhealthy and ends up affecting the overall health. Instead, focus on eating balanced, home-cooked meals to slowly shed the weight and maintain it once you are back to your usual diet. You need to be healthy before surgery to heal well afterwards.

2.     Stay Motivated and Get some Support

If you aren’t motivated enough, you won’t be able to lose weight. See body transformation journeys, keep yourself accountable, and have an amazing support group. Weight loss is never easy, be patient with yourself.

3.     Cut Out Sugar

One of the best ways to shed excess weight is to eliminate sugar from your diet. If you cannot eliminate it completely, simply reduce your intake. Sugar is not only bad for your weight but also increases insulin resistance, leading to high blood sugar levels and diabetes. Replace white sugar with more natural alternatives such as stevia, honey, maple syrup, and fruit. You don’t have to deprive yourself but choose the healthier options. Avoid the addiction and get used to a low sugar lifestyle.

4.     Don’t Skip Meals

Most people make the mistake of skipping meals when they are trying to lose weight. This is never a good idea and you will end up with a slower metabolism. Your body will get into starvation mode and start storing more and more fat. The best way is to eat little but often. Cut down on your portion sizes (get smaller plastes) and eat something every 3 to 4 hours if you want to lose weight without destroying your metabolism. Always have breakfast!

5.     Sleep Well

This is one of the most overlooked tips. Sleeping adequately will regulate your digestion and speed up your metabolism. Moreover, less sleep triggers emotional eating and weight gain. Sort out your bedtime routine and avoid devices and blue light in the bedroom. Read one of the books on having better Sleep.

6. Eat Dinner Early and avoid eating after 7pm

Make sure to eat your last meal 3 to 4 hours before you sleep. If you sleep on a full stomach, your body won’t be able to digest the food effectively and will likely store more fats.

7. Small Portions

You have to control your portion size if you wish to lose weight. Cut down your portion in half, add more vegetables to your smaller plate or bowl and eat slowly.

8.     Avoid Salty Foods

Stay clear of eating too much salty food. Excess salt will cause water retention and lead to swollen limbs and high blood pressure which is never great for your health or weight loss journey. So, cut down on sodium intake.

9.     Plan Your Meals in Advance

Plan your meals ahead of time. When you are hungry and you have a frozen pizza in your fridge, you will eat it without giving it a second thought. You will feel much lighter if you plan ahead and stock up your fridge with healthy foods. Do weekly meal prepping for lunch and dinner – in small containers.

10.  Strength Training not Cardio

Most people become a cardio bunny when they are trying to lose weight. This isn’t a great way to exercise. Add weights to your routine and do strength training workouts such as Pilates to build core and increase muscle.

11.  Drink Water

Keeping your body hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Aim at drinking 8 glasses of water per day and avoid caffeinated beverages as much as you possibly can.

It is important to be at or close to your ideal weight if you wish to achieve the best results from the surgery. If you are overweight, you can always shed the excess kg by changing your diet and lifestyle.

Further Reading about Excess Skin Procedures with Dr Kernohan

Medical References about Ideal Weight for Abdominoplasty Surgery