As with any body sculpting surgery, tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can only provide predictable cosmetic results if you are near your ideal weight and you are able to maintain it through healthy lifestyle rather than yoyo-dieting and other weight loss programs that are impossible to stick to over the long run.
According to leading plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili, you must be at least within 25-30 percent of your recommended body weight to be considered a good candidate for any type of body sculpting surgery.
Meanwhile, weight maintenance is more important after surgery because it is the only way to keep the new contour, specifically the narrower waistline and flatter stomach, explains Dr. Smaili.
While it is possible to repeat tummy tuck, the renowned surgeon warns that it could lead to more scarring, additional expenses, and higher risk of skin asymmetry.
Anecdotal reports show that many tummy tuck patients used to be obese or overweight. Since the mid section is the most prone to redundant skin and “fibrous” fat that does not respond to further weight loss, the procedure is considered to be the most important element of total body lift surgery.
In case that you were previously obese, having a stable weight for at least six to eight months is imperative prior to tummy tuck and other forms of body lift. Nevertheless, Dr. Smaili says that sometimes you may have to wait a little longer because it is not uncommon for post-obese patients to be suffering from nutrient deficiencies (e.g., anemia and osteoporosis) because of the sudden change in their diet.
Despite severe deformity caused by massive weight loss, take note that most health insurance issuers do not cover the cost of tummy tuck for post-obese patients because they “categorize” it as a cosmetic plastic surgery.
However, a small study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal last year has suggested that tummy tuck could encourage long-term weight loss by increasing satiety.
The researchers have concluded that removing fat cells from the abdomen could reduce the levels of hormones responsible for triggering a person’s appetite. Nevertheless, they admitted that further studies are still needed to confirm this hypothesis.
Another separate study has suggested that massive weight loss patients were more likely to keep a healthy weight after tummy tuck compared to those who did not undergo the procedure. The researchers have concluded that their new contour could have motivated them to keep a stable weight.