Abdominoplasty surgery, known as a tummy tuck, is a popular procedure that helps to restore ideal abdominal contours. One of the leading plastic surgery procedures, abdominoplasty works by tightening and trimming loose, flabby muscle and skin. It does not eliminate the stubborn fat that commonly accumulates in the midsection. For this reason, abdominoplasty is often combined with liposuction to achieve even better cosmetic results. Even though it’s possible to slim and tighten with this combination of procedures, the general recommendation for people seeking a tummy tuck is to reach their ideal weight first. Here, we discuss what that means and why it is necessary.
Why You May Need to Lose Weight Before a Tummy Tuck
To be an ideal candidate for plastic surgery, patients must meet certain criteria based on the procedure they wish to have done. For abdominoplasty, the criteria that is pretty well known is weight. More specifically, though, it is a person’s BMI that the doctor observes. BMI, body mass index, is the measurement of weight to height. In general, BMI ranging between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal and healthy. BMI below 18.5 is underweight. BMI from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. BMI of 30 and over is considered heavily overweight or obese.
So, Who is a Good Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery?
If you look in the mirror but know that your BMI is higher than 30, you may feel confused by the classification as obese or heavily overweight. BMI can be tricky, so how does a plastic surgeon determine who might be a good candidate for abdominoplasty and who might not? By evaluating a variety of factors on a case-by-case basis. Some of the criteria that may indicate a person is a good candidate for abdominoplasty include:
- They are within about 25 pounds of their ideal weight based on BMI
- They do not smoke
- They do not plan to become pregnant in the future
- They are generally healthy and do not have medical conditions that may increase surgical risks
- They have realistic expectations of their anticipated cosmetic outcome
Why Should I Be the Right Weight for a Tummy Tuck?
Being told that you’re close to your goal but not quite there yet can feel deflating. Keep in mind, though, that if your plastic surgeon advises you to lose weight before a tummy tuck, they have your best interest at heart. The abdominoplasty procedure can achieve good results in nearly every case. The question is more one of safety. Your BMI doesn’t only indicate your weight-to-height ratio, it can also give the surgeon a glimpse into your potential risks for complications. Generally, people with a higher BMI have a weaker immune system. This increases the risk of infection, as well as of swelling and bruising, after surgery. So, to achieve the best results in the safest way possible, doctors utilize the general guidelines regarding weight at the time of surgery.
Find out if you are an ideal candidate for a tummy tuck. Contact Renaissance Plastic Surgery at (636) 896-0600 to schedule your visit to our St. Peters office.