Should I Have My Tummy Tuck Now Or Wait To Lose More Weight?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 34 years old and am 5’ 6” tall and 165 lbs. To my own credit I have lost 54 lbs over the past year with diet and exercise; It has been tough but I have done it and I am determined to lose even more. But I appear to have hit a point now that the weight is not budging. My problem is that I now have an apron of skin and fat that hangs over that has started causing a lot of discomfort during any form of exercise. I am doing all I can from a diet and exercise standpoint. Should I go ahead with tummy tuck surgery now or wait until I lose more weight?

A: Now that you have hit the proverbial wall and have an overhanging apron (pannus), I think you would benefit by a tummy tuck right now. The psychological benefits would be enormous and would empower you to lose the additional weight afterwards. I have seen this effect many times in patients who look just like you and have the identical story. Tummy tuck surgery itself will casue some additional weight loss by what is removed, which is usually in the range of 3 to 7 lbs. (everyone thinks the apron weighs a lot more than it actually does) But an identical if not more weight loss occurs from the recovery process. (burning calories to heal) This is why many tummy tuck patients like you will be down in weight 15 to 20 lbs by 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. That provides a good surge towards your eventual weight loss goal.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana