When Will I Be Ready For My Tummy Tuck After My Weight Loss?

Q: Dr. Eppley,  I’ve lost more than 200 lbs. The extra skin is making it harder every lb I lose for me to get around. How will I know when I need to have surgery to take off the skin?

A:  I would say that after losing 200lbs, almost no matter what weight you started out at, that you have a substantial abdominal pannus that would benefit by being removed. If this weight loss was achieved by bariatric surgery, then you should get the advice of your bariatric surgeon as to when would be a good time for some body contouring surgery. Usually bariatric surgery patients have to be at least one year from their bypass surgery and they have stable and normal laboratory studies. If this weight loss was achieved by dieting alone, then you may be ready at any time with this amount of weight loss. You may be getting to the point where not much further weight loss can be achieved because of having to drag around this large amount of loose skin. It would be important before this surgery that you have laboratory studies that show a good blood count, normal electrolytes and adequate protein levels that would support good healing. 

I would recommend that you get an evaluation by a board-certified plastic surgeon at this point and be evaluated for your readiness for abdominal plastic surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana