A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty performed on a patient that has a body mass index or BMI greater than 30-35 is considered a plus-size tummy tuck. BMI is a calculation that reflects how overweight an individual is using height vs weight ratios and is also considered one indication of a person’s overall health.
How Come BMI Relates to Candidacy for Having Tummy Tuck Surgery?
Historically, patients that had a BMI over 35 experienced an increased risk for complications when having procedures such as body contouring or tummy tucks.
Using only a patient’s BMI for tummy tuck candidacy proved unreliable. BMI is not a complete and accurate measurement of a patient’s overall health and it was discovered that some patients were being categorized as “high risk for surgery” but they were actually otherwise very healthy. So while statistics and research help us determine what to look for when choosing eligible tummy tuck candidates, BMI plays an important role but it is not the only factor taken into consideration.
My BMI Is 35, Can I Get A Tummy Tuck?
If you meet all of the other qualifications and are in good overall health, you should qualify for a plus-size tummy tuck with a BMI of 35. Normally 40 is the maximum BMI tummy tuck threshold and patients may not be approved for the procedure.
Is a Tummy Tuck For a Plus-Size Individual Different?
All the procedural components are basically the same as a tummy tuck for an individual who is at their ideal weight, but every surgical procedure is tailored specifically for each client so the best results are achieved safely and effectively. The tummy tuck design, liposuction technique, and the anesthesia used are all calculated and adjusted specifically for patients that have a higher BMI and are undergoing an overweight plus size tummy tuck.
What to Expect During a Plus-Size Tummy Tuck
The procedure will be performed under general anesthesia and the surgeon will make an incision just over the pubic bone, low enough to be concealed by a bathing suit. The incision usually runs from hip bone to hip bone but in some cases runs from the belly button to the pubic bone.
The doctor will often use liposuction to eliminate excess fat and contour the stomach area and then suture together the abdomen muscles to provide strength and stability. Any excess skin will then be removed and the belly button will be repositioned with care to create natural-looking results.
Recovering From Tummy Tuck Surgery
Recovering from a tummy tuck typically takes approximately six weeks. It is normally recommended that patients take off at least two weeks from work, or possibly more if their job is labor-intensive.
Normally, patients will return homes with a few surgical drains to help the incisions heal properly. These will be removed after a couple of days at a follow-up appointment. Patients will wear special compression garments for about six weeks that will help keep swelling and bruising down and will help keep the newly created contours in place.
Patients will need someone to help take care of them for at least the first few days and if you have small children or pets that require care, you may need to obtain full-time assistance for a few weeks. You will not be able to drive for a couple of weeks or do any sort of heavy lifting. You should avoid exercising or any strenuous activity until released by your surgeon.
Am I a Candidate for a Plus-Size Tummy Tuck?
Individuals who are in overall good health, have lost weight through diet, exercise, or bariatric surgery, are non-smokers, have an overall BMI of 35 or less, have realistic expectations, can maintain a stable weight, are not pregnant, and do not plan to get pregnant, and are committed to the aftercare required, may be a candidate for a plus-size tummy tuck.
Do I Need to Be at My Ideal Weight Before Having a Tummy Tuck?
You may have lost a large amount of weight but just cannot seem to drop that extra 25 or so pounds! While there are no standard weight requirements for a tummy tuck, there are some guidelines most cosmetic surgeons follow. If your BMI is not over 35 and you are within about 30% of your ideal weight and in overall good health, you should be a viable candidate for plus-size tummy tuck surgery.
With advancements in surgical techniques, liposuction, and cosmetic procedures, individuals are able to achieve that more sculpted body and attractive figure.
If you are plus-size and desire to have a tummy tuck to achieve that final milestone, please, set up a consultation to learn more and see if you are a candidate for a plus-size tummy tuck. Contact us today to schedule your plus-size abdominoplasty consultation.
Dr. Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer plus-size tummy tucks for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas of Georgia.