Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures after weight loss or pregnancy. It removes loose skin and fat from the abdominal area for either functional or cosmetic reasons. Surgeons recommend being somewhere near your goal weight or BMI to be able to undergo the surgery. Patients who are classified as obese or overweight are at higher risk and less likely to get their desired results.
The Australian Government has a NEW Medicare Item Number for a Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty for some eligible post-pregnancy patients with 3cm+ Diastasis Recti (Split Tummy Muscles) if you are eligible and meet the new medical criteria. This new 30175 Medicare Item Number – is effective from 1st July 2022. Read the 30175 Medicare Item Number factsheet.
If you qualify for the 30175 Medicare item number you may also get a subsidy from your Health Fund. There will still be a significant out-of-pocket GAP as Private Tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery is NOT FREE.
About Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery
A tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty addresses concerns such as excess or lax skin on the abdominal area in a way that strict diet and lifestyle schedules fail to reduce. A protruding stomach, excess skin, lax abdominal muscles can be simultaneously surgically treated with the help of a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty procedure. All the effects are common in patients post-pregnancy or a massive weight loss transformation.
Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty can help improve these concerns. However, you should note that Abdominoplasty isn’t a weight-loss procedure. In fact, good candidates for tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery are the ones who are already at or close to their goal weight and don’t intend to lose a significant amount of additional weight post the surgery.
Understanding Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI or Body Mass Index is a way to measure the body’s overall fat in an individual relative to their height. This measurement provides a technical classification as to whether an individual is at a healthy weight, underweight, overweight, or obese. If you are considering a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty, Body Mass Index evaluation will be a determining factor when it comes to your candidacy for the treatment.
Does BMI Affect My Ability to Undergo Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery?
There is some discussion in the medical community whether BMI is the best measure. For some patients, body shape and where your fat is stored is also an important factor.
While a number of issues will be taken into consideration, your BMI may be one of the deciding indicators of whether you are a candidate for tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery or not. Being mildly overweight doesn’t automatically exclude patients from candidacy; however, a BMI showing excess weight that could affect the overall safety of the procedure or the success of results after treatment may indicate that it is not a good idea to undergo tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery until the weight is brought down.
You may be deemed a good candidate for the procedure by Dr Hunt after he evaluates you during the consultation. Other factors besides BMI play a key role in determining your eligibility for the procedure include: age, health, expectations, and current state of your skin.
If your surgeon asks you to lose weight before surgery, then you should put in an effort to achieve a good outcome from the surgery. Here are some tips for losing weight before surgery.
Guide to Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty
Why is BMI Important in Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery?
The most important reason that you should have a generally healthy BMI before a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty is that it can reduce risks associated with surgery and the anaesthesia used during the procedure. A person with a higher BMI and individuals who are classified as obese also may have other health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and joint concerns that could increase the potential for complications during surgery. Additionally, patients who are not at a healthy weight prior to the procedure may be more at risk of aesthetic outcomes that fall below their expectations.
Safety is certainly the most common goal in determining your eligibility for the treatment. Individuals who have a healthy BMI of 30 and above are at a much higher risk of developing complications such as blood clots, abdominal fluid collection, wound separation, excessive blood loss, infection, pneumonia, and slow wound healing.
Some Ways in Which BMI Impacts the Results of the Surgery
Before you decide to go ahead with the surgery, it is important to keep in mind the following facts:
- Your immunity is not at its best when you have a higher BMI. Having a healthy BMI will help you heal and recover after tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty and reduce risks
- Your BMI is directly linked with inflammation levels and healing responses of the body. Unhealthy weight and chronic inflammation can impact your safety during and after the surgery
- Excess fat is linked to fatty liver which is a dangerous condition and can lead to serious complications post tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty
- A healthy BMI can help increase the longevity of results
- An unhealthy BMI will increase the chances of post-operative pain, inflammation and infections
- A higher BMI will often equate to fluid retention, swelling, bruising and increase the risk of bad scarring post a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery
- A healthy BMI can help recovery, results and overall experience with the surgery
On the other hand, potential abdominoplasty patients should understand that there are risks involved in any surgery. Although having a healthy BMI can definitely help set you up for a good experience, it won’t guarantee good results or completely eliminate your risks. You should always speak to your surgeon about the risks before going ahead with your desired procedure.
What Can I Do if my BMI is too High for a Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery?
Just because your current weight or BMI is too high, doesn’t mean that you will never be a good candidate for the surgery. If your BMI is the factor preventing you from being a good candidate for the surgery, it is time to start a weight loss program that is designed to bring your BMI to a healthier range. Don’t forget, the closer you are to a healthier body weight, the better the results of the surgery will be.
Will My BMI Be the Deciding Factor?
The answer to this varies from patient to patient and can be decided after your initial consultation. As a general rule of thumb, BMI results aren’t the sole indicator of the fact that you are a good candidate for the procedure or not. Other factors that come into play include your age, expectations from the procedure, overall health, the proportions of your body, muscle mass and a variety of other things. Moreover, sometimes the BMI isn’t the most accurate way to determine the amount of fat in a person’s body and other methods are taken into account.
The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery or not is to book a consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon for a detailed evaluation.
Dr Hunt will evaluate all your unique needs during a consultation, take all factors into account and give you a clear idea about your options.
FAQS about BMI for Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding the tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty procedure:
What is the best BMI for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- A BMI of less than 30 is considered good for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty procedure because it lowers (but doesn’t eliminate) the risk of complications. A BMI of 30-35 is the maximum when it comes to a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty. Few plastic surgeons will perform abdominoplasty on patients with a BMI higher than 35.
What weight should I be for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- Ideally, your BMI needs to be less than 30 to be able to undergo tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery. The weight differs based on your height. As a general rule of thumb, you should be at your goal weight or near it before undergoing the surgery.
Does BMI matter for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- Yes, BMI plays a very important role in tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery. A BMI of less than 30 is considered to be good for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty. The greater the BMI, the higher the risk of complications is.
How overweight can you be for a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- Well, it is recommended that you should be within your goal weight range or as close to it as possible. If you are overweight, you should consider losing weight first and then get the surgery done.
Which is better lipo or tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- They are completely different procedures. No one is better than the other and both can be suitable in different cases. Lipo is responsible for extracting stubborn fat from your body and can be done on any part of your body. On the other hand, a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty is performed on the abdominal area and targets excess skin. Liposuction is NOT considered a weight loss solution.
How many sizes will I lose with a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- Most women can drop around 2 to 3 sizes with a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty but some drop even more. It varies from person to person.
Can you gain belly fat after an Abdominoplasty?
- Yes, you can gain belly fat if your weight increases. However, it is recommended to stay close to your pre-surgery weight. See Different Types of Belly Fat and How to Get Rid of It.
What is excess skin on the stomach called?
- The scientific name for the tummy skin that overhangs below the waistline is abdominal panniculus.
Will an Abdominoplasty get rid of back fat?
- A regular Abdominoplasty will only target the abdominal area. If you get a circumferential abdominoplasty, Belt lipectomy or 360 Abdominoplasty, it will also address excess skin and fat on the hips, flanks, and lower back area.
Is it OK to lose weight after an Abdominoplasty?
- Surgeons recommend sticking to your pre-surgery weight. Weight fluctuations post-surgery might give you excess skin again requiring a revision tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty surgery.
What does your stomach look like after a tummy tuck/ Abdominoplasty?
- You may begin to notice a difference in the way your abdomen looks after surgery. However, it will still be quite swollen and you will have to wait for weeks before you can see the final outcome.
Further Reading about Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty and Post Weight Loss Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Post Weight Loss Surgery page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Body Contouring Surgery Before and After Photos
- ASPS Article – Abdominoplasty Impact on Quality of Life for Obese Patients
For more help losing weight pre surgery
We suggest you visit the New Body Specialists Weight Management Resources & Weight Loss Surgeon Directory. You can also find downloadable materials for losing weight on Dr Arun Dhir’s website (he’s a Bariatric Surgeon for Weight Loss Surgery in Melbourne).
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction mammoplasty is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.