Am I Too Overweight To Have a Tummy Tuck? How Body Fat Impacts Results

How your BMI impacts your Plastic Surgery results.

Primary factors to consider for Tummy Tuck and Liposuction Surgery and other Plastic Surgery procedures.


If you’re exploring Abdominoplasty and liposuction after having children or losing weight, you may wonder if you’re FIT and LEAN enough to get a good result. If so, you’re not alone. Most Tummy Tuck Surgery patients – but not all – are carrying a bit of excess weight.

The question is, are you carrying too much weight to get a good outcome from your Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

Are you at a good weight for body contouring Abdominoplasty surgery? Or do you need to reach a lower, stable weight before you have your surgery performed?

  • It really depends on the individual patient.
  • A consultation is the best way to gain a clearer indication of your suitability for Tummy Tuck/body contouring Plastic Surgery procedures.

That noted, the typical cut off point for being a good surgery candidate is having a BMI/body mass index of 30 or below.

If you are overweight or in the obesity BMI range of 30 or above, you’re unlikely to be a good/suitable candidate for surgery.  Another consideration for surgery is whether your weight is sustainably stable or wildly fluctuating throughout a year.


But an IDEAL BMI – a healthier lower BMI more in the 20-25 range – may get you an even better result

If you’re wondering how your current body weight – your body mass index/BMI – might impact your Tummy tuck or lipo results, read this important blog on how weight changes and body fat ratios impact your results. 


We even include a link to a handy BMI calculator that is super easy to use!


Find out what you need to achieve to be a good candidate for Tummy Tuck, Liposuction or Breast Surgery procedures.

Phone 03 8849 1444 today or send an enquiry to arrange a confidential evaluation of your current weight and BMI and your best potential plastic surgery options.

  • Dr Wyten can help you assess your suitability as a candidate for Tummy Tuck/Liposuction or Breast procedures.
  • Dr Rebecca Wyten, a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, has two nearby locations: Melbourne Rooms (Hawthorn East) or Berwick rooms. Patients enjoy her empathy, kindness and honesty about what surgery can and cannot accomplish – and what patients can do to help them get a good result.

Download Our Tummy Tuck Guide


How weight and body mass index can impact tummy tuck or liposuction surgery results.

Before you do further research into your Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck options, here’s what’s important to keep in mind.

1: Good recovery processes after Plastic Surgery require good health.

  • Your immune system impacts your surgery experience, wound healing/scar formation and other recovery experiences.
  • Your body’s immune systems are REDUCED when you are carrying too much weight or eating unhealthily.
  • Reduced immunity leaves you more susceptible to experiencing unwanted surgical complications and other risks.

“So the better your overall health including your BMI, the better your entire surgery experience is likely to be.”

2: Your body fat index or BMI is also a factor in inflammation levels and healing responses.

  • Unhealthy body weight and/or chronic inflammation CAN impact patient-safety both during and after your operation.
  • It can impact post-operative pain, inflammation and infection risks.
  • Higher inflammation levels also usually mean you’ll tend to have more swelling, bruising, fluid retention, pain and discomfort than if you were at a lower BMI or had reduced inflammatory responses.

3: Excess Fat Also Means A Fatty Liver

  • Being overweight or obese – with a high BMI – is associated with having what’s called a fatty liver.
  • This means your healthy liver tissue cells have become “replaced” or interspersed with fat cells, greatly impeding the function of your liver and putting you at higher health risks and higher surgery risks.

4: Why is reaching a stable, healthy weight so important before you have surgery?

  • Your weight – and your daily nutritional intake – impact your surgery experience, healing processes and overall satisfaction with results over time.
  • When you schedule cosmetic or plastic surgery, it’s important to go into the surgery with the healthiest BMI you can achieve.

For a satisfactory surgery result, rather than one you feel is disappointing, it’s crucial that you sustain a healthy weight and lifestyle over time.

  • A healthy lifestyle and healthy BMI helps you DURING hour operation AND in the months and years that follow your surgery date.
  • If you’re at a healthy weight/ideal BMI, you’ll likely end up getting a more visually pleasing result.
  • You’ll also be more likely to sustain a firmer, trimmer abdomen and well-defined waistline for longer (years versus months).

Plus – you’ll be more likely to have realistic expectations.

  • It’s important to recognise Abdominoplasty Surgery results depend as much on YOUR choices as on the Surgical techniques and initial results.
  • So having an ideal weight/healthier BMI typically means you’ll REDUCE your obesity-related risks during surgery, including of developing sepsis, a potentially fatal illness for which overweight/obese patients have higher risks, compared to healthy-weight patients having a surgical procedure.


5: How is BODY WEIGHT/BMI linked with realistic expectations about the surgery and what it can – and can’t – accomplish?

What you do DOES MATTER in terms of your results and long-term satisfaction with your surgical investment.

‘When you recognise that you’re responsible for the longevity of your surgery results – you’ll be likely to understand not only the BENEFITS of having surgery – but what surgery CANNOT accomplish.”

You’ll recognise that Abdominoplasty surgery is a serious option, not the go-to method for a quick fix for your weight gain concerns.

  • Surgery is NOT a fix for weight problems, as you’ll discuss during your consultation with Dr Wyten.
  • Instead, surgery is an option for reducing excess skin folds and some excess fat that cannot be exercised away.
  • Surgery can also repair damaged abdominal muscles after pregnancy or weight loss (diastasis recti) to restore core strength and reduce back pain.

Surgery has certain risks you’ll need to consider carefully before proceeding with a body shaping procedure; and one of those risks is being dissatisfied with results because you weren’t sustaining a stable, healthy BMI.

6: What happens if I gain weight or get pregnant after a Tummy Tuck or liposuction?

  • If you gain weight again or lose-and-gain weight repeatedly after your surgery, you’ll greatly impede your results – your shape is going to change.
  • Future pregnancy will also change your Abdominoplasty or liposuction surgery results and your satisfaction with longer-term outcomes.

Ageing changes your results over time even if you stay at the same weight, but weight fluctuations usually reduce patient satisfaction with results.

  • Weight changes or weight gain AFTER an operation may leave you feeling less satisfied with your body shape and/or waistline shaping results.
  • Alternatively, if you keep fit and stable in your weight, you’re more likely to be happier with your Tummy Tuck results for a longer period of time.

These are great reasons to find ways to reach a stable and sustainable healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) before your surgery (an ideal weight you’ve sustained for at least six months or ideally for several years by making lifestyle changes).

7: What does it mean to have a healthy BMI or ideal body weight?

  • The word “healthy” means that your BMI is near – OR IN – a healthy or normal range VS being in the overweight or obese BMI range.
  • A healthy BMI is NOT in the overweight or obesity category, although some overweight individuals may be healthier than others.
    • Even though some obese patients are somewhat fit, a high BMI indicates compromised health and immunity functions and potentially a fatty liver.
    • Obesity increases surgery risks including circulation concerns (DVT), wound breakdowns and other risks.

An ideal body weight typically within a healthy BMI range, although everyone’s ideal goal weight will be unique to their genetics and body shape 



Please Consult your Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon for Further Advice Today.

Each patient is an individual, and each surgery is customised to fit each patient. Please contact us today for any questions or to arrange a consult with Dr Rebecca Wyten.




Summary: Aim for a healthy, sustainable weight before you have surgery.


Are you at your Ideal Weight Before Surgery? Phone (03) 8849 1444 to schedule a consultation or use our high-tech BMI scale at our Hawthorn Rooms location in Melbourne.

Consultations with Dr Wyten to discuss Abdominoplasty and Liposuction or Breast Lift/Reduction or Augmentation Surgery are available in Berwick as well as in Melbourne.

  • Whilst SOME obese individuals are relatively healthy, if you fall into the OVER 30 BMI range, you’re not a good candidate for surgery.
  • Most overweight individuals will incur higher surgery risks or may not be suitable candidates to get a good result.

Hence, your BMI impacts your entire experience through surgery, including your post-operation results from a Tummy Tuck and how long you’re happy with them.

Further reading on BMI and Surgery Results

best way to decrease BMI and lose weight, with Melbourne plastic surgeons

More on BMI – the World Health Organisation’s Index for BMI

So what does your BMI status actually mean?

  • Interpretations vary somewhat as to what impact your BMI has, other than obesity has known risks as listed above.
  • Different medical professionals may have different views of the data; plus individual patients can vary in health outcomes and risks even though they have a similar BMI status.
  • But according to the World Health Organisation, your BMI indicates whether you are at a so-called ‘normal weight range’ for your height, or whether you are in the underweight or overweight range or obesity ranges.


Obesity and Plastic Surgery risks

Having an elevated BMI does not guarantee you’re NOT healthy, but it DOES increase your surgery risks and is LIKELY to suppress your immunity responses and impede your recovery processes.

  • Here’s a graph indicating that even overweight individuals may be healthy, and even underweight individuals may be unhealthy – but it is far less likely.
  • Aim for a normal weight or a BMI under 30 before you consider having a surgical procedure to reshape your body after pregnancy or weight loss.

does weight affect results from liposuction or a tummy tuck? BMI

How can I calculate my BMI?

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height.  But there are easy to use BMI calculations – we like this one from the Heart Foundation.

Calculate your BMI quickly with the Heart Foundation’s BMI Calculator.

Table of BMI Scales / Body Mass Index Ranges (Source: WHO)

Do I need to lose weight before having surgery such as a Tummy Tuck or Liposuction?

  • Typically the answer is YES, most of us DO need to get our weight in check before we have body contouring surgery.
  • That’s because losing weight BEFORE plastic surgery – and reaching a healthier, sustainable “happy” weight – goes a long way to getting a good abdominoplasty or liposuction result.
  • Contact us for more details about resources to lose weight – phone (03) 8849 1444 and ask about Melbourne based nutritionists or Weight Loss Surgeons.


Download Our Tummy Tuck Guide




Contact us

Get in touch for further advice on any Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Procedure.




Sources for information on BMI and Obesity and Health/Australia and Global Statistics: