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Is There a “Right” Age for Tummy Tucks?

Dr. Frank Campanile, Top Denver Plastic SurgeonBy Frank Campanile

There’s a great deal of misinformation out there about tummy tucks and who is a good candidate for the procedure. Some people believe that a woman can’t get pregnant after an abdominoplasty, while others believe that they can lose a lot of weight with a tummy tuck. Another point of confusion surrounding abdominoplasty is whether or not there’s an ideal age to have the procedure. Here’s some great information that will help you separate fact from fiction on what makes a great tummy tuck candidate.

What Makes a Good Candidate
Whether or not a person is a good candidate for a tummy tuck depends less on the person’s age and more on other factors that determine how safe and successful the procedure is likely to be.

You may be an ideal candidate if you are healthy overall, able to tolerate the surgery and have realistic expectations about what the procedure can and can’t do. Despite what you may have heard, a tummy tuck is not a method for weight loss and is instead designed to fine-tune and accentuate the figure you already have by removing excess skin and tightening the abdominal wall.

During a tummy tuck, your surgeon will make an incision at the bottom of the abdomen above the pubic bone and then remove as much skin as needed to leave behind a tighter, smoother tummy. The muscles that comprise the abdominal wall will also be tightened and any separation that may have occurred will be repaired to create a solid, strong foundation for your stomach skin. None of these steps are age-dependent. Instead, surgeons look at your anatomy, your reasons for needing a tummy tuck in the first place and your general physical health.

Planning Your Tummy Tuck
There are three reasons you may want to wait on tummy tuck scheduling:

1. You’re still working towards your ideal weight. As mentioned, patients get the best results from a tummy tuck when they have reached a healthy weight, so it might be better to postpone you’re surgery if you haven’t quite achieved your weight loss goals.

2. You’re not ready to commit to weight maintenance. You should carefully consider whether or not you’re willing to commit to the lifestyle that maintaining your results will require after surgery. Although a tummy tuck can make a big improvement in your appearance, the procedure won’t prevent you from gaining weight again in the future. You’ll still have to be dedicated to staying healthy and maintaining your weight in order to keep your new stomach looking flat and firm for years to come.

3. You plan on having more children. Future family plans should also be considered when determining the best time to have your tummy tuck. Although it is certainly possible to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy after a tummy tuck, subsequent pregnancies run the risk of compromising your results and a revision surgery may be needed. So, if you’re a first-time mom who’s anxious to get your pre-pregnancy body back, you might need to consider holding off on that tummy tuck until you’re finished having children.

These considerations have nothing to do with being a certain age but are very important for determining whether or not you’re a good candidate for a tummy tuck. Getting a tummy tuck is a big decision, so it’s best to carefully consider whether or not the timing is right, regardless of your age.