Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss

Offered at our convenient location in Raleigh, NC

Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss Raleigh, NC

A tummy tuck after massive weight loss is a surgical procedure that removes loose skin from the abdomen after a patient’s weight is significantly reduced. When a person loses weight, they are often left with excess skin and lingering soft tissue that cannot be reduced by diet and exercise alone. This extra tissue may be uncomfortable and unsightly, keeping them from fully enjoying the body they have worked so hard for.

Dr. Amber L Allen is a cosmetic surgeon in Raleigh, NC with an artistic eye for body contouring. Post-weight loss abdominoplasty requires a skilled hand and meticulous concentration. Dr. Allen has honed her skills by leading with compassion and advanced techniques. Schedule a consultation with her today to talk about what this procedure could do for you by filling out the online form. Alternatively, you can call Allen Plastic Surgery at (919) 676-5052 to get started.

Before and After Photos

About Tummy Tucks After Massive Weight Loss

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen to contour the waist and flatten the area. This procedure improves a patient’s silhouette, as well as their overall body image. There are two main reasons massive weight loss patients seek tummy tucks: aesthetic improvement and functional reasons

After massive weight loss, your subcutaneous fat decreases, but the skin surrounding it may not shrink back to an aesthetically pleasing position. When excess skin and tissue remain in the abdomen, it can cause problems with body image and self-esteem. It may also impact skin health, leading to irritation, rashes, chafing, and infection. 

The most effective way to tighten loose skin around the abdomen is with an abdominoplasty. During this procedure, Dr. Allen makes an incision stretching from hip to hip to remove excess tissue. Abdominoplasty addresses the entire abdomen, including the underlying muscles, to tighten and smooth the abdomen wall. Removing the excess skin and tissue is only the first step to achieving a more flattering waist contour. (1) 

“Extended” Tummy Tuck

Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight typically require an extended tummy tuck. For this type of abdominoplasty, Dr. Allen extends the necessary incision to reach further around the hips to account for excess tissue beyond the front of the abdomen. Weight loss can lead to excess tissue around the back and above the buttocks as well, and an extended tummy tuck is used to achieve a circumferential approach to contouring. (2)

An extended tummy tuck is often preferable for massive weight loss patients, especially if they seek more comprehensive results. Body contouring is highly customizable, and Dr. Allen takes your aesthetic goals into consideration when determining what is right for you.

To learn more ways to contour your body, follow Dr. Allen’s blog to read on.

Fleur-de-lis Tummy Tuck

For those patients who have a “extra” considerable amount of skin on the abdomen, sometimes a midline incision as well as the lower abdominal incision is necessary in order to remove as much skin as possible. This also allows more narrowing of the waist area as skin is also removed in the vertical direction as well as the horizontal plane as well. 

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck

Receiving a tummy tuck can provide a patient countless benefits including:

  • A smoother, more aesthetically pleasing abdomen
  • Improved waist-to-hip ratio
  • Restored core strength and abdominal wall
  • Relief from irritation and skin problems
  • Better fitting clothing
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Improved posture and silhouette

The benefits of a tummy tuck after massive weight loss go beyond aesthetics and functionality. A study about body image shifts after massive weight loss surgery showed that patients felt a greater sense of well-being after their procedures. (3) A tummy tuck can further accentuate your hard-earned results, filling you with confidence and self-assurance.

Ideal Candidates

If you have lost a significant amount of weight and have extra skin in the abdomen and lower back, you may be a good candidate for a post-weight-loss tummy tuck. Depending on the method of weight loss, such as bariatric surgery like a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, you may need to wait between 12-18 months before undergoing abdominoplasty. You must also be at a stable weight for at least 6 months before your procedure, as gaining and losing more weight after a tummy tuck can negatively impact your results. If you have any underlying health conditions that may inhibit your ability to heal, you may not be a good candidate. We require patients who smoke to refrain from nicotine and tobacco consumption in the weeks leading up to your surgery and during recovery.

The best candidate for a tummy tuck is someone with both aesthetic and functional concerns with their abdomen. Losing weight can be a long journey, and it is imperative that you have realistic expectations about what the surgery can accomplish. Dr. Allen spends time during your consultation to explain exactly how you can benefit from a tummy tuck after massive weight loss.

Personal Consultation with Dr. Allen

During your private consultation at Allen Plastic Surgery, Dr. Allen will ask you questions about your current and previous medical history. Come prepared to discuss any past abdominal surgeries, your experience with weight loss, and what your goals are. She will then evaluate your abdomen to determine your candidacy and to choose the best possible technique for your circumstances. At the end of your consultation, a member of our staff will assist you in scheduling your procedure and all follow-up appointments. 


To best prepare for your procedure with Dr. Allen, refrain from:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication (Aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Herbal supplements and Vitamin E
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco and nicotine in any form

We require that you find someone you trust to drive you to and from your procedure. Tummy tucks require the use of general anesthesia, meaning you will not be able to drive yourself home. Pick up any medications prescribed by Dr. Allen before your appointment date to ensure you can focus solely on recovery. Please wear your most comfortable clothing to the surgery center and follow Dr. Allen’s fasting guidance the night before your abdominoplasty.

Tummy Tuck Procedure

Before the surgery, Dr. Allen will carefully mark your abdomen to visualize the incision points and plan out the procedure. After mapping out the incision points, we will take you into surgery and administer general anesthesia to keep you comfortable. Dr. Allen will begin by making the necessary incisions according to your treatment plan. Regardless of the technique used, all patients will have a long horizontal incision that runs from hip to hip. Additional incisions may be required if there is significant skin excess.

The excess skin and fat are carefully separated from the essential anatomy underneath. This procedure step often utilizes a surgical cautery device to lessen potential damage to blood vessels and nerves. Dr. Allen addresses the abdominal muscles by cinching and suturing them back into their original position, further contouring the waist. She removes the excess skin and redrapes the remaining skin, suturing the tissue in layers through the thick inner fascia. Dr. Allen then repositions the belly button and sutures it in place. Abdominoplasty procedures typically takes 3 to 4 hours or longer, depending on the patient.


A tummy tuck is a major surgery that requires adequate downtime to heal properly. Small drains are placed on either side of your incision to help remove excess fluid. Dr. Allen provides detailed instructions on how to take care of them and the surrounding incisions. She will place a compression garment on your abdomen after wrapping the treatment area. This is to be kept on at all times until you are instructed otherwise. It helps with swelling and preserves your results while you heal. Your abdomen will feel tight and uncomfortable, but your body adjusts with time. Dr. Allen will remove your drains during your follow-up appointment. Make sure to request at least 2 weeks off of work and avoid all heavy lifting and excessive bending and straining for at least 6 weeks. 


Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss Raleigh, NC

A tummy tuck can restore your core strength and slim the abdomen, leading to long-lasting results. Though the procedure removes excess skin and soft tissue from the abdomen, it is not designed to be a weight-loss surgery. This procedure is meant to improve your abdominal proportions when compared to your overall body shape and contour.

To maintain your results, incorporate a balanced and healthy diet as well as an exercise routine after you have healed completely. Maintaining a stable weight is the best way to enjoy your results for many years to come.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss in Raleigh

The cost of a tummy tuck after massive weight loss varies widely between patients depending on the nature of their treatment plan. For a specific cost estimate for your tummy tuck, t schedule a private consultation with Dr. Allen. Call our Raleigh office today at (919) 676-5052 to make your first appointment, or fill out our contact form and we will get back to you.


What are some surgical options for addressing loose abdominal skin?

For patients who have achieved significant weight loss through bariatric surgery or other means, the excess skin and tissue in the abdominal area can be quite challenging to address. A tummy tuck is often recommended in these cases to remove the excess skin and fat, reshape the abdominal area, and create a more proportionate body contour.

Can a tummy tuck help after massive weight loss?

A tummy tuck, also known as abdominoplasty, can be an effective solution for individuals who have undergone massive weight loss and are left with sagging skin and excess fat in the abdominal area. This aesthetic procedure aims to remove the excess skin and fat, while also tightening the underlying muscles, resulting in a smoother and more contoured abdomen.

Are there any non-surgical alternatives to a tummy tuck?

While there are non-surgical options available for body contouring, such as CoolSculpting or laser treatments, they may not be as effective in addressing the significant amount of loose skin and excess fat that typically occurs after massive weight loss. A tummy tuck provides a more comprehensive and long-lasting solution by surgically removing the excess skin and fat, as well as tightening the underlying muscles.


  1. Cabbabe SW. Plastic Surgery after Massive Weight Loss. Missouri Medicine. 2016;113(3):202-206. Accessed February 6, 2024. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140063/
  2. Restifo RJ. Abdominoplasty in the Massive Weight Loss Patient: Are Aesthetic Goals and Safety Mutually Exclusive? Aesthetic Surgery Journal Open Forum. 2021;3(2). doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/asjof/ojab013
  3. Gilmartin J, Long A, Soldin M. Changing Body Image and Well-Being: Following the Experience of Massive Weight Loss and Body Contouring Surgery. Healthcare. 2014;2(2):150-165. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare2020150