Am I a Candidate for Tummy Tuck Surgery (Abdominoplasty)?


If you have concerns related to the appearance of your abdomen, you may be wondering whether an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” procedure could be right for you.

This page contains general information on the factors that make a good tummy tuck candidate. This information can help you decide whether a tummy tuck is worth pursuing further. However, it cannot evaluate you or create a personalised treatment plan. A consultation with a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon is the only way to truly know whether you are a good candidate for abdominoplasty. To schedule your consultation with Dr Ellis Choy, please get in touch.

You Have Loose or Crepey Skin

After pregnancy or weight loss, you may be left with excess skin on your abdomen. This occurs because the skin stretched to accommodate your larger abdomen and did not have the elasticity to bounce back once you returned to a lower weight. A tummy tuck includes surgical trimming of excess skin, leading to a smoother and tighter abdominal appearance.

You Have Fat That Does Not Respond to Diet and Exercise

Belly fat is a common complaint, even among people with healthy lifestyles. This is because the abdomen often holds onto fat more stubbornly than other areas. During a tummy tuck, Dr Choy can excise localised deposits of fat. For more significant fat reduction and contouring, some patients choose liposuction.

You Have Separated Abdominal Muscles

Diastasis recti is a condition in which the rectus abdominis muscles, which run down the middle of the abdomen, become separated (most commonly during pregnancy). This separation can cause your abdomen to protrude and can lead to a “pooch”. Diastasis recti can sometimes be improved through exercise and physical therapy, but surgery is often necessary to repair the separation.

You Have Stretch Marks on Your Lower Abdomen

Abdominoplasty is not primarily a stretch mark treatment. However, if you have stretch marks in the lower area of your abdomen, they may be removed along with excess skin. It’s important to maintain realistic expectations for this aspect of the procedure, as not all stretch marks are treatable. 

You Have Been Pregnant or Lost a Significant Amount of Weight

The focuses of abdominoplasty are loose skin, excess fat and separated abdominal muscles. Two of the most common causes of these concerns are pregnancy and obesity, therefore they are typical precursors to abdominoplasty surgery. However, you do not have to have carried a child or lost a lot of weight to be a candidate for this procedure.

You Are a Non-smoker or Willing to Quit

Smoking can significantly increase the risk of complications during and after cosmetic surgery. If you smoke, you must be willing to quit smoking pre- and post-surgery to lower your risk level and give your body time to heal. Most surgeons require patients to quit smoking at least four to six weeks before and after surgery.

You Are Prepared for the Recovery Process

Abdominoplasty is a complex operation that comes with an extended recovery period, activity restrictions and a scar. You must be prepared to take time off (at least two weeks), handle surgical drains, refrain from strenuous exercise and heavy lifting, wear a compression garment and care for your incision. Most patients can resume their usual routine after six to eight weeks of recovery.

You Are Not Seeking Weight Loss

A tummy tuck is not a weight loss procedure and should only be considered after you have reached a stable weight and exhausted all conservative, noninvasive options. A BMI under 30 is ideal, but patients above that can be considered on a case-by-case basis. Dr Choy recommends postponing surgery if you are still working towards your weight loss goals.

You Are Not Planning to Become Pregnant

While a tummy tuck will not prevent you from carrying a child, Dr Choy recommends waiting to have the procedure until you are finished having children. If you become pregnant after having a tummy tuck, the skin and muscles in your abdomen will stretch again and may undo the results achieved by the procedure.

You Are Doing It for the Right Reasons

You are the only person who can decide whether a tummy tuck is of interest to you. You should never consider an elective surgical procedure to please someone else or to conform to societal beauty ideals, nor should you make a rash decision (especially if it is a time of high personal stress). It is critical that you are in good mental health at the time of your procedure. 

You Have Realistic Expectations

Dr Choy will help you develop a clear understanding of abdominoplasty surgery — both its benefits and its limitations. Make sure you ask any questions or raise any concerns you have about the procedure. Only when you have this information can you make an educated decision about whether or not to proceed with the surgery.

You Are Committed to Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

To be approved for a tummy tuck, you must demonstrate your ability to stick to a diet and exercise routine and maintain a stable weight. This commitment does not just put you in good health before your surgery, but it will also be necessary to maintain your results after the surgery. Abdominoplasty is not a replacement for a healthy lifestyle.

What If a Tummy Tuck Is Not Right for Me?

If you do not meet the criteria for abdominoplasty, other procedures may be suitable alternatives.

Request Your One-on-One Tummy Tuck Consultation With Dr Ellis Choy 

Abdominoplasty is your personal decision, but it should be informed and guided by the advice of an experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Dr Ellis Choy can help you understand what you can realistically expect from tummy tuck surgery and whether it is a match for your goals. As all bodies are unique, he will work with you to create a plan that is tailored to your needs.

If you have worked towards your body goals but are unhappy with loose skin, stubborn fat and/or weakened muscles in your abdominal area, you may be a candidate for a Sydney tummy tuck procedure. Enquire here or call 02 8962 9388 to book a consultation with Dr Choy.