Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Lake Oswego, Portland, OR and Woodburn, OR

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) after massive weight loss is a surgical procedure that removes skin and excess tissue from the abdomen to smooth and contour the area. For patients who have lost significant weight through bariatric surgery, weight loss medication, or natural methods, a tummy tuck is often extended by using a longer incision than that of traditional methods. This allows the surgeon to further contour the abdomen, flanks, and hip region for a comprehensive result.

Dr. Quita Lopez is a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices cosmetic medicine and surgery in Portland, OR at Aesthetic Laser Center. With extensive training in many methods of abdominoplasty, she assists patients in achieving their dream figure.

Dr. Lopez offers private consultations to talk about your candidacy and chosen surgery. To schedule an appointment with her, please call your nearest location in Lake Oswego or Woodburn, OR at (503) 353-0888 or (503) 951-1622 respectively. 

You may also contact us by filling out this contact form. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Before and After Photos

The Abdomen After Weight Loss

In the last 20 years or so, abdominal surgeries have grown to be one of the most popular procedures requested by weight loss patients and beyond. Tummy tucks are considered a body contouring procedure by plastic surgeons due to their ability to structure the body after significant change. During weight gain, the skin extends to accommodate the extra subcutaneous fat. The places where this typically accumulates are the lower abdomen, flanks (sides), hips, and legs. Especially with rapid weight fluctuation, the skin and tissue that expands during weight gain does not have enough time to shrink back into a slimmer shape. (1)

Studies show that patients who experience massive weight loss often have lower levels of thick and structured collagen fibers in the skin. (2) This protein is an important element within the dermis that aids in tightening and wrinkle reduction. When this protein is lacking, the skin tends to sag, loosen, and shift. After a patient loses weight and the skin no longer has subcutaneous fat to help support its shape, they experience large collections of loose and stretched skin. 

A tummy tuck is considered the preferred and most effective way to reduce this tissue and create a slimmer abdomen for the patient. Massive weight loss causes circumferential excess skin, so patients typically require extensive skin removal. (1)

Extended Tummy Tuck

In traditional abdominoplasty, the incision spans only the front of the body along the bikini line. During an extended tummy tuck, Dr. Lopez places a longer incision to remove tissue from both the sides and the front of the abdomen. If the patient is experiencing diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles), she can suture them back together during a tummy tuck. (3) This extended technique greatly improves a patient’s resulting contour by smoothing more than just the front of the midsection.

Dr. Lopez may use one of two other methods of abdominoplasty for massive weight loss patients: (3)

  • Fleur de lis Tummy Tuck: This technique incorporates a vertical incision along with the traditional horizontal one to achieve a better contour around the top of the abdomen. The resulting scar pattern resembles a “fleur de lis,” spanning up and down and side to side. 
  • Panniculectomy: The pannus is a section of skin and tissue that typically hangs over the pubic region and thighs. During a panniculectomy, Dr. Lopez does not undermine the skin from the abdomen wall. Instead, she removes the lower section (pannus) alone without addressing the flanks or ab muscles. 

Depending on the patient, Dr. Lopez chooses the technique that addresses their concerns. She will discuss this process with you during a private consultation at Aesthetic Laser Center. If you are interested in learning about other cosmetic procedures or treatments, read our blog for more information.

Benefits of a Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss

Abdominoplasty can greatly improve a patient’s self esteem, body confidence, and alleviate certain physical pains. Certain tissue deposits are resistant to diet and exercise, and a tummy tuck can remove them permanently to improve weight loss results. Patients often also have an easier time maintaining their new physique after abdominoplasty procedures. 

The benefits of a tummy tuck after weight loss include:

  • Excess Skin & Tissue Removal
  • Repairs Abdominal Muscles
  • Reduces Skin Irritation
  • Creates a Smooth Abdomen
  • Slimmer Waistline
  • Better Posture
  • Stronger Core
  • Improved Body Contour

For those who have lost significant weight with the help of Ozempic, a tummy tuck contours the abdomen and restores the shape of the midsection. Semaglutide use leads to a loss of volume all around the body, and this procedure contours the waist for a more aesthetically pleasing figure. This customized procedure caters to your needs as Dr. Lopez removes skin and tissue according to your anatomy and goals.

Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidates

To qualify for a tummy tuck after massive weight loss, patients should be in good overall health free of serious medical conditions. They may have lost weight rapidly after receiving a gastric sleeve, not allowing enough time for the skin to shrink. A tummy tuck is considered the optimal method to remove and tighten the skin around the abdomen after bariatric surgery. (1)

Candidates should maintain a stable weight for at least 6 months before undergoing surgery. Any weight fluctuations after this could negatively affect their results. We require patients who smoke to quit at least 6 weeks before their tummy tuck to avoid complications or slow healing.  Patients should also have realistic expectations and reachable goals before their procedure. 

Personal Consultation with Dr. Lopez

Dr. Lopez will meet with you for a private consultation before planning your tummy tuck. During this appointment, she will perform a physical examination of your abdomen. You will then provide your medical history and current medications to inform her of your health. If you are a good candidate, she will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your concerns in a safe and effective way. After your consultation, a member of the Aesthetic Laser Center team will help you schedule your tummy tuck procedure.


Instructions to follow before a tummy tuck include:

  • Refraining from smoking tobacco and nicotine
  • Avoiding NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Refraining from taking herbal supplements like vitamin E
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Preparing your home for recovery
  • Requesting time off of work
  • Acquiring childcare and personal support
  • Picking up new prescriptions beforehand
  • Asking a trusted friend to drive you to and from surgery

Abdominoplasty After Weight Loss Procedure Steps

We will administer general anesthesia before starting your tummy tuck. Once you are comfortable, Dr. Lopez will make her incisions and undermine the skin after preserving the navel and its underlying structures. After extracting tissue, she then repairs the abdominal muscles to tighten your core. Next, Dr. Lopez refines your midsection by suturing the remaining tissue in layers starting with the deep supporting fascia. This takes the pressure off the external incision site and secures the abdomen for smooth results. Finally, she sutures the outer incisions and places a compression garment around your waist. Tummy tucks after massive weight loss can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete, depending on the patient. 

Tummy Tuck Recovery

You should expect to take around 2 weeks off of work to recover from surgery. Your abdomen will be swollen and sore for the first couple of weeks. Dr. Lopez will explain how long you should wear your compression garment to curb swelling and residual discomfort. She removes your stitches 5 to 7 days after surgery, and you should keep any bandages clean and dry to avoid complications.


The results of a tummy tuck are typically immediately visible. Though there will be concentrated swelling and bruising in the area, this subsides with time. Around the 6 month mark, your abdomen will reach its final contour. To maintain this new physique, you should adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and exercise. 

Corresponding & Complementary Procedures 


Dr. Lopez frequently combines abdominoplasty with other body contouring procedures like liposuction. During this surgery, she uses a long tube (cannula) to break up stubborn fat and safely remove it with suction. There are three main types of liposuction that Dr. Lopez uses:

  • Tumescent Lipo: Every modern-day type of liposuction utilizes tumescent fluid, a mixture of saline, lidocaine, and epinephrine, to infiltrate the treatment area. This fluid numbs the area and breaks up the fat deposits to make extraction easier.
  • Power-Assisted Lipo: This type of liposuction uses a special cannula that vibrates to break up fat faster and with less effort from the surgeon.
  • Ultrasound-Assisted Lipo: As the name suggests, this lipo uses ultrasound energy (sound waves) to emulsify the fat before suction.

At Aesthetic Laser Center, Dr. Lopez uses VASER liposuction to quickly destroy fat cells. This system allows for extreme accuracy and is easily combined with abdominoplasty to greatly improve your results.

Cost of a Tummy Tuck After Massive Weight Loss in Portland

Each patient receives a custom treatment plan that includes a cost breakdown during their consultation with Dr. Lopez. To schedule a tummy tuck consultation today, you may fill out this contact form or call your nearest location at:


Can I get a tummy tuck after I have lost a large amount of weight?

Absolutely! A tummy tuck after massive weight loss can address loose skin in the abdominal area that may be present. It can also tighten abdominal muscles for a smooth, more athletic profile.

How long do the results of tummy tuck surgery after massive weight loss last?

Tummy tuck surgery provides long-lasting results, but it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure the longevity of the outcomes. While significant weight gain may impact results, maintaining a stable weight and following a balanced diet and exercise regimen can help prolong the beneficial effects of the procedure.

Can a tummy tuck after massive weight loss be combined with other procedures?

Yes, tummy tuck surgery can be combined with other procedures, such as liposuction or breast enhancement surgery, to address multiple areas of concern and enhance overall body proportions. Book a consultation with your surgeon to discuss a personalized treatment plan.

Can I get a tummy tuck to address “Ozempic body”?

Yes, you can get a tummy tuck to address “Ozempic body.” “Ozempic body” refers to the physical changes, such as loose skin, that some people experience after significant weight loss from taking semaglutide, a medication used to manage type 2 diabetes and aid in weight loss. A tummy tuck can help remove excess skin and tighten the abdominal muscles, resulting in a more contoured and toned appearance.

How soon after taking semaglutide can I get a tummy tuck?

Surgeons advise people taking weight loss medications to wait until they have reached a stable weight. It is vital to consult with your doctor to receive personalized instructions.


  1. Sadeghi P, Duarte-Bateman D, Ma W, et al. Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery: Abdominoplasty, the State of the Art in Body Contouring. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2022;11(15):4315. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154315
  2. Hany M, Zidan A, Ghozlan NA, et al. Comparison of Histological Skin Changes after Massive Weight Loss in Post-bariatric and Non-bariatric Patients. Obesity Surgery. 2024;34(3):855-865. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-024-07066-y
  3. 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/