How Weight Gain Affects Tummy Tuck Results

Woman with her hands over her bellybutton after experiencing weight gain after her tummy tuck procedure.

A tummy tuck at our Louisville, KY, plastic surgery center can be a transformative procedure, but excessive weight gain can minimize the longevity of your results. Many men and women worry that major lifestyle changes could impact their plastic surgery investment. All humans have natural weight fluctuations, but it’s important to know the connection between tummy tucks and weight gain. In this blog post, we will discuss every tummy tuck patient’s biggest fear—weight gain after surgery—and what to do to prevent it.

What are the consequences of gaining weight after a tummy tuck?

You will be able to maintain your tummy tuck results if you have minor weight fluctuations, so gaining 10 to 15 pounds should not present significant issues. However, gaining weight can be a slippery slope, and excessive weight gain will surely compromise your results. Weight gain over 15 pounds can cause skin and abdominal muscles to stretch and create a belly bulge.

If the weight gain continues, you may need a tummy tuck revision. A revision can be a more complicated surgery, so I advise all my patients to stick to a healthy lifestyle instead, so they can enjoy their results for years to come. Tummy tuck results can be long-lasting when performed in conjunction with good diet and exercise.

Where do patients gain weight after a tummy tuck?

During body contouring procedures like a tummy tuck, fat cells are eliminated from the body and cannot return. Because of this, patients may gain weight in other places like the buttocks, legs, arms, and breasts. Patients also sometimes gain weight around their organs, and neither a tummy tuck nor liposuction can remove these fat cells.

Why do patients gain weight?

There are many reasons why patients gain weight after tummy tuck surgery. Understanding the reasons discussed here is the first step in preventing weight gain.


Regardless of how many cosmetic procedures you get, the cornerstone of maintaining a slim figure is leading a healthy lifestyle. Of course, we all have cheat meals and lazy days every so often, but establishing healthy habits is essential to looking and feeling your best. There are no replacements for a balanced diet and regular exercise.


Your hormones fluctuate monthly and throughout the course of your life from puberty to adulthood. When your hormones are unbalanced, your weight can be dramatically affected. If you are doing everything you can to live a healthy lifestyle, and you still are gaining weight, talk to your doctor and he or she will be able to give you tips to balance your hormones and get you back on track.


Stress often causes people to sleep less and eat more—both of which play major roles in weight gain. Additionally, stress can cause hormonal issues like the ones mentioned above, with the result being that you store extra fat. You can find many ways to combat stress—exercise, medication, journaling—so it is important to find one that works for you.

Post-Surgery Fluid Retention

Sometimes after surgery water is retained in the areas between your organs, which can lead to a bloated appearance. This fluid retention can be localized—like swollen hands and feet—or it can be more generalized to give the appearance of overall weight gain. Staying active and following proper post-op instructions will help remedy this type of fluid retention.

For more information about tummy tucks, read this blog post that provides recovery tips for future patients.

Take the Next Step

If you are ready to take the next step, request a consultation online or call our office at (502) 899-9979 to schedule an appointment.

25 Responses to How Weight Gain Affects Tummy Tuck Results

  • Essi assila says:

    Hello question is Do you do diatacti recti repair?if so can you give me the hand up of the cost?

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hello Essi-
      Our board-certified plastic surgeons can fix diatacti recti. We would recommend setting up a consultation to determine what would be your best treatment options. Diatacti recti repair falls under the tummy tuck category. For an estimated procedure cost please visit the tummy tuck page of our website.

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hi Delma- What a great question. We see men and women of all ages. There is no age that is too old for a tummy tuck if you are in good health. Health and safety is the main priority for any surgical procedure. Somme of our most mature patients are in the early 80’s.

  • Asima says:

    I had my tummy tuck done 6 months ago, but I find a big bulge coming out again,
    The scales do not show an increase in weight gain. I’m 46 years weighing 140 pounds, my height being 5’2”. Although I’m diabetic but my sugars don’t exceed 160 at random.
    What would be your suggestion.

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hi Asima-

      We would suggest setting up a consultation. This allows you to sit down with the doctor to discuss what may be occurring. The doctor will provide his recommendations as to how you may want to move forward. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation please call 502.899.9979. We would be more than happy to get you on the books.

  • Jamie says:

    You said the fat won’t grow back in the area where the fat cells were eliminated (the tummy/abdomen), then you go on to say that people can gain weight there and a tummy tuck revision may be needed.. which one is the right answer?

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hi Jamie
      The fat cells that have been removed will not come back, however, there are fat cells remaining in any area that has had liposuction or a tummy tuck. Those remaining fat cells can grow and increase in size. So, as time goes on and as a person continues to age; the integrity of their skin and metabolism can change and slow down. This can cause weight gain and loose skin. In this occasion that particular patient may need additional work down the road.

  • I truly need help. I am a 50 year young woman. I had breast augmentation & complete tummy tuck back n February 8th, 2017. Ended up back w my ex husband & my healthy eaten went out the door ??? so UNHAPPY ? NEED YOUR HELP ASAP, pretty please ♥️

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      We are more than happy to assist you. Please call 805.899.9979 to set up a consultation with one of our board certified plastic surgeons.

  • Sheila R Prince says:

    Please help me w advise, foods to to eat. Ideas ? I will follow them to a “T”

    I need the help to get back to whete I was. Thank you n advance.

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hi Sheila-
      Exercise and a health, clean diet is a great place to start. We would suggest speaking with a nutritionist and trainer to get you on the right track.

  • Theresa says:

    I need a reverse tummy tuck you to my bottom part is flat and my upper part looks like I’m pregnant I had a tummy tuck I think it was four years ago or so but I’m tired of the upper part looking the way it looks I look deformed and when you do a reverse tummy tuck do you do liposuction on the area so that it doesn’t grow back the fat what is the recovery time from the reverse tummy tuck and can you get liposuction 360 At the same time can you transfer the fat to the butt Oh one more question with a 360 can you take fat from the double chin can I have

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hello Theresa- We do perform the reverse tummy tuck and if liposuction is recommended that is discussed during the initial consultation. We can also transfer fat to the buttocks to achieve a fuller, shapelier butt. Please feel free to contact one of our consultation coordinators to set up a consultation appointment. Please call 502.899.9979

  • Nicole says:

    I had a tummy tuck after the gastric sleeve in 2017

    I e since gained bk 55 lbds tummy still flat bit as flat and now getting the gastric bypass next month. Will my tummy go bk down again I prey!

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      Hi Nicole-
      It’s hard to say how you will heal. However, if your tummy is flat now, it should remain flat after bypass surgery as long as you are not gaining additional weight. It is best to follow the direction of you bariatric surgeon.

  • Hayley dickerson says:

    I’m looking for the best prices on tummy tuck and. Breast life most the places I hav e found have a valinrine sale going on do you

    • Jacqueline Grimm says:

      There are a few things you may want to consider before considering price. 1. Is the surgeon board-certified? 2. How much experience does the surgeon have? 3. Patient results. Ask to see before and after images.
      Price is important but knowing your surgeon and being comfortable with your surgeon is imperative.

  • Hayley dickerson says:

    I’d like a concentration see how much a tummy tuck is is how much extra a breast lift would be as well if I had the extra money for that but the tummy tuck is more orrsmt to me right now they have a special in Florida but I trying find a closer place .

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