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Matt Hlavacek, MD, DDS
Jason Baker, DDS



The importance of a healthy weight before cosmetic surgery

July 31, 2014, 1:28 am

weight-loss-before-surgeryCosmetic surgery is a lot of things, but one thing that it is not is a weight-loss tool. This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions about cosmetic surgery. While one does not have to be at a perfect weight prior to cosmetic surgery, it is important to achieve a healthy weight and to have sustained that weight for some time. One’s weight may have a direct impact on surgery, recovery, and on the final results of cosmetic surgery.

Your BMI and cosmetic surgery

Your body mass index (BMI) may be a useful indicator of whether or not you are within a healthy weight range for cosmetic surgery, but what is it? Your BMI is an indication of your body-fat ratio based on your height and weight. BMI charts and calculators are widely available and your doctor may also be able to calculate your BMI for you. Patients with higher BMIs may be at increased risk for complications both during and after surgery.

The best candidates for cosmetic surgery will have a BMI in the normal range, generally categorized as between 18.5 and 24.9. Those with BMIs higher or lower than this range may be at risk for a number of health problems, and those with a BMI over 30, in particular, are at the greatest risk of complications due to the increased likelihood that these patients may already have pre-existing circulatory or other health problems. Such issues are a particular concern for patients whose procedures require general anesthesia.

Healthy habits translate to healthy results

Patients who maintain a healthy weight through healthy dietary and exercise habits before cosmetic surgery are more likely to maintain those habits after surgery. By contrast, patients who experience significant weight fluctuations before cosmetic surgery are more likely to gain weight after surgery, undoing their results over time. Healthy habits that are well established before cosmetic surgery often help patients experience less inflammation and improved healing than those without such healthy habits. In addition, those with good eating habits will also have less to worry about during recovery when exercise is limited.

Cosmetic surgery is not a weight loss substitute

While cosmetic surgery may offer many benefits, weight loss is not one of them. Cosmetic surgery should not be viewed as a weight-loss method, but rather as a way to enhance results that have already been achieved. Patients who are able to achieve a realistic, healthy weight and maintain it for at least six months are far more likely to have predictable cosmetic surgery results. They are also more likely to continue to maintain their weight after surgery.

Reducing the need for additional surgeries

Most cosmetic surgeries are best performed when you are closer to an ideal weight, but some are particularly suited to patients near their ideal weight. Such procedures are those involving parts of the body where we are most likely to experience noticeable changes due to weight fluctuations such as the abdomen, thighs, or arms. Liposuction, tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), thigh, body, and arm lifts are ideally performed when you are close to your ideal weight. Not being at a stable weight before surgery, or having a significant amount of weight still to lose may place you at risk of needing a second procedure in the future.

To find out if you are a candidate for cosmetic surgery, call Kansas City Surgical Arts today at (816) 286-4126 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Matt Hlavacek. Even if you aren’t quite ready, there is no time like the present to start on your cosmetic surgery journey by learning just what it will take to be healthy and fit enough for your procedure.