For many men and women that are dissatisfied with their appearance, a cosmetic surgery procedure can seem like a fantastic opportunity to achieve the body of their dreams. However, if this dissatisfaction results from being overweight then it’s time to step back and look at the bigger picture
BMI guidelines for cosmetic surgery
There are no established guidelines that state a certain BMI, or Body Mass Index, prevents or guarantees that you can undergo a cosmetic surgery procedure. However, higher BMIs do mean greater surgical and anaesthetic risks and a BMI assessment will always be part of the consultation process at our Leamington cosmetic surgery clinic.
Your Body Mass Index is a calculation based on your weight and height and the more you weigh, the higher your BMI. For patients between 25 to 29 on the BMI scale, there is low surgical/anaesthetic risk; from 30 to 35, the risk increases but surgery may still be considered, as long as the patient is otherwise in good health, and also depending on the particular problem. More caution must be taken for possible Abdominoplasty/Tummy Tuck, for example. Over 35 and there are significantly increased surgical risks, which must be taken into account and demand much more caution.
For patients with a BMI over 35, they are typically advised to lose weight prior to surgery (preferable too for those between 30 and 35). Often these men and women have developed associated health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure which further complicates matters.
Potential surgical risks include problems with anaesthesia, airway complications, chest infection, deep vein thrombosis (clot in the calf veins), pulmonary embolism (a clot breaking off and going to the lungs), poor wound healing after surgery and an increased likelihood of infection
Another factor that must be taken into account is the impact your weight will have on the final outcome of your cosmetic surgery procedure. Body contouring surgery, whether it’s a tummy tuck, thigh reduction or arm lift, all produce a better result when you’re close to or at your ideal body weight. Liposuction removes fat cells permanently and these can’t ‘grow back’ but putting weight on again after your procedure can cause the remaining fat cells to expand. Even the outcome of procedures such as a breast augmentation or a facelift can be affected if you experience marked weight fluctuations post surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is elective, which means that it is never necessary, and for that reason it is imperative that patients limit surgical risks as much as possible. Achieving and maintaining their ideal body weight results in a better sense of wellbeing and also means more chance of them being highly satisfied with the outcome of their surgery.