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How BMI Affects Your Ability to Have Plastic Surgery

You should only undergo plastic surgery when you are a suitable candidate, which is determined during your initial consultation with me, your board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Olivier Deigni. During this time, I will evaluate your medical history and perform a physical assessment. This is because your BMI affects your ability to have plastic surgery.

In this article, I discuss the implications of BMI on plastic surgery. While this guide is not designed to replace personalized advice from your plastic surgery team, it is a good starting point. Once you have lost a lot of weight, we can discuss the benefits of post-weight loss surgery.

BMI: What Is It?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is a way to calculate a person’s body fat based on their height and weight. BMI applies to both men and women and is the recommended method for diagnosing obesity and other weight-related concerns and disorders, but it is not a direct measure of body fat. BMI is organized into four categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obese = BMI of 30 or greater

You can calculate your BMI with this formula: weight(kg)/height(m2). There are numerous BMI calculators available online.

The BMI calculation does not apply to everyone, and some populations should not use BMI. For example, BMI does not take muscle mass percentage into account, therefore, a bodybuilder or someone with a higher percent of muscle mass may have a higher BMI but not face the same risks of developing complications as overweight or obese patients. For this reason, I include a case-by-case evaluation and decision-making process for each of my patients.

The BMI calculation is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, because body composition differs in these populations.

Why BMI Matters for Surgery

In most cases, and for the majority of surgeries, it is necessary for you, the patient, to have a BMI in the normal weight range (approximately 18.5 to 24.9) due to safety concerns. Patients with higher BMI have higher chances of developing complications that prevent them from having a successful surgery, such as:

  • Reactions and complications due to anesthesia
  • Blood clots
  • Infection due to delayed healing

For these reasons, the BMI cutoff for many surgeries is 35.

Obesity Is a Risk Factor for Surgical Procedures

Risks for surgical complications increase as BMI increases that is why reputable clinics and plastic surgeons will not perform cosmetic surgery on patients with a BMI over 35. Obese patients in particular are ineligible for many surgeries because they are more likely to have a weakened immune system, chronic inflammation, and a higher risk of developing blood clots.

Obesity can hinder optimal surgical results by:

  • Slowing recovery time
  • Delaying wound healing
  • Increasing pain and inflammation
  • Increasing the risk of complications

When you are obese and you are considering body sculpting surgery, I recommend you attempt to get your BMI down to the normal range by implementing a weight management plan that includes one or more of the following:

  • A healthy and nutritious diet
  • Adopting healthy lifestyle habits and changes
  • Controlling substance use, including smoking and alcohol
  • Prescription weight-loss medication on the advice of your doctor
  • A medically supervised weight loss program
  • Bariatric surgery

After completing a weight management program, I also recommend your weight be stable for at least three months prior to surgery.

Surgeries Performed With Patients’ Safety and Wellness at the Forefront

At Deigni Plastic Surgery, we perform our surgeries with patients’ safety and wellness at the forefront, and we perform these procedures only after medically evaluating our patients and deeming them to be suitable candidates for their chosen surgery. We will not move ahead with unsafe surgeries that could potentially harm our patients. Instead, we will do our best to work with ineligible patients to recommend alternative, non-surgical procedures that may better suit their needs until their BMI is in the ideal range.

Turn to Us With Questions on How BMI Affects Your Ability to Have Plastic Surgery

The best way to discover if you are a suitable candidate for your plastic surgery is by booking a consultation with me, Dr. Olivier Deigni. I can provide you with a full medical evaluation and determine if plastic surgery is right for you. Connect with us today at 281-721-4373 and book your initial consultation.

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