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Plastic Surgery And High BMI, Complications And Risks

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Plastic Surgery And High BMI, Complications And Risks
June 12
18:14 2016

Plastic surgery may not initially be for everyone, and because safety is the number one concern for doctors and patients alike, a patient with a high body mass index (BMI) may have to take extra precautions before and after a surgical procedure.

BMI is calculated by comparing your weight to your height. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies anyone with a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 as healthy, anyone between 25 and 29.9 as overweight, and anyone with a BMI of 30 or higher as obese. Overweight or obese patients face different risks and complications from plastic surgery and delayed healing.

According to a 2011 news release by John Hopkins Medicine, researchers found that,

“Obese patients are nearly 12 times more likely to suffer a complication following elective plastic surgery than their normal-weight counterparts.”

In this same vein, according to a study in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)), obese women are at much greater risk of complications following breast surgery.

Before undergoing plastic surgery, it is likely that an overweight patient will be asked by their surgeon to lose weight. According to the ASPS, this is in order to decrease the risks and complications post-procedure, such as fluid collection, infection and slow healing. It’s also to ensure the best results of the procedure, such as a tummy tuck. Many doctors recommend losing as much weight as possible prior to a plastic surgery procedure. Aside from this, a plastic surgeon should be completely aware of any underlying health issues the patient has that may affect post-operative wound healing.

Overweight patients seeking weight-loss procedures like liposuction, for example, may not be ideal candidates. The ASPS says ideal liposuction candidates include,

“adults within 30% of their ideal weight who have firm, elastic skin and good muscle tone and healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing.”

But it’s not just before surgery that’s important.

Post-surgery, it is essential to maintain the weight you’ve lost both naturally and from the weight-loss procedure. For a procedure like liposuction, the ASPS says the results will be long-lasting if you remain fit and maintain a stable weight.Employing a healthy diet and exercise regimen is key. However, a patient may not be able to exercise right away, especially if they’ve had multiple procedures done at once. The downtime is going to be much longer. In such a case, it’s essential to remember that the body has undergone significant trauma and needs to heal properly before exerting itself again.

When it comes down to it, the patient is the only one who can commit to keeping weight off both before and after a surgery. A doctor cannot monitor what their patient eats post-surgery. This is up to the patient, and the patient only. Remaining committed to keeping the weight off is the only way to ensure that it will stay off, decreasing your risk of post-operative complications, and allowing you a much more pleasant road to recovery.


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