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Why Your Weight and BMI Matters for Plastic Surgery

Did you know that a person’s weight can interfere with their ability to undergo certain surgical procedures? BMI or Body Mass Index plays an important role in your eligibility for plastic surgery and the kinds of results you can expect. If you’re considering surgery, it’s important to understand how your BMI may impact your procedure.

What does BMI mean?

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measurement of body fat based on your height and weight ratio and applies to both men and women. The taller you are, the more you are expected to weigh. Everyone’s BMI falls somewhere on a scale which classifies their measurement as underweight, healthy, overweight or a level of obesity. According to the Canadian Guidelines for Body Weight Classification in Adults, someone who is underweight has a BMI of less than 18.5. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9 and an overweight BMI is between 25 to 29.9, while obesity is classified as a BMI of 30 or more.

How do you calculate your BMI?

To determine your BMI and the associated level of health or risk, refer to this Body Mass Index Calculator by the Canadian Diabetes Association. You can also calculate your BMI using this formula: BMI = weight(kg)/height(m)2.

Who should not use a BMI calculator?

It’s important to note that muscle and fat weigh different amounts. A BMI calculator does not take into consideration whether your weight is carried as muscle or fat. Therefore, those with a higher muscle mass, such as athletes and bodybuilders, may have a high BMI but not be at a greater health risk. Those with a lower muscle mass, such as children or the elderly, may have a lower BMI. The BMI calculator is also not recommended for pregnant and lactating women as a woman’s body composition changes drastically during this period.

Is your BMI an accurate assessment of your health?

Your BMI is a useful tool for healthcare professionals to quickly identify health risks. However, your BMI alone doesn’t provide a detailed picture of your health. To clarify risk for each individual, other factors such as lifestyle habits, fitness level, family history, and presence or absence of other health risk conditions must also be considered.

Why does your BMI matter for surgery?

Having a healthy BMI and weight prior to surgery is not only crucial for your health but can also improve your chances for a successful procedure with optimal results. Different procedures will have different BMI limits. A BMI of 30 is the cut-off for many procedures, while certain upper body procedures such as breast reductions may still be performed at a higher BMI cut-off of 33. If your BMI exceeds the limit for your chosen procedure, your surgeon may ask you to work toward a lower BMI before proceeding with surgery. Obesity is a risk factor for surgical complications across a wide spectrum of surgical procedures. For example, people who are classified as obese using the BMI scale are more likely to have a weakened immune system, chronic inflammation and a higher risk of developing a blood clot. In general, obesity will delay wound healing, slow your recovery rate, increase pain and inflammation after surgery, and increase the risk of infection or complications after your procedure.

Why are most elevated-BMI patients not liposuction candidates?

For those considering liposuction, it is important to understand that cosmetic surgery should never be used as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle. Liposuction and tummy tucks are not intended to help you reach your weight loss goals. Instead, liposuction is an effective way of sculpting and enhancing contours, especially in conjunction with surgeries like tummy tucks and breast reductions for the best possible results. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery can be an effective way to tone and trim what diet and exercise can’t fix, such as fat deposits, loose skin, and damaged or stretched abdominal muscles.

How to lower your BMI before surgery.

In order to become a good candidate for plastic surgery, it’s important to focus on a long-term weight management plan that includes adopting a healthful lifestyle, with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a healthy sleep schedule. Those with a significant amount of weight to lose may also consider bariatric surgery, medically supervised weight management programs, and prescription medications. Before starting any diet or weight loss management program, we recommend having a discussion with your family doctor. Once you have achieved and maintained your goal weight, you will have a clearer picture of your options for plastic surgery.

How long should your weight be stable for leading up to surgery?

Generally, we recommend that patients maintain a healthy weight for three months or more. This means that your weight is no longer fluctuating, and you are at or close to your goal weight.

Schedule a consultation today.

Dr. Ron Somogyi, Dr. Waqqas Jalil, and the entire team at FORM Face + Body are committed to providing exceptional care for every one of our patients to ensure a safe procedure, comfortable recovery, and beautiful results. Book a consultation with us today if you are considering plastic surgery and have questions about how your BMI may impact your procedure.

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