Should you lose weight before plastic surgery?

17 May 2019

Weighing scales with measuring tape and an appleBy plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Many patients interested in undergoing a plastic surgery procedure believe that the surgery performed will help solve all issues that they have with their appearance - including weight issues.

“Why should I lose weight when the cosmetic procedure is supposed to give me a better body?” is a common question that most surgeons are familiar with when it comes to patients who are looking to tighten up their stomach, or lift sagging breasts - particularly those who are looking to restore their body following pregnancy.

Plastic surgery results will suffer if you’re overweight

If you are quite significantly overweight, your plastic surgeon is likely to insist that you lose a specified amount of weight before any major cosmetic surgery procedure can be performed on you. Procedures such as liposuction and tummy tucks are contouring procedures, not weight loss procedures. If you’re already at or near your ideal body weight, then these procedures will yield far better results.

For example, many people think that the surgery itself is what will leave them with a firm and flat abdominal area regardless of their weight, or that it’ll remove all cellulite in a single procedure. Unfortunately, there is only so much fat and skin that can be safely removed from the abdominal area at any one time, so if you focus on losing the weight before the procedure it’ll mainly be excess skin that needs to be removed. This will be a far less intensive procedure, more cost-effective and will leave you with much less scarring to be concerned with.

Excess weight is likely to delay recovery

If you’re more than 15-20 lbs overweight, then your surgeon will usually advise you lose as much of that excess weight as possible before any cosmetic procedure that includes cutting or liposuction can be performed on you. This is not only because you’ll yield much better results, but also because recovery time is likely to take longer if you are overweight compared to that of a person who is within a healthy weight range for their age and height. Most plastic surgeons will recommend that you’re no more than 15 lb overweight at the time of your plastic surgery.

Losing weight for your plastic surgery

The two fundamental things that are going to help you on your pre-plastic surgery weight-loss journey is exercise and a balanced healthy diet. It’s important not to rush this in hope of dropping the weight quickly, but instead lose the weight in a sensible and safe manner.

A personal trainer, regular exercise classes or taking daily walks/runs could help with the exercise, while a dietitian will be able to provide you with a well-balanced diet that ensures you’re receiving all the required nutrients during your weight-loss.

Once you have successfully reached an ideal weight for your height and age, your plastic surgeon will then reassess the situation and move things forward accordingly. This will put you in the best position possible to achieve the best results from your procedure, and fully recover within a normal time frame.

Whether you’re overweight and in need of advice before plastic surgery or have recently reached your ideal weight and now feel the time is ready to go under the knife, don’t hesitate to contact me here at Harley St Aesthetics. I’m a board-certified plastic surgeon with a wealth of experience in cosmetic surgery, including my range of signature procedures. Call today on 0845 519 7232, email or fill in our simple online contact form and we’ll get in touch with you at a convenient time.


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