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Posted June 17, 2024 in Plastic Surgery

Women with nude color undergarment

If you’re seeking cosmetic surgery and see that the ideal candidates should be at a “healthy weight,” it can be confusing to figure out what that actually means. In this blog, we discuss how a healthy weight is determined, as well as why it’s important for your surgery and outcomes.

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When you’re researching plastic surgery and see that the ideal candidates “should be at a healthy weight,” are you confused about what that actually means? In most cases, it refers to having an appropriate BMI or body mass index. But BMI is increasingly thought of as an outdated way to determine health: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena both fall into the obese category, even though they’re arguably some of the fittest men in the world. In this blog, we discuss why plastic surgery patients should be at a weight that will not only keep them safe during surgery but also help maintain their results.

What Is Body Mass Index?

Body mass index, more commonly called BMI, is a way to estimate your body fat percentage. It divides your weight by your height, and the result is a number that places you into a weight category. The weight categories according to the National Institutes of Health are as follows:

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

Most cosmetic surgeons ask that their patients have a BMI of 30 or below.

Is BMI a Reliable Indicator of a Healthy Weight?

BMI measurements have been used for years to determine body fat percentages. However, many medical professionals have stopped using it as the only tool to diagnose obesity because it takes a “one size fits all” approach. In fact, when BMI was first created over 200 years ago, it was based on the bodies of white European males. It does not take things like sex or race into account, which are factors that can influence the outcome. For example, women naturally have between five and 10 percent more body fat than men. Active people with high amounts of lean muscle mass and a low percentage of body fat will have the same BMI as someone who is sedentary and has a low amount of muscle mass with a high percentage of body fat. So, in some cases, BMI can be an accurate snapshot of your health, while in others, it may not be.

Why Does BMI Matter For My Cosmetic Surgery?

When you see that your plastic surgeon wants you to be at a “healthy” weight with a BMI of less than 30 for your surgery, there are several reasons for that, including:

Health Risks

If you are overweight, you are at a greater risk for several health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiac concerns. Surgery puts stress on your body and heart, so overweight people have a higher risk of heart attack or stroke during surgery.

Anesthesia Risks

When you are overweight, it makes it more difficult for an anesthesiologist to dose your medication correctly. Additionally, being overweight can make it difficult to insert a breathing tube for surgery and cause your oxygen levels to drop too low because of the extra stress on your heart.

Healing Risks

One concern after surgery is the development of blood clots. That’s why you are encouraged to take slow walks around your house several times a day during your recovery—not only does it help reduce the risk of blood clots and get your blood flowing, but it also helps the healing process. If you are overweight, you also have inflammation in your body that can inhibit healing. Inflammation can impair blood circulation, which in turn can lead to infection and poor wound healing.

Why a Healthy Weight Is Important For Cosmetic Surgery

Besides keeping you safe during surgery and helping to ensure a complication-free recovery, being at a healthy weight when you undergo a cosmetic procedure has other benefits, including:

  • Faster recovery: When your blood is pumping efficiently and is sufficiently oxygenated, it is easier for essential nutrients to be transported to the incision sites, encouraging healing.
  • Safer healing: Less inflammation and a more robust immune system are both benefits of being at a healthy weight and help ensure that you heal effectively and with a reduced risk of infection.
  • Longer lasting results: When you undergo cosmetic body contouring procedures, you are encouraged to be at a stable weight that is within a few pounds of your goal. Significant weight loss or gain will affect your results.
  • Increased confidence: You’re probably seeking cosmetic surgery to feel better about a part of your body you’re self-conscious about. Being at a healthy weight can enhance your results, restoring your confidence in your body.

Learn More About  Body Contouring in Dallas

If you’ve been thinking about how liposuction, a tummy tuck, or breast augmentation could give you the slender curves you desire, it’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. David Morales. To learn more about how Dr. Morales’ expertise in breast and body procedures can benefit you, call today at 214.827.8407 or complete the online contact form.

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