This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

Plastic surgery for overweight peopleAs a plastic surgeon with multiple decades of experience, Dr. George Sanders knows that the aesthetic results of procedures like liposuction and tummy tuck are usually most satisfying if the patient is at, or close to, their ideal weight. This is something that is shared with each patient at the time of consultation in order to set reasonable expectations.

In addition to compromising the quality of the aesthetic results of surgery, being overweight can raise the risk of serious (and possibly life-threatening) health complications. A study published earlier this year in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal confirms this claim. Here, Dr. Sanders explains the results of the study and what it means for individuals considering plastic surgery.

Study Finds Link between High BMI and Surgical Complications

Pulling data from more than 127,000 aesthetic surgery patients, a research team from Vanderbilt University evaluated the rate of complications in patients of a normal weight compared to those with a high body mass index (BMI). More than 36 percent of the patients studied had a BMI of over 25, which is considered to be overweight.

The Vanderbilt team determined that the rate of major complications — defined as complications requiring a visit to the ER, hospital admission or additional surgery within 30 days of the original procedure — rose with BMI. Overweight patients were more likely to experience complications after tummy tuck, liposuction, lower body lift and combined breast and body procedures. For example, infection and venous thromboembolism (blood clot in the vein) were twice as common in overweight patients.

Based on the findings of the study, the Vanderbilt team concluded that being overweight and obese were both independent risk factors in aesthetic surgery.

What the Study Means for You

If you are interested in having plastic surgery, Dr. Sanders recommends you try to achieve and maintain your target body weight prior to your operation. Resources such as Weight Watchers, dietitians and personal trainers can assist you if you are unable to lose weight on your own. Maintaining your weight after surgery is also critical to enjoying long-term results.

To learn more about your desired plastic surgery procedure, please contact Dr. Sanders and schedule a consultation. Please call our office at (818) 981-3333 today to make an appointment.