How Obesity Increases Risk of Plastic Surgery
There’s a lot of perception out there that plastic surgery exists only as a quick fix for obesity or being overweight. This is actually a dangerous assumption: more and more medical evidence is pointing to the fact that obesity can actually increase the risks and side effects for plastic surgery. It’s important to acknowledge that plastic surgery is a very serious procedure, and managing existing health conditions before the surgery is essential for a safe procedure. The more you can do to make it as safe as possible, the better your plastic surgery results and experience will be.
The Facts About Obesity
Recent studies have shown that obese plastic surgery patients are 35% more likely than non-obese patients to visit the hospital to treat complications related to plastic surgery. Overall, 3.2% of obese plastic surgery patients developed complications when compared to the .9% of non-obese patients who had developed complications.
It’s Incredibly Expensive
It’s an unfortunate fact that most insurance companies won’t cover treatment for complications that arise from plastic surgery. Research has shown that on average, obese patients had to spend $3,900 more on health care costs after liposuction, $7,100 more after a “tummy tuck” and $7,400 more for breast-reduction surgery. It’s already taxing and difficult to have to recover from further complications from surgery; but having extra expenses for an already expensive surgery can create a lot of unnecessary stress and hardship.
It’s Not Just Aesthetic Procedures
These risks and extra costs are present even when it’s not a cosmetic procedure. When it comes to breast reduction and breast reconstruction surgery, obese women were nine times more likely to develop complications to reconstructive surgical procedures. The most common complications for these surgeries are inflammation, infection, and fluid buildup.
What Can We Do?
A great plastic surgeon will always do their best to reduce any kind of risk for plastic surgery procedures. That’s why many surgeons request that a patient lower their weight before a procedure to a healthy BMI, also known as Body Mass Index. Your BMI is a range of weights associated with different heights, and many people can look up their healthy BMI ranges themselves. In fact, many body sculpting procedures like liposuction and the tummy tuck are designed for people who are close to their ideal weight, but need to remove stubborn fat that is resistant to diet and exercise.
In the end, it’s ultimately good for you to stay at your healthy weight even after your procedure—many body contouring procedures like tummy tucks lose their results if the patient regains their weight afterwards.