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Medically Reviewed by Dr. J. Hopkins


April 27, 2022

Close Up of Female Torso with Hands on HipAre you qualified for a safe and successful plastic surgery procedure? There are a number of factors to consider when making this determination. For example, it is crucial that you be in good physical health overall, without any underlying conditions that could impede healing. Additionally, the best patients have realistic expectations about the procedure, the recovery, and the long-term results. By meeting with an experienced surgeon like Dr. Hopkins, you can gain a better understanding of your own eligibility.

Another factor that Dr. Hopkins will discuss with you is body weight. While there is not a specific weight level that disqualifies you from having surgery, it is important for plastic surgery patients to have a relatively healthy and sustainable body weight.

Why Stability Matters

Having a stable and sustainable body weight is important for many reasons, but one of them is that if you have plastic surgery and then lose a significant amount of weight, your surgical results may suffer.

For example, if you have a tummy tuck but then lose a lot of weight, you may accumulate extra, loose skin around the abdominal area. Similarly, facelift patients who experience major weight loss may wind up with sagging skin on the face, chin, or neck.

Generally speaking, plastic surgery patients can tolerate weight loss of around 10 pounds without any adverse effect on their results. Minor weight gain is acceptable, as well. Extreme fluctuations in weight can compromise your results, and ultimately decrease your satisfaction with your plastic surgery.

Health Problems Can Arise

Among overweight patients, health problems may arise during the surgical procedure, or during the post-surgical recovery. Having plastic surgery may also cause existing health problems to become exacerbated.

For the most part, patients who have a BMI of 30 or more run a higher risk of surgical complications, including heart problems. The higher the BMI, the higher the level of surgical risk. This does not mean that all patients with a BMI of 30 or more are automatically disqualified from surgery. Surgeons may still find these patients to be good candidates for a safe procedure, based on other lifestyle factors. However, most surgeons will not perform plastic surgery on patients with a BMI that exceeds 35.

Though it is not as common, it is certainly possible for significantly underweight patients to have problems, too. This is particularly true when the patient is malnourished or suffers from an eating disorder. For patients who are significantly underweight, additional clinical evaluation may be necessary before plastic surgery is permitted.

Plastic Surgery and Weight Loss

It is worth noting that plastic surgery can often be a catalyst for healthier eating, more rigorous exercise, and overall improvement to the patient’s lifestyle. This is because plastic surgery provides a boost of confidence. And patients who feel good about themselves for the first time in a long time are often willing to maintain those results. For this reason, plastic surgery often precedes notable weight loss.

What about patients who undergo significant weight loss before they have plastic surgery? Getting into better shape is always commendable, and may make you a better candidate for a safe and successful surgical procedure. With that said, Dr. Hopkins may advise that you wait for a few months to ensure that your new body weight is something you can sustain.

Find Out More About Plastic Surgery Eligibility

If you are ready to pursue plastic surgery and want to determine your candidacy, the process starts with a consultation. Dr. Hopkins will talk with you about your aesthetic goals, ask some questions about your medical history, and perform a physical examination. You will also have a chance to ask any questions you may have about your desired procedure.

To schedule a consultation, contact J. Hopkins Plastic Surgery at your next opportunity or a plastic surgeon near you. Contact us at (972) 298-6641.