If you see loose and sagging abdominal skin when you look in the mirror, when you shower, and when you get dressed, you realize that you cannot escape this frustrating problem of abdominal laxity. For some people, the laxity affects primarily the skin and connective tissue. For some, abdominal laxity is severe and involves separation of the abdominal muscles. One problem may be technically more severe, but both can cause a great deal of emotional turmoil for the person who doesn’t feel fully at home in their body.
To want improvement and feel that abdominoplasty is the way to get it, only to hear from a surgeon that you need to lose weight, can be deflating. We understand. Here, we discuss what it means to be the “ideal weight” for abdominoplasty and why it matters.
Tummy Tuck Surgery Is Affected By Weight . . . Sort Of
When guidelines state that you should be at your ideal weight before undergoing tummy tuck surgery, what does that really mean? What if, to you, your ideal weight is 125 and you are 5 foot 10? Based on the actual measurement that surgeons use, chances are pretty good that you would be considered underweight! To determine who is a good candidate for abdominoplasty, or even liposuction, two of the most popular body contouring procedures, a surgeon measures BMI, body mass index. Your body mass index is the ratio between your weight and your height. Generally, surgeons prefer to perform abdominoplasty on patients whose BMI is no higher than 30. A BMI of 25 to 29.9 sits in the normal range. Ideally, your tummy tuck procedure will be scheduled when you’ve maintained the same weight for at least six months. Knowing these details is one thing. But we want you to be as informed as possible, so we’ll go one step farther.
Why Does This Matter?
There are a few important reasons to have abdominoplasty only within a healthy weight (BMI) range. We’ll go with the obvious first. If you have abdominoplasty before you’ve reached your ideal weight and you lose more weight after your procedure, the outcome may very likely be affected. Losing weight after abdominoplasty could result in the skin looking puckered or loose. The other primary reason doctors want their patients to be in a healthy BMI range before plastic surgery is because a higher BMI relates to surgical risks. Typically, a higher BMI means a weaker immune system. The immune system plays an integral role in healing after surgery, affecting swelling, bruising, and infection prevention. Higher BMI may also coincide with fatty liver, which can impair a patient’s ability to recover from anesthesia through natural drug metabolism. Finally, unhealthy body weight is often associated with chronic systemic inflammation. Where there is inflammation before surgery, there may be more swelling, bruising, and discomfort during recovery.
Your surgeon has your best interest at heart when making pre-surgical recommendations for weight loss or lifestyle modifications. If you are interested in learning more about abdominoplasty, contact us at (702) 805-2058 and schedule a visit in Henderson or Las Vegas.