How do you know if you are a good candidate for body contouring procedures?
- You need to optimize or fix any on-going health issues that may have been caused by being overweight. The list might include high blood pressure and/or diabetes. You should be as healthy as possible to minimize risks and complications after surgery.
- Your weight should be stable. For most patients, this usually occurs between 12-18 months following weight loss surgery. You might be an exception to this rule of thumb, but the idea is to have good history without any major on-going weight loss/gain, before your procedure. This allows for a more predictable and aesthetic result.
- You should be as nicotine-free as possible. Continuing to smoke limits the eligibility for some of the procedures available to a non-smoker. In patients where smoking cessation is not possible, simply reducing the number of daily cigarettes will still provide a substantial benefit.
- Your nutrition should be optimized. Patients having undergone surgical weight loss have a variety of metabolic changes and frequently require nutritional supplementation. Poor nutritional status can be a risk factor for post-operative complications.
- Your emotional health needs to be stable. There are many emotional obstacles that need to be addressed during the post-operative period. Having a support system in place to encourage and take care of you is of up most importance. Undergoing body contouring during a time of emotional stress, (i.e., caring for sick relatives, changing jobs, moving, etc.), can potentially prolong your recovery and cause physical debilitation.
The ideal situation is one in which risks are minimized and results are maximized. This occurs when patient and surgeon agree on the plan of action. It is worth the time and effort required to prioritize your health so that the expectations you have become reality.
Check back next week for more information on Body Contouring: What are the key questions to ask your plastic surgeon?