What is your BMI – your Body Mass Index? How does someone’s BMI impact the decision to have plastic surgery, and how will it affect the results of that surgery?

If you are considering a cosmetic surgical procedure, your Boston liposuction surgeon will need to take your BMI into account when you are planning your surgery.

But even if cosmetic surgery is not in your personal plans right now, it’s good to know how your BMI is determined and how it can impact your overall health.

WHAT’S REQUIRED TO MAKE A COSMETIC PROCEDURE SUCCESSFUL?

For those considering liposuction or a lipectomy, the first thing to understand is that cosmetic surgery can never be used as a replacement for a healthy lifestyle.

Whether or not you choose plastic surgery, you should exercise regularly, practice proper nutrition, drink plenty of water, and get a sufficient amount of sleep.

Yes, it is true that for some people, liposuction or lipectomy is the best alternative for dealing with areas of the body that are prone to fat. For many people who have struggled with particular weight and body fat issues, cosmetic surgery offers genuine hope.

But a procedure like liposuction or lipectomy is effective only if the patient is already actively practicing a healthy lifestyle.

Plastic surgeons understand that weight management issues can be emotional. Discussing sensitive weight issues might make some patients uncomfortable, but it is essential to discuss these matters at your first consultation with a Boston cosmetic surgeon.

PRECISELY WHAT IS YOUR BMI?

Your BMI or Body Mass Index is a calculation of how much body fat you are carrying on your body frame. During that first consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, your weight, height, and BMI will be discussed in terms of how those factors may impact your surgical results.

If your BMI is high, your surgeon may ask you to work toward a lower BMI before you proceed with surgery. If so, lowering your BMI will be important for both your health and for the best surgical results.

If you are asked to work toward a lower BMI, your cosmetic surgeon can also point you to some valuable and helpful weight-loss resources.

WHY IS A HEALTHY BMI SO IMPORTANT FOR COSMETIC SURGERY?

A healthy BMI prior to cosmetic surgery not only makes a good surgery result more likely but it also further minimizes the already quite low risk that is always associated with anesthesia and with any surgical procedure.

Your Body Mass Index is a measurement of your body fat. It is partially based on your height/weight ratio, but that is far from the only factor that a BMI measurement takes into account.

Your BMI “percentage” is the final important figure. For most of us, a BMI above 24.9 percent means someone is overweight. At 30 percent or higher, an individual meets the definition of obesity.

WHAT’S CONSIDERED HEALTHY?

Everyone is different, and everyone’s health is impacted by a variety of different factors, so a BMI measurement alone cannot be considered the final definitive word about anyone’s health.

Here is a basic outline of BMI percentages and what they tend to indicate – again, as a rule of thumb – in terms of your general health:

1. If your BMI is below 18.5 percent: underweight
2. A BMI from 18.5 percent to 24.9 percent: normal
3. A BMI from 25 percent to 29.9 percent: overweight
4. A BMI at or above 30 percent: obese

Your BMI measurement also indicates how lean your muscle tissue is. As a rule of thumb, leaner individuals are generally healthier individuals.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY BMI?

Even health insurance companies take into account your BMI percentage as one indication of your general physical condition. Staying in a healthy BMI range reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and a number of other diseases and conditions.

WHAT SHOULD YOU CONSIDER PRIOR TO PLASTIC SURGERY?

Here are several important factors to consider regarding BMI and cosmetic surgery. It is a good idea to discuss each of these factors at your first consultation with an experienced Boston cosmetic surgeon:

1. The impact of BMI on wound healing: Your BMI can affect your liver functions, immune system, and inflammation in your body as well as your capacity to heal. Your BMI is important to your entire cosmetic surgery experience, healing, and results.

2. A high BMI percentage can suppress your immune system: Fat deposits may suppress your immune system, interfere with organ functions, and compromise your ability to heal quickly.

3. A high BMI measurement means more inflammation: Fat cells play a role in creating inflammation in the body. After a cosmetic surgical procedure, excessive inflammation can impair your ability to heal.

WHAT ROLE DOES INFLAMMATION PLAY?

Inflammation plays a crucial role in the healing process; it carries nutrients to the area of the incisions, and those nutrients enable and promote healing. But pre-existing or excessive inflammation raises your risks and prolongs your recovery.

Excess or chronic inflammation impairs your circulation, and it also makes you look “puffy.”

Excess fat – a high BMI percentage – is also an indication of a fatty liver. A fatty liver develops when liver cells are displaced by fat cells that impair your liver’s ability to function properly.

The liver is the organ that detoxifies the body. If the liver is compromised, you may have more difficulty recovering from cosmetic surgery and anesthesia.

An improperly functioning liver can also cause headaches, skin outbreaks, menstrual pain, fatigue, and it can exacerbate allergies.

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE REGARDING COSMETIC SURGERY AND BMI?

The fact is that many patients will need to reduce their BMI percentages before they can be good candidates for liposuction, lipectomy, or a comparable cosmetic procedure.

Patients who are seeking such procedures also should understand that cosmetic surgery has its limits; it can improve someone’s appearance, but no cosmetic surgeon can create “perfection.”

But with a healthy Body Mass Index and realistic expectations, you will probably recover quickly from a cosmetic procedure, and you’ll like the results.

The right cosmetic procedure can make almost anyone feel healthier, happier, and younger.

Don’t wait to get started. If you are considering cosmetic surgery in the New England area, let an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon explain more about the importance of your BMI and about your cosmetic surgery options.