New Year Resolutions: Improving Your Appearance

Are you ready for a new you?
By Dr. Darshan Shah

The new year is upon us and many of you will be making resolutions to improve your appearance, including taking advantage of surgical procedures to eliminate facial lines and wrinkles, scars, sagging skin and unwanted fat.  Proper planning for any type of surgery is important, especially tummy tucks, liposuction and similar procedures designed to transform the appearance of your body.  This includes ensuring that you are at your ideal body weight by the time the surgery takes place.  When your weight is appropriate for your age and height, you will have the best results possible from your surgery.

You can evaluate your own surgery readiness with the Body Mass Index (BMI).  Developed by the World Health Organization, this easy-to-read scale is used to gauge how much your current weight departs from what is considered normal for individuals that are your same height and weight.  To use the BMI scale, first locate your height (in inches) in the left-hand column labeled Height.  Then move right across the column to find your weight.  When you have found your weight, move up the column to the top bar, to find your BMI ranking.  The formula that is used to calculate BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by height in meters, squared (BMI=kg/m2).

In order to achieve the optimum results from plastic surgery, your BMI needs to be less than 30.  This is particularly important for tummy tucks (abdominoplasty) and liposuction, but should also be adhered to when undergoing any type of surgery.  A tummy tuck is the procedure used to eliminate excessive and sagging abdominal skin that can result from extreme weight loss, bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass surgery or pregnancy.  Liposuction is a popular method of eliminating obstinate body fat that has not responded to diet or exercise.  Your plastic surgeon will also want to ensure your BMI is under 30 for procedures such as facelifts, rhinoplasty, brow lift, fat injections, breast lift, breast reduction and many other procedures.

If you are planning a surgery this year and need to lose weight, there are many different methods that can help you accomplish your BMI goals.  One of the simplest programs to implement is the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid.  This is a tool that is used to help an individual lose weight with a balanced and nutritious diet.  Another popular weight loss program is Weight Watchers, which is based on the way in which your body processes food.  Try to avoid products that promote rapid weight reduction, both due to potential health consequences and the likelihood of regaining the weight after your procedure.  Whatever diet plan you choose, make sure that you are also exercising.  Regular physical activity has many pre-surgery as well as health benefits.  Also remember that before beginning any type of weight loss program, you should visit your physician for a checkup and any tests that may be needed.  This will uncover any medical conditions that may prevent you from losing weight.  

Looking your best this coming year is a worthwhile and obtainable goal.  Our office can provide you with the surgical information that you will need if you are planning a procedure.