At New Life Cosmetic Surgery we preach about holistic care for our patients. This means not only focusing on the patient’s aesthetic results but also their functional results. Dr. Daniel Lee greatly enjoys doing tummy tucks on women that were told by other surgeons that they were not good candidates because they are obese. Dr. Lee does these surgeries on healthy obese men and women because his patients greatly benefit from the removal of all their loose skin and he sees the functional benefit of the surgery. Sure, there is a big aesthetic improvement but for many of these patients, it’s the ability to exercise easier, wear clothes that fit better, and improve their overall quality of life.
So why do many cosmetic and plastic surgeons tell patients they won’t do a tummy tuck on a patient if their BMI is over 30? Well, prior studies showed there may be higher risks of complications in obese patients. However, in a recently published study, the surgeons found that there was no significant difference in complications between obese and nonobese patients. They looked at risks of seroma (fluid collection under the skin) formation, wound dehiscence (separation), hematoma formation, surgical-site infection, and blood clots in the legs. The author concluded, “we do believe that we have a sufficient number of patients to show that operating on obese patients is safe if not as safe as operating on nonobese patients. The results of our chart review suggest that physicians should not immediately advise obese patients against undergoing abdominoplasty.”
So if you have a BMI over 30, what are other factors that would not allow you to be a safe candidate for a tummy tuck? If you have diabetes with a hemoglobin A1C over 6.5 then Dr. Lee recommends you get your blood sugars under better control prior to having surgery. Poor blood sugar control can lead to the incision not healing well and tissue dying. If you smoke, then you need to quit smoking for 30 days prior to surgery. Smoking as well can lead to the incision not healing well and the tissue dying. If you have unrealistic expectations for your final results. It’s important to realize that you can have some liposuction done on your sides (flanks) but you can’t have aggressive liposuction on your abdomen. Again, this can lead to tissue dying. Thus, if you are not able to have aggressive liposuction on your abdomen then you still may have a large amount of fatty tissue on your abdomen. So Dr. Lee will discuss the goals of the tummy tuck. Those being the removal of extra skin in the lower and mid-abdomen, possible liposuction of the waist to show off the curves in female patients, and tighten any abdominal muscle separation.
Let us know if you want more information about having a tummy tuck. Whether your BMI is normal or over 30, we would love to see if you are a good candidate. Call us at 956-969-8369. Here is one of our many patients who have had a tummy tuck and had a BMI over 30.