Answer: She shouldn’t have anything done. This woman is morbidly obese and should never undergo elective surgery. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries are NOT for weight loss, and they are far too risky in someone who is this heavy.
Surgery is a major stress on the cardiovascular system, and when that system is already stressed to the max trying to support all that extra weight, surgery can lead to complications that are much less common in people who are closer to their ideal bodyweight. Overweight and obese individuals have a much higher rate of clots in their veins (DVT’s), clots that travel to their lungs (pulmonary emboli), wound healing problems, and infections. These risks increase right along with the scale too, so the heavier you are, the more likely it is that you’ll have a problem.
So, if you are considering liposuction or a tummy tuck, and you look like the woman in this picture, or if you know someone who does, it’s time to rethink your strategy.
Your first step is to calculate your BMI, which is your Body Mass Index. This is a number that plastic surgeons use to determine how risky your surgery will be. If you have a BMI higher than 29, you will have about a 50% chance of having a complication after a procedure like liposuction or a tummy tuck. In comparison, women who have BMI’s of 25 or less have less than a 5% chance of having a complication.
The formula to calculate your BMI is pretty complex, so use this fancy BMI calculator from the National Institute of Health. Click here to calculate your BMI.
If your BMI is higher than 29, reset your goals and focus on losing weight. Any of the most popular weight loss programs like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or Nutrisystem are a great place to start. If you’ve already tried these programs without any success, or if you’re BMI is well above 29 to begin with, seek the advice of a physician who specializes in weight loss. You may be a candidate for gastric banding or bypass procedures.
When your BMI gets to be 28 or below, and your weight has been steady for at least 6 months, then it will be time to make an appointment to see your favorite plastic surgeon. Until then, focus on what’s important, and find a way to get yourself fit and healthy.
We know you can do it!
Nicholas Vendemia, M.D. Plastic Surgeon, New York City MAS / Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery www.ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com
Photo Credit: iStockphoto
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.