We were recently asked by a patient how BMI affects our decision to perform abdominoplasty. We thought this was an excellent question and I’ll paraphrase it below.
Every case is individual and I don’t necessarily have a cutoff or absolute BMI number that determines if I will or won’t do an abdominoplasty. I lot of factors play into the decision.
I tell all my patients I want them to be at a stable weight before the surgery. Significant weight changes after the surgery can compromise your result. I don’t insist patients reach an “ideal” weight, but at least I’m not trying to aim for a moving target.
Lower BMI patients are generally going to get a better result than higher BMI patients, but I’ve had many higher BMI patients who were extremely happy with the amount of improvement we were able to achieve. They were realistic in their expectations and I was able to meet or exceed these.
In the higher BMI patient, I consider multiple factors before deciding if I will recommend an abdominoplasty. These include:
Overall health and potentially complicating medical conditions
Previous abdominal scars
Potential for improvement
and other factors
If I don’t feel the operation can be done safely or the result will fall short of the patient’s expectations, I’ll tell them at the consultation. I’d rather disappoint them at our initial consultation than have them be disappointed (or endangered) by the operation.