ABC7’s The More in the Morning team spoke with Dr. Michael K. Kim, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, about Body Mass Index (BMI) and plastic surgery. Dr. Kim explained how BMI can affect plastic surgery and who would make the ideal candidate for plastic surgery.
What is BMI?
Your BMI or Body Mass Index is a calculation of how much body fat you are carrying on your body frame. What this means with regards to plastic surgery is that your weight, height, and BMI will be discussed in terms of how those factors may impact your surgical results.
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.
What is considered a healthy BMI?
- If your BMI is below 18.5 percent: underweight
- A BMI from 18.5 percent to 24.9 percent: normal
- A BMI from 25 percent to 29.9 percent: overweight
- 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.
Why does BMI matter?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.