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Should weight loss be before or after surgery?

Heartland Plastic and Hand Surgery welcomes men and women from various communities of Missouri, including Farmington, Poplar Bluff and nearby Marion/Carbondale in Illinois.

Occasionally we will have patients who will come in for a cosmetic consultation and be interested in a breast reduction or abdominoplasty and state that after they are all healed, they want to go to the gym and lose weight. That is the exact opposite of what we recommend– weight loss for surgery should be completed beforehand. Ideally, I would like patients to be within 10 – 15 pounds of the healthy weight they realistically think they can maintain.

We all have the ideal weight that we wish we weighed, and then there is a realistic weight where our body seems to stay. Losing weight is not a fast endeavor, and patients will need to commit to eating healthy fats and healthy foods as well as adopting quality exercise habits to see sustainable weight loss. If a patient decides to lose weight after surgery, they may notice previous results are negatively impacted– the same is true with weight gain. For this reason, we do want to be within 10 – 15 pounds of that realistic weight and keep in mind that fat reduction surgeries are not weight loss surgery.

At the time of the consultation, if the patient states they want to lose 30 – 40 pounds or have other weight loss plans, we will usually postpone any surgery until they lose weight. We will discuss various options to help them lose weight and potentially refer them to another doctor or several of the facilities in the area that have a successful weight-loss program. We will often bring them back in a 3 – 6 month window to check their progress, see how much weight they have lost, and revisit the areas of concern that they raised during their consultation such as high blood pressure.

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