So, you’ve been working hard to lose weight and to reach your fitness goals? That’s an amazing achievement! Whether you’ve already lost a substantial amount of weight or you still have a long way to go, you might have already started thinking about plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures to put the “finishing touches” on your health and fitness project.
Today, you have more options than ever before when it comes to cosmetic body contouring and shaping. There are traditional surgical procedures as well as minimally invasive options. The procedure that’s best for you will depend in large part on the area you’re focusing on, your schedule, and what you’re most concerned about. Learn more about the different body contouring options available and how to pick the one that’s best for you.
How Close Are You to Reaching Your Goals?
One of the first things to consider when choosing a body shaping procedure is how close you are to your goals. There are two numbers to pay attention to when deciding whether or not body contouring is a good option for you now, and if so, which treatment is the most appropriate.
The first number is your body mass index or BMI. Your BMI is a measurement of your body fat that’s calculated by comparing your height and weight. A “normal” weight BMI usually falls between 18.5 and 24.9. An “overweight” BMI is usually between 25 and 29.9, while a BMI over 30.0 is considered obese.
Although there are some exceptions (for example, people who have a lot of muscle tend to have higher BMIs, even if they don’t technically have excess fat), for the most part, your BMI should be under 30 before you consider any type of body contouring surgery.
The second number to focus on is your goal weight. If you’ve been working on losing weight, how much did you want to lose at the beginning and how close are you to that goal? Ideally, you’ll be within 10 pounds or so of your target weight before you consider any type of body shaping procedure.
If you have a cosmetic procedure before you’re near your goal, losing additional weight could affect the results or you might not get satisfactory results in the first place.
What Area Most Concerns You?
The next thing to consider is the area you’re most interested in treating or focusing on. Body surgeries can address a variety of different areas. For example, a tummy tuck will help to make the abdominal area look slimmer and more toned while a thigh lift can shape the inner or outer thighs. Other types of body surgery include arm lifts and back lifts. A body lift focuses on the whole lower area of the body, including the hips, thighs, and abdomen.
Are You Concerned About Skin or Just Fat?
Another question to ask yourself is what is most concerning to you: excess skin or excess fat? In many cases, after a person loses a substantial amount of weight, the skin in certain areas of the body can become loose and saggy. It might have lost its elasticity or it might not have had time to “bounce back” as the pounds dropped away.
Excess, sagging skin can be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to find clothing that fits. It can also affect your self-esteem. You might not feel confident about letting others see your abdomen or upper arms if there is a considerable amount of loose skin in those areas.
Although dramatic weight loss is one common cause of loose skin, other factors can contribute to it as well. Many women notice that they have a little pouch of excess skin in the tummy area after giving birth. The aging process can also make the skin less elastic, causing it to droop or sag.
Most types of “lift” surgery focus on removing excess skin from particular areas of the body. If unwanted stubborn fat is the problem, either instead of or in addition to sagging skin, liposuction might be a more appropriate option. Liposuction is performed to remove excess fat from particular areas of the body. It can be performed on its own or combined with a tummy tuck, arm lift or other “lift” procedure.
Do You Have Time for Surgery?
One last thing to think about when deciding on the right body procedure for you is your schedule. Surgery typically does require a bit of a time commitment. You might need to spend time before the procedure preparing. How long you’ll need for preparation depends on your current health and how close you are to your particular goals.
Some downtime is usually needed after surgery. Usually, you’ll need to take time off from work and will have to avoid a variety of everyday activities, such as exercise, for several weeks after the procedure. Exactly how much downtime you’ll need depends on the surgery you end up having.
A few procedures require a more extensive recovery period than others. For example, after a tummy tuck, you might need two or three weeks of downtime before you’re ready to get back on your feet. Liposuction or an arm lift might only require a week or so of downtime.
If you don’t have the time for surgery at the moment, your best option is to discuss all of your options with a plastic surgeon, They might advise waiting until your schedule is more flexible and free or they might recommend a non-surgical or minimally invasive option to tide you over.
Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas who performs a wide range of body contouring and lifting surgeries at his practice. If you have more questions about your body surgery options or want to speak one-on-one with a plastic surgeon about what’s best for you, call 281-484-0088 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas today.