Why Does Your BMI matter for Cosmetic Surgery? 0

Monday 2nd October, 2017 | Ask An Expert |

Header: Credit: Shutterstock

Healthcare professionals use a measure called Body Mass Index (BMI) to help decide if you are overweight or obese. This is measured by an accurate reading of your height and weight. Here at MYA we always ask for your height and weight measurements when booking you in for your initial appointment.  If there are any foreseeable concerns, your MYA nurse will check your measurements at your pre-operative assessment.

BMI overview for adults:

~Between 18.5 and 24.9 – healthy weight.
~Between 25 and 29.9 – overweight.
~Between 30 and 39.9 – obese.
~BMI of 40 or more – severely obese.

It is therefore very important that you are within a healthy BMI range to ensure you are safe for surgery. At MYA, we require your BMI to be between 18 and 33, depending on what procedure you are looking into.  If your BMI is below 18, your MYA nurse will request your BMI information and stability from your GP and also make your surgeon and assigned anaesthetist aware. You would also need bloods taken at your pre-operative assessment.

Joanna, one of our lovely nurses explains:

As nurses, it is our role to help ensure our patients have a smooth and safe journey both in the running up to surgery and in the recovery phases. If your BMI is within a healthy range, this can help with wound healing, decrease your risk of infection and help you heal at a normal rate’.

If you are severely underweight, research has shown that you are at higher risk of:

~Infection
~Delayed wound healing
~Higher risk of heart an attack
~Irregular heart rhythms
~Taking longer to recover from illness

All of these are especially relevant when it comes to having surgery. Underweight patients often have a weakened immune system and this means your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to make hormones, which are critical for healing wounds and synthesizing cells to fight infection.

Additionally, the associated heart problems stated above could heighten the risk of complications when patients are given anesthetic.

If you are severely overweight or obese, research shows similar risks to those of being underweight; however these are often even worse.

Research has shown that overweight/obese patients are at higher risk of:

~Infection
~Delayed wound healing
~Higher risk of heart an attack
~Irregular heart rhythms
~Taking longer to recover from illness

To put it in simple (and slightly more graphic terms)… surgery is not straight forward, takes longer, and requires higher amounts of anesthetic drugs if you weigh more, which means you will take much longer to recover from surgery.

To show this, take a look at this recent study:

Johns Hopkins showed that obese patients had an enormous increase in complications after breast surgery. They found that if you are obese, you have an 18% chance of a complication after surgery. If you’re lean, it’s only 2%.

Our surgeons also tell us that even if you were allowed to have surgery whilst being severely overweight, the results would be nowhere near as good as if you were healthy anyway.

Please ensure when you’re asked for your measurements, you try and give us the most accurate measurements you can, your health and wellbeing is of the upmost importance to us.

About the Author

Amy Scott

Amy is a die-hard cosmetic surgery fan, having worked in the industry for almost 8 years now. She's obsessed with Instagram, unicorns and cats. If you've got any questions, hit Amy up on her Twitter or Insta @amyadelescott


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