Can I Lose Weight with Plastic Surgery?
Can you lose weight with plastic surgery? Believe it or not, I answered that same question for four people the other day! From friends and family to patients, we hear this question about weight loss quite often.
This could be due to many reasons, including the pandemic. I know, I am so over COVID too. However, for many of us, it brought to the forefront all the things we have on our wishlist. It also motivated us to be our best selves, which often includes losing weight. So back to the question: Can you lose weight with plastic surgery? Well, it’s not a simple yes or no! Let’s dive into the facts.
How you CAN lose weight with plastic surgery
When we do a Tummy Tuck, we remove skin and fat from the belly button to where the pubic hair starts. This skin and fat removed can weigh as little as one pound or as much as six! We also take the fat from your sides (love handles) and other areas you may desire like the bra roll and thighs. Liposuction fat is not very dense, so that does not translate into pounds very well. But it is reasonable to expect a pound or so of weight loss with Lipo.
We have been known to take off 5 lbs with Breast Reduction surgeries, too. After this procedure, women are relieved to literally have that excess weight off of their chests. The result allows them to finally exercise without rashes or having to wear multiple bras. My Breast Reduction patients often come back after surgery having lost even more weight from exercising after surgery!
Don’t step on the scale the day after your Tummy Tuck or Breast Reduction surgery expecting to be down several pounds right away. Surgery involves us giving you IV fluids. The salt in the fluid causes your body to retain more water, and that water weight shows on the scale. It typically takes at least 4 weeks to lose the water weight from the IV fluids given during surgery. After that, you might notice that you lost weight from plastic surgery.
How you CAN’T lose weight with plastic surgery
Two out of three women in North Carolina are overweight or obese. When you are overweight, you can have fat in compartments that we can access with plastic surgery. Examples of this are fat that you can pinch. You also have more fat in compartments we CAN’T access with plastic surgery, like visceral fat.
Visceral fat lives around your internal organs, your stomach and intestines. We can’t get rid of visceral fat, or intra-abdominal (inside the abdominal cavity) fat safely with plastic surgery. Therefore, this is not an option that would allow you to lose weight with plastic surgery.
How to get rid of visceral fat and lose weight
This is the million dollar question! What is the best way to get rid of visceral fat when diet and exercise are not getting the job done?
We recommend seeing an obesity medicine specialist. These doctors, who are medical professionals with additional training in metabolic weight loss techniques, really make a difference. We witnessed it on our own patients at Tannan Plastic Surgery.
Medicines that have been around forever are seeing new indications and combinations. One example is the combination of the metabolic activity of Metformin and appetite-suppressing activity of Wellbutrin. Wegovy is another diabetic medication specifically FDA-approved for weight loss because it has been very effective. If you want to learn more, we recommend seeing a doctor who specializes in medical weight loss near you.
Ideally, you want to be at your peak fitness level before surgery. Sometimes that is not possible without a little extra help. The diastasis recti (which is the reason you want a Tummy Tuck in the first place) could be preventing you from exercising. Or perhaps you simply cannot find the time. Maybe you tried your hardest but still find zero difference in the number on the scale. Whatever the reason, you need to be sure what you are doing makes sense for you.
Don’t look at plastic surgery to be the quick fix that helps you lose twenty pounds, because it can’t. That said, can you lose weight with plastic surgery? During our consultation, count on me to give you my honest opinion. Sometimes I recommend medical weight loss to maximize your plastic surgery results. Other times we may realize that what you perceive as fat is really just loose skin that can be removed, and additional weight loss is not recommended.
Plastic surgery is most definitely a contouring approach to your figure, and not something that will change your BMI drastically. For that sort of weight loss, you need to lose visceral fat that is inaccessible during plastic surgery procedures. Your primary care doctor is a great start for helping you understand if your fat is visceral or not. From there, find a specialist who can take your concerns to heart and help you come up with a program to lose weight and keep it off.
Are you interested in learning if plastic surgery is right for you? Call (919) 797-0996 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Shruti Tannan today!
Folks come to see us from all over. It is common for our patients to travel from all the corners of Raleigh plus Apex, Holly Springs, Fuqua-Varina, Cary, Morrisville, Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Pittsboro, Garner, Knightdale, RTP, Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Clemmons, Wake Forest, Wilmington, Fayetteville and the surrounding areas for our unique approach to cosmetic plastic surgery, Botox, and filler.
If you are looking for the best plastic surgeon and the best Botox injector for you, be sure to do your research! We hope our all-women, all-star team can help you regain your confidence and move forward as the brightest version of you.