The importance of maintaining a stable weight with breast and body contouring.


     I often see patients requesting breast or body contouring who are either going up or down on the scale.  Operating on someone with an unstable weight is sort of like trying to hit a moving target.  Should I use larger implants if she's going to lose weight or smaller ones if she's going to gain weight?  Should I liposuction a little more or a little less?    

When I operate, I want my patient to be at a healthy and reasonable (not necessarily ideal) and above all,  a stable weight.  There is nothing more disappointing for a patient (and the surgeon) than to end up with a bizarre fat distribution because of post-tummy tuck weight gain.  In this case the extra weight could have gone to the arms or hips or thighs or the midriff area because the abdominal fat pad that used to store this extra fat is no longer there.   It's sort of like Whack-a-Mole but not as much fun. 

Breasts also respond to weight changes.  I have seen my share of patients who ended up too small because they were convinced that breast reduction rather than weight loss was the best way to reduce overly large breasts and then when they do slim down, their breasts are shrink and sag.   And then there are the implant patients who put on weight over a few years and end up too busty.

And then there is fat transfer and liposuction.  The long term success of these procedures are very dependent on weight stability. 

If we surgeons are aiming at a moving target, we won't likely hit the bull's eye.  I tell my patients to get healthy and stable and then we'll talk surgery.  This makes for the best long term result.

Oh, and if anyone out there finds an easy way to slim down, let me know.  I'd be interested!







Article by
Seattle Plastic Surgeon