Stopped Loosing Wt to Minimize the Cosmetic Surgery. Is This a Good Idea?

I am 51, 5'7", never smoked, active, exercise 3 x,s a wk. I was 315 lbs and now weigh 197 stable 5 months. Satisfied with my current size though it is not the goal weight by all the published charts. All my medical is up to date and I am healthy and happy. I am having sagging skin issues and do not want to get worse just to be closer to what the charts want me to weigh. I am ready to consult a PS but would like to get feedback from others about this. Possible TT, breast lift, thigh lift, lipo

Doctor Answers 7

Ideal Weight Before Plastic Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You have done an excellent job losing and maintaining your weight loss.  If you are happy and healthy at your current weight, there is no reason to postpone your surgery to try to achieve a chart specific goal weight.  Make sure you consult with a plastic surgeon that has experience doing surgery on massive weight loss patients.

Weight Loss Before Plastic Surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank You for the question.

You should be congratulated on your successful weight loss and exercise program.

I am in agreement with you that it is not necessary to try to meet a “goal weight of the published charts”. Generally, it is in your best medical interests  to achieve a weight level where you and your primary care physician feel you are likely to minimize risks  of experiencing medical problems. Based on your description of being “healthy and happy” you may already be there. If I were you I would just confirm with my primary care physician as well. 

In regards to the plastic surgical procedures you are planning,  it is best to be at a long-term stable weight (not necessarily  that on the published chart)  to maximize the benefits of the procedures and minimize the chances that further surgery will be necessary ( if further weight loss occurs after the surgical procedures).

I would suggest consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

Best wishes.

Stopped Losing Weight Before Surgery-Is This A Good Idea?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Dear Just My Size,  First, congratulations on your weight loss success!  You have done what many others have not been able to do.  I would however caution you about your current strategy to limit further weight loss to lessen your cosmetic surgery procedures.  If you want to obtain the best result you possibly can, please meet with a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in management of massive weight loss patients which by definition you are.  They can advise you what would be the target weight for you to get the best results.  By target weight, I do not mean the "ideal" weight listed in those charts; just the weight that will be right for you.  They will also be able to advise you on which areas they would recommend treating and which procedures will work best for you.  Again, congratulations and good luck. 

Herluf G. Lund, Jr, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Excess skin after weight loss.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have lost the weight that you would like to lose and your weight has been stable for six months, it is time to see a plastic surgeon for the procedures you named if you want them -- TT, breast lift, thigh lift, and liposuction.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Weight loss before surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for this question. It gives me a chance to dispel a myth: "Weight loss is good before surgery". It's great that you've lost so much weight, you have done your part, and now the surgeon you pick will determines your outcome not further weight loss. Only she (or he) may answer that question as it relates to your goals. The real issue becomes; how do I find a surgeon who can give me a good result and help me recover safely? I think it is simple; find a plastic surgery board certified surgeon who has done hundreds of surgeries on weight loss patients, and has the credentials to perform these surgeries at a local reputable hospital (even if the surgery is done in an office setting; it’s a way to have others check out her or his credentials for you). Do some investigating, and understand that all surgeries carry risks. 

Ayman Hakki, MD
Waldorf Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Minimization of Procedures through Limitation of Weight Loss

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi there-

I'm glad you're happier and have been able to lose over 100 lbs!

With regard to your plan... It is likely that after losing over a hundred pounds that you already have developed the loose, sagging skin common in patients like yourself, and that while the amount of skin might be less than if you lost another (for example) 50 pounds, the areas involved are probably going to be the same.

This would mean that the procedures necessary to improve your body contour would most likely be the same, whether you lost 110 pounds or 200. So I would not think that limiting further weight loss would alter the eventual plan for body contour improvement very much at all. On the other hand, I do think that the more overweight you remain at the time of your surgery, the greater the risks of the procedure and of a less than satisfactory result...

This is not to say that you will be unsafe or unhappy if you were to proceed now- I haven't met or gotten to know you and your goals, and neither have I examined you. It is possible that you are already an excellent candidate with very reasonable and attainable goals who is in excellent health and ready to go. I'm just saying that if you are still overweight the risks may be a bit higher.

If, in fact, your weight has been stable for 3-6 months, you are not interested in losing more weight, and your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon believes that you are a good candidate for body contouring surgery, there should be no reason you cannot proceed- but your next step should be an in-person evaluation by a reputable and experienced, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

A word of caution is in order as well- there are now a great many physicians with absolutely no legitimate training in plastic surgery advertising themselves as experts in cosmetic surgery that you must be very careful. If you cannot confirm that they were personally Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, you should go elsewhere.

Weight loss and surgery timing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Everyone is a bit different regarding when to have the surgery after weight loss. If your weight is stable and it is mainly loose skin, you may be a good candidate for surgical skin excision. If you plan on losing more weight, you  may want to wait until you get to your goal.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.