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BMI Requirements

Wake Plastic Surgery proudly serves Cary, Raleigh, and the surrounding areas.

Are you or a loved one considering plastic surgery? Let’s talk about an important factor that may influence your journey, such as BMI, or Body Mass Index.

What is BMI?

BMI is a standard measure for body fat based on your height and weight. Physicians (and insurance companies) commonly use this measurement to assess the state of a patient’s overall health. Surgeons often use the BMI to help determine a patient’s risk for surgical procedures. The formula for BMI is:

  • (703 x weight in lbs.) / (height in inches)2

Below are the categories for what the calculated number means.

  • Under 18.5: Underweight
  • 6 – 24.9: Normal Weight
  • 25 – 29.9: Overweight
  • 0 and Above: Obese

To calculate your BMI, please use this calculator from the CDC.

How does BMI Impact my surgical results?

A healthy BMI is important when planning your surgery because it will increase the likelihood of a faster, successful recovery with less complications and optimal results. Surgery patients that have higher BMIs may have weakened immune systems and may have increased post-surgical risks such as chronic inflammation, infection, and slower recovery time. Dr. Stoeckel believes that higher BMI patients are at a significantly higher risk for complications after surgery due to blood flow insufficiency or vascular compromise. He believes that when the skin has to share a blood supply with a significant amount of fatty tissue, sometimes the amount of blood needed in the skin for incision healing is not adequate and poor wound or incision healing results.

It is important to note that plastic surgery is not a solution for weight loss. Body contouring procedures such as liposuction or abdominoplasty are meant to target issues that diet and exercise alone cannot fix, such as loose skin, stubborn fat deposits, and damage to the abdominal wall. If you have a higher BMI, try to focus on cultivating a long-term, sustainable plan to lose weight and get down to a healthier BMI before considering surgery.

Once you have reached your ideal weight and are able to maintain it, it will be easier to determine what goals you still have, and how cosmetic surgery can help you achieve them.

Screening surgical patients based on height and weight measurements can seem harsh and even discriminatory if viewed with the wrong perspective. Please know that we realize that body weight is a personal issue and one that we want to address with the utmost sensitivity. But we also want patients to know that having a safe outcome is our ultimate goal. Most of our surgical procedures are elective surgeries and because of that, optimizing health prior to surgery to ensure the best possible outcome is the most prudent way to operate.