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BMI for Plastic Surgery

bmi

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure derived from the mass and height of a person’s body. It is calculated by the body mass divided by the square of the person’s height (kg/m²). 

Undergoing cosmetic surgery requires the patient to meet a series of pre-set criteria, one of which is BMI limitations. The exact BMI criteria vary and are dependent on the given cosmetic surgery. In this article, we will discuss BMI and why it is important for patients to be at a suitable BMI when undergoing a cosmetic procedure.

BMI Calculator

BMI Calculator

20.0

BMI

20 kg
100 cm
BMI Weight Comments
25 Safe
30 Excisional surgery limit
33.5 Excisional consultations
35 Liposuction limit
38.5 Liposuction consultations

BMI Categories

Underweight

A Body Mass Index under 18.5 indicates that you are under the ideal weight relative to your height. Underweight patients will likely have less fat available for fat transfer procedures, such as a Brazilian Butt Lift or breast augmentation. However, many patients are still able to harvest small amounts of fat, which, when moved, can significantly enhance the contours of the body.

Normal

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 signifies a healthy weight. Patients in this category are usually of a suitable weight for body contouring procedures and are less likely to face surgical complications.

Overweight

Patients with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are classified as being overweight. If you are considering a cosmetic procedure, your surgeon may advise you to lose some weight as preparation, depending on the given cosmetic surgery and your cosmetic goals. 

Obese

Patients are classed as obese if their BMI is over 30. Patients in this category are more at risk of complications and will need to lose weight to undergo any excisional surgery, including tummy tucks, arm and thigh lifts, and breast reduction or augmentation. However, patients with a BMI less than 35 are usually still able to have liposuction.

How BMI Impacts Plastic Surgery Results

Your BMI will play a significant role in how well your cosmetic surgery goes, your recovery, and the final results. 

As mentioned above, for excisional surgeries, a patient will need to have a BMI less than 30. This is because there is an increased risk of wound breakdown, skin necrosis, infections, and clotting (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms) for patients with a higher BMI. As such, your surgeon will advise you on weight loss prior to cosmetic surgery to ensure the safest surgery and optimal results. 

In addition, patients seeking liposuction will need to have a BMI less than 35 to undergo the cosmetic procedure here at the CREO Clinic. This is because patients above this cut-off are at risk of complications such as chest infections and clotting.

Finally, it is important to remember that liposuction is not designed to be a weight loss surgery, although patients may lose a very small amount of weight, depending on the amount of fat removed. The amount of fat taken from obese patients may also not produce noticeable differences in the overall body shape. 

Underweight patients may also need to consider the amount of fat they have available to harvest for fat transfer procedures, including BBLs and breast augmentations. However, most patients with a lower BMI tend to have some stubborn fat that can be used to enhance the body's curves. By moving these smaller amounts of fat from areas such as the hips or thighs to the buttocks (known as a skinny BBL) or breasts, it can make noticeable differences in the body’s contours.

Ideal Candidates for Plastic Surgery

Suitability for a cosmetic procedure will be discussed with your surgeon at a 1-to-1 consultation. In general, the ideal candidate for cosmetic surgery should be within a healthy BMI range or be willing and able to reach and maintain a healthy weight. As different surgeries have different criteria, it's important that patients understand the exact specifications of their desired cosmetic surgery. This will ensure they are able to safely undergo the cosmetic procedure and can achieve the best possible results.

How to Lose Weight Before Plastic Surgery

Losing weight before undergoing a cosmetic procedure can be difficult but should ultimately consist of a regular exercise routine and a healthier diet. To help you get closer to your ideal weight for cosmetic surgery, we work in partnership with a team of qualified dieticians and nutritionists.

At the CREO Clinic, our dietician, Raquel Britzke (RD, BSc, PG, PT), and her team of experts employ their exclusive method, known as the ‘Brizke method,’ to help patients reach their ideal BMI. Using this technique, clients are given a personalised weight loss plan that can be sustained throughout their lifetime. 

If our surgeons determine that your BMI is too high for the cosmetic procedure you wish to undergo, you will be offered a consultation with our partnered nutritionists, who will personalise a diet plan to help you reach your ideal weight. After you reach the BMI criteria for cosmetic surgery, we will schedule you for your chosen cosmetic procedure.

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

At the CREO Clinic, we seek to ensure you get the best results out of body contouring surgeries by enabling you to reach a safe BMI prior to your cosmetic procedure. Our double-board certified surgeon, Dr Omar Tillo, specialises in enhancing the body from the neck down, mastering both the clinical and artistic elements of these delicate cosmetic procedures.  

If you are looking to sculpt your figure, contact the CREO Clinic today to arrange a 1-on-1 consultation with Dr Tillo. Here, you can discuss your eligibility for cosmetic surgery and whether a pre-surgery nutritionist could help you achieve a suitable BMI for the best possible results.

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