If you plan to have plastic surgery after weight loss surgery, there are several things to consider.
Dr. Simon Talbot, Plastic Surgeon, Brigham & Women’s Hospital at Harvard University shared some valuable insight when he joined us as a panelist on a support group meeting a few months ago.
Here’s what we learned:
- Stabilize your weight first. It’s important to achieve a stable weight after you meet your weight loss goal, before scheduling plastic surgery. This usually means maintaining your new healthy weight for six months to a year.
- Choose a qualified plastic surgeon. Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon (different than a cosmetic surgeon) who has experience with weight loss surgery patients. They will have the right qualifications and training to help you get the best results.
- Set realistic expectations. Plastic surgery can improve loose skin issues dramatically, but may not correct every issue, and will still leave scars. Discuss expectations with your surgeon so that you have a realistic understanding of what can be achieved.
- Understand the risks and complications. As with any medical procedure, plastic surgery comes with some level of risk. Complications such as infection, bleeding, poor wound healing, scarring, asymmetry, and changes in sensation may occur. Discuss the potential complications with your surgeon to be sure you understand them before going ahead with surgery.
- Consult with a plastic surgeon to understand cost and insurance coverage. Insurance may cover part of the surgery, but plastic surgery is generally considered elective. You may need documentation of rashes or skin irritation beneath folds in the skin, so it’s best to meet with a surgeon several months before you plan to have surgery to get the process started.
- Get good nutrition for recovery. High-quality protein and micronutrients before and after surgery are essential to healing and preventing infection. Your cells, including immune cells, are made from protein amino acids. To repair tissue damage from surgery, your body needs plenty of protein. Be sure to follow post-operative instructions carefully for proper healing and to minimize complications.