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Diet, Weight Loss and Plastic Surgery

In his more than 24 years in private practice, board certified plastic surgeon Robert Rothfield, MD has answered many patient questions about the relationship between dieting, weight loss, and plastic surgery. In this blog from 2009, Dr. Rothfield provides his opinion on when weight loss should be accomplished to maximize plastic surgery results. We encourage you to read through his answer and schedule a consultation with Dr. Rothfield if you are considering plastic surgery:

Q: Should I diet and lose weight before or after my plastic surgery procedure?
A: I am often asked by my patients if they should diet and lose weight before or after their cosmetic surgery. In general, you should be at your healthiest prior to any elective surgery. Regular exercise combined with a good diet and a stable weight is always the ideal. Of course, this is not always the case. If you are somebody whose weight fluctuates and you know you can take off the extra pounds when you want to, it is certainly best to do this prior to surgery. Think of your cosmetic surgery as a very expensive dress. You want it to fit perfectly. If you lose your weight first and then have your surgery, the results you will obtain will be optimized. Many of my patients find this as an excellent incentive to lose weight. A “carrot and stick” type of approach. On the other hand, there are some people that no matter how hard they try, they cannot lose weight, let alone get down to their “ideal” weight. In these cases, proceeding with their cosmetic surgery may be perfectly fine. Following their cosmetic surgery, these patients often not only feel better about themselves, but they are more comfortable going to the gym. And because they look and feel better, watching what they eat becomes easier. This combination of exercise and improved diet then leads to weight loss. Is this OK in light of the fact they had their cosmetic surgery first? Absolutely. These patients look and feel great. What is best for one person may not be best for another and vice versa. Only you, perhaps with a little advice from your plastic surgeon, can determine your best course of action.

Do you have more questions to ask Dr. Rothfield about certain plastic surgery procedures? Get answers during a one-on-one consultation at Weston Plastic Surgery. Dr. Rothfield does perform post-weight loss body contouring procedures for patients who are interested in addressing excess skin related to significant weight loss. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published on September 23, 2009.

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