Obesity Increases Body Contouring Surgery Risks

A recent study has confirmed an increase in the occurrence of complications related to body contouring surgery in patients with a high Body Mass Index (BMI). The study, Correlation of Complications of Body Contouring Surgery With Increasing Body Mass Index, appeared in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal (July/August 2008 issue), published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal study consisted of a retrospective review of 129 patients who had undergone a single body contouring procedure in 1993 or 2002. In order to assess whether or not a relationship existed between obesity and body contouring complications, participants were placed into groups based on their BMI, a clinical formula for determining the degrees of weight.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjIxMDAlMjUlMjIlMjBjbGFzcyUzRCUyMnZpZGVvJTIyJTIwaGVpZ2h0JTNEJTIyMzYwJTIyJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyJTJGJTJGd3d3LnlvdXR1YmUuY29tJTJGZW1iZWQlMkZkdWxWYlAzM3ZPcyUzRnJlbCUzRDAlMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZpZnJhbWUlM0UlMEElM0NlbSUzRURyLiUyMEVkZWxzdGVpbiUyMGRpc2N1c3NlcyUyMHRoZSUyMGltcG9ydGFuY2UlMjBvZiUyMEJNSSUyMHRvJTIwYWNoaWV2ZSUyMGElMjBzYWZlciUyQyUyMGJldHRlciUyMHR1bW15JTIwdHVjayUyMHJlc3VsdC4lM0MlMkZlbSUzRQ==These groups consisted of patients considered to be at an ideal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9), overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9), obese (BMI 30 to 35), morbidly obese (BMI 36 to 40) and severely morbidly obese (BMI greater than 40). The researchers recorded their health complications into minor and major categories. Postoperative wound infection, seroma (pockets of fluid) and haematoma (blood around the wound) were placed in the minor category. The major category included any need for hospital readmission, prolonged hospital admission, any wound requiring dressing changes, required re-operations and death.

The survey demonstrated interesting results. Three patients from the ideal BMI group reported either minor or major complications while both groups of complications were found in six of the overweight group, in 10 in the obese group, in eight patients from the morbidly obese group and in 22 of the severely morbidly obese group.

These figures drew the researchers to conclude that there is a statistically significant association between increased BMI, an increased number of complications and poorer surgery outcomes. When rendered as a percentage, the study found that complications increased as the weight categories increased. While the ideal weight BMI group suffered from minor complications at a rate of 3.3%, the severely morbidly obese group reported 46.9%. Major complications were found in 6.6% of the ideal weight group and in 43.7% of the severely morbidly obese group.

The Aesthetic Surgery Journal study is significant in that very few researchers have looked into the possibility of a link between increased BMI and health complications as the result of body contouring treatment. Its findings are especially important to note as body contouring procedures (like tummy tucks, thigh lifts and liposuction) become increasingly popular.

Senior study author, Dr. D. Mackay, a board certified plastic surgeon at Penn States’ College of Medicine, agreed with the significance of the study, stating that “the rising demand for body contouring procedures” makes it essential that plastic surgeons “be cognizant of potential predictors of poor outcomes and/or complications” that can arise from performing surgery on obese patients. He also described how obesity represents “a significant risk factor when considering operative procedures, particularly due to secondary conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease and poor healing” that are often found in obese patients.


Edelstein Cosmetic takes your safety and satisfaction very seriously. Before undergoing a body contouring procedure, ask yourself this: “Am I overweight?” It is highly recommended that you reach a normal and stable weight for your safety.
Calculate your BMI here




Edelstein Cosmetic

Schedule Your Consultation

Start the Path to Beauty & Self-confidence

We would love to discuss your needs, from surgical to non-surgical procedures.

Edelstein Cosmetics