Weight change and facial plastic surgery

Planning a makeover for the new millennium that involves both weight loss and facial plastic surgery? If so, here are some things you should consider:

Weight loss can affect your facial appearance
If you need to lose 20 pounds or more, do it before having facial plastic surgery. Fatty tissue “plumps” the skin, smoothing out lines. A dramatic weight loss may reduce facial fat, making you look drawn and wrinkled. A facial rejuvenation procedure timed to coincide with your successful weight loss can put the finishing touches on the new you.

Don't delay your facial plastic surgery procedure if you just plan to lose a few pounds, however. Minor weight changes have little effect on the face.

Good nutrition can help optimize your results
To achieve the best surgical results, your body should be nutritionally balanced. Avoid extreme diets that may cause nutritional deficiencies. Instead, ask your doctor for a sensible eating plan to help you take off unwanted pounds and keep them off.

Find a plan you can live with. Yo-yo dieting, with its constant weight fluctuations, is unhealthy for your body, and it affects your face as well. Repeated weight gains stretch the skin, leading, in time, to premature sagging.

If you are using a weight loss medication or nutritional supplement, discuss this with your surgeon. Some weight loss medications have been associated with health problems. Nutritional supplements also can affect your surgical outcome; certain ones should be avoided before surgery and others may actually enhance healing time. (See page 4 for more information about dietary supplements and facial plastic surgery.)

Weight loss isn't always the answer
Some problems in the facial area are simply not affected by diet or exercise. If you have fatty deposits under your chin or along your lower jaw, liposuction, perhaps combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, may be the best solution. Ask your facial plastic surgeon.


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