Factors affecting your surgery

The following are essential factors that will affect the outcome of your surgery:
You will need to:

  • be physically healthy
  • be within a healthy weight range
  • have realistic expectations
  • have disclosed any allergies and medications you are on.
  • have disclosed any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

  • get blood tests or x-rays
  • undergo a medical evaluation by a specialist
  • take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
  • stop smoking well in advance of surgery (minimum of 6 weeks +/- urine testing for confirmation)
  • lose weight

Body Weight & Surgery

Research has shown that obese patients suffer from significant higher incidence of perioperative complications than normal-weight individuals. This has been particularly true in patients requiring breast and abdominal procedures in plastic surgery.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for body-mass index. The BMI indicates your body fat percentage by measuring your height/weight ratio. It takes your weight (in kilograms) and divides it by the square of your height in meters. BMI = wt(kg)/ht(m)2

What's the difference between being obese and being overweight?

Whether you are overweight or obese depends on your BMI or body fat percentage. Generally, a person between 25 - 30% body fat is considered overweight. Someone with a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese.

Most studies have shown increased perioperative complications in patient with BMI >30. These include:

  • increased anaesthetic risks
  • increase in technical difficulties of surgery, thus increased operating time
  • compromised healing response and integrity of surgical wounds
  • reduction in patient's physiological ability to withstand anaesthesia and surgical stress
  • longer hospital stays
  • increase rate of infection
  • increased likelihood of readmission to hospital after discharge due to complications
  • increased incidence of fat necrosis and prolonged wound healing
  • poorer cosmetic result

These complications associated with obesity can be overcome with weight reduction prior to surgery. Weight will also reduce co-morbid conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that may affect the overall recovery from surgery.

During your consultation, Dr Vrtik will measure your BMI as part of your full assessment. If you are not suitable for surgery due to your weight, a target weight and BMI will be recommended. If you have trouble losing weight, you should contact your GP for advice. Dr Vrtik may also give you a referral to the Intensiv program – at Chermside and Greenslopes. This is a specific program tailored for pre-operative weight loss. To find out more about Intensiv, click here (www.intensivweightloss.com)

It is strongly recommended that you wait for at least 3 months after you have reached your target weight to ensure that this can be maintained. Weight gain after any cosmetic procedure will often result in unsatisfactory outcome. Further significant weight loss after surgery may also affect cosmetic outcome.

Smoking & Surgery

Smoking is also another important factor that can affect your surgery. Smoking has both systemic effect on the body as well as local effects on the lungs and upper airways. It has been shown that smokers have higher levels of toxin in their body which affect the function of their white blood cells, causes constriction of blood vessels and decreased oxygenation of tissues; this results in poor healing, higher infection rate, skin necrosis (development of dead skin at wound edges), and fat necrosis. Smokers also have higher incidence of lung collapse and infections after a general anaesthetic due to poor secretion clearance from the lungs and upper airways.

Dr Vrtik does not perform cosmetic procedures on smokers. All smokers will need to stop smoking for a minimum of 6-8 weeks and continue to abstain from smoking for 2 months after surgery. A urine test may be requested before the operation to determine the level of smoking-related toxins in the body.

Important Instructions

It is very important to follow all instructions given to you by Dr Vrtik, including pre- and post-operative instructions. These are given in your best interest and and deviation may result in unnecessary risks to your health and recovery. Dr Vrtik and her team will explain in detail all risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks or potential complications.

Understanding Your Procedure

The decision to have cosmetic or plastic surgery is extremely personal and you'll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. There are lists of complications and risks on the procedures page throughout this site.

Most of the risks are very uncommon, and some people (with particular health problems ), may be at higher risk for specific complications. Dr Vrtik will discuss this with you during your consultation if any of these risks are specifically pertinent to you.

Although plastic surgery can be an effective and satisfying procedure where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks, like everything in the practice of medicine and surgery, it is not an exact science. The degree of surgical success can be altered by how each individual's body responds to surgery and healing. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure; revision surgery may be necessary.

Be sure to ask questions: It's very important to ask questions about your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings and any specific concerns with Dr Vrtik or any of our staff members.

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