debunking myths plastic surgery

Debunking Myths: Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

August 11, 2021

Weight loss is a common concern among adults in the United States. According to a National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHNS) report, 49.1% of adult Americans had tried to lose weight within 12 months between 2013 and 2016. And for adults who have managed to lose weight, cosmetic surgery aimed at removing excess fat and skin from the body becomes a priority to appreciate the results of their hard work.

While cosmetic surgery has seen increasing acceptance in recent years, there is still an overwhelming amount of misinformation that can be easily accessed on the internet. So, to guide potential patients to reach an ideally informed decision, I have compiled a list of common myths and fallacies surrounding plastic surgery after weight loss.

Common Myths About Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

Myth No. 1: You Can Get the Same Results Through Diet & Exercise

It is very much possible to attain a slender and well-defined figure through diet and exercise alone. Unfortunately, for some patients, a combination of simple genetics, microbiota, prescription medication, and primary biological responses to physical and dietary changes can make losing weight incredibly difficult. Because of this, some patients are forced to undergo bariatric surgery to facilitate weight loss.

And even when the right amount of weight has been shed, the presence of excess skin and fat makes it nearly impossible for the actual results to manifest without intervention via cosmetic surgery.

Myth No. 2: Liposuction and Tummy Tuck Are Weight Loss Procedures

Since liposuction and tummy tuck target tissue removal from specific areas of the body, they are commonly mistaken as weight loss procedures. Liposuction and tummy tuck are not weight loss procedures. More than anything, they are body contouring procedures designed to specifically remove excess fat or tissue from the body. In fact, most board-certified plastic surgeons have firm limits when clearing potential patients for surgery. Patients who qualify for surgery are typically close to their ideal body weight, with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or below.

Myth No. 3: Plastic Surgery Results Last Forever

Most people believe that plastic surgery alone is enough to prevent the body from gaining excess fat. This is simply not true. Changes in lifestyle, hormones, and pregnancy can affect your surgery’s final results and can possibly lead to a revision procedure in the future. Thankfully, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help maintain the results from plastic surgery.

Myth No. 4: Liposuction Fat Can Grow Back

Liposuctioned fat cannot grow back. During the surgery, fat cells in specific areas of the body are permanently removed through a cannula. Fat, however, can accumulate in non-liposuctioned areas in the body when weight gain occurs.

Through this, any future weight gain will look incredibly disproportionate. Future weight gain and changes to your final results from surgery can be easily managed by simply maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

Myth No. 5: Plastic Surgery Results Do Not Look Natural

Many people assume that the final results from plastic surgery often don’t look natural. On the contrary, plastic surgery is not meant to change the body completely. It is meant to enhance certain sections of the body for a more flattering contour.

With this in mind, many board-certified plastic surgeons will strategically develop surgical plans to ensure that the final results complement the body’s natural features. This is especially true for body contouring surgeries after massive weight loss and bariatric surgery such as liposuction and tummy tuck.

Find a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon 

Plastic surgery after weight loss, regardless if it’s from diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, can yield life-changing and empowering results. If you or someone you love is thinking about undergoing body contouring procedures such as liposuction or a tummy tuck, I recommend scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in these surgeries.

While many physicians now can perform these surgeries, board-certified plastic surgeons carry years of specialized training and experience.

This allows them to tailor their surgical approach to fit each patient’s specific needs to craft results that look natural and complement the body’s natural features.

debunking myths plastic surgery
Pankaj Tiwari


Dr. Pankaj Tiwari is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction with advanced microsurgical techniques at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery. Aside from flap techniques, he is also well-versed in the treatment of lymphedema. He is licensed by both the State Medical Board of Ohio and the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
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