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A 35-year-old member asked:

does cosmetic surgery help overweight people to look thinner?

12 doctor answers30 doctors weighed in
Dr. Reza Jarrahy
Plastic Surgery 25 years experience
It can: Body contouring procedures such as liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) are just that--contouring procedures. They are not designed to be weight loss procedures. Of course, when we remove fat via liposuction or skin and fat via a tummy tuck the patients look thinner.In general, people who are closest to their ideal body weight tend to have better results from abdominoplasty...
Dr. Jon Perlman
Plastic Surgery 48 years experience
Sometimes: Plastic surgery is not a replacement for proper diet and exercise. Many people are somewhat overweight despite good eating habits and can be helped by liposuction, tummy tuck or breast reduction surgery to look thinner and more slender. These procedures do not help the "visceral" fat stored in the belly cavity and your surgeon will need to advise you how much each contributes to your problem.
Dr. Jon Perlman
Plastic Surgery 48 years experience
Facial fat reduction: Facial and neck fat can often be safely reduced resulting in the facial appearance of significant weight loss. The buccal fat pads make the cheeks appear round and do not respond to weight changes or diet. Also some people retain fat beneath their chin that can easily be liposuctioned to improve the neck contour creating a slimmer look.
Dr. Jeffrey Pollard
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 21 years experience
Weight Loss Options: Medical weight loss programs can help you lose a significant amount of weight. After you have lost what you can, then consider surgical and non-invasive options like laser assisted liposuction and/or skin tightening procedures (ulthera, accent, etc). Removing excess skin with a facelift, tummy tuck, etc... May be recommended too. Hope this helps!
Dr. Jason Hall
Plastic Surgery 19 years experience
Depends: Aesthetic surgery can help someone look slightly thinner, but none of them are designed to be weight loss procedures.
Dr. Ronald Shelton
Dermatology 37 years experience
Cosmetic surgery: Certainly cosmetic surgery such as body liposuction can make one look thinner. Facial liposuction has reduced jowls and fatty cheeks and necks. Hooded upper eyelids undergoing blepharoplasty look younger and thinner. Cheek and chin augmentation can provide a better aesthetic contour and make a large face look better proportioned.
Dr. Bruce Genter
A Verified Doctoranswered
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After weight loss: Cosmetic surgery should never be used as an option for weight loss. Patients should try to lose weight through a medically safe program of diet and exercise. After weight loss cosmetic surgery is useful to fully reach one's goals. This could range from small procedures, like liposuction of persistent fat pockets, to major operations like breast and thigh lifts, tummy tucks, (witch hazel) or body lifts.
Dr. David Levens
Plastic Surgery 39 years experience
Not the best choice: The primary goal of cosmetic surgery is not for weight reduction. Overweight people can "look thinner" through safe weight loss with a proper dietary and exercise regimen. Sometimes if unsuccessful, bariatric surgery can be considered. After an overweight person has lost weight, then cosmetic surgery can be considered if needed to reduce stubborn areas of fat or loose skin.
Dr. Annette Occhialini
Plastic Surgery 36 years experience
Not really: While some forms of cosmetic surgery can help overweight people to have an improved appearance. It is usually not the best way to proceed. It is usually best to achieve weight loss first then proceed with cosmetic surgery as you will get a better result.
Dr. ELizabeth Kinsley
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
It can: Liposuction, breast reduction, tummy tucks (witch hazel) can all make an overweight person look thinner. The best results will always be when a person is close to their ideal body weight however, and being overweight puts a person at an increased risk for complications from surgery.
Dr. Otto Placik
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
It can: Yes it can but this is not one of the best reasons. Looking thinner is best accomplished via diet and exercise.
Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez
Plastic Surgery 41 years experience
Yes: Many cosmetic surgery procedures are designed to give your body a leaner profile. Examples are the tummy tuck, body lift, and liposuction procedures. However, you should first try to lose weight thru a diet and exercise program. It is never a good idea to have plastic surgery in substitution of weight loss. Dr. Ricardo rodriguez.

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