How To Qualify For Plastic Surgery. The Top Three Things to Be Aware Of:


If you consider cosmetic surgery, you may wonder how to qualify for plastic surgery.

Generally speaking, reputable board-certified surgeons require that patients who opt for elective surgery are healthy enough to recover from the procedure and enjoy the results. Your physician will want to factor in your overall health, the potential benefits of the operation to you, your medical history, and any current medical conditions.

While plastic surgery is typically safe when a reputable surgeon performs it, every operation carries some risk. The risk is higher for people with some pre-existing conditions or who take certain medications. This is why it is crucial that your surgeon is well informed about all aspects of your health and medical history.

This article isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. In fact, the purpose is to help you be a more informed patient and help you understand why personalized medical care is essential.

Basic Qualifications for Plastic Surgery:

You Are Close to Your Healthy Weight Range

Body Mass Index (also known as BMI) is calculated by factoring in your height and weight. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), an adult’s “normal” BMI is around 18.5 to 24.9. The NIH provides an online calculator to help you find your BMI.

Typically surgeons require that patients have a BMI lower than 30, which is the lower end of “obese,” according to the NIH. Depending on the procedure and your overall health, a BMI between 30 and 33 may also be acceptable.

For elective surgery, many surgeons are especially cautious about operating on people with a BMI over 33. The reasons include increased risk of complications, including slower wound healing, and added complexity in administering anesthesia. Also, in the case of cosmetic surgery, some procedures like a tummy tuck, breast lift, or liposuction simply have better results when performed on patients who are close or within 20 pounds of their healthy weight range.

Talk with your surgeon about specific recommendations and requirements in your case. Some patients may need to lose a little weight before their procedure to ensure the best results and recovery from the operation.

You Are a Non-Smoker

If you smoke, please consider quitting before scheduling a surgical cosmetic procedure. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgery, most plastic surgeons require their patients to stop smoking at least two weeks before receiving elective procedures. Many require this because the surgical complication rate is significantly higher among smokers than nonsmokers. 

While we want to help our patients achieve their aesthetic goals, we are first and foremost physicians who are mindful of our patient’s health and well-being. Smokers often have more difficulties healing after surgery and are more likely to experience negative effects like scarring.

You Have Good General Health

Before seeking elective surgery of any kind, it is essential that you have relatively good general health. Have an open and frank discussion about:

  • Your medical history
  • Any current and previous medical conditions
  • Any prior medical procedures and operations
  • Any symptoms you are experiencing
  • Have blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels within a healthy range

Please avoid the temptation to leave anything out. Your surgeon wants to accommodate your aesthetic goals and dreams. Having the full picture of your general health makes it easier for your surgeon to ensure you are safe and will get the results you seek.

In some cases, there may be less invasive alternatives that can help meet your aesthetic goals, or your surgeon may be able to help you work towards being a successful candidate for plastic surgery.

Your mindset and mental health are also important. We hope that all of our patients schedule a cosmetic procedure from a place of self-love and self-care. If you are experiencing mental health challenges, your physician may suggest addressing those issues before opting for surgery. While plastic surgery may be able to improve your appearance or fix cosmetic issues that trouble you, it cannot solve any mental health issues.

Keep in mind that this guide is not intended to discourage you from cosmetic surgery. Often your surgeon will work with you to help provide the best results and experience possible.

You Have Realistic Expectations of Plastic Surgery

Patients have the best results when seeking cosmetic surgery with their eyes wide open. Talk with your surgeon about what you hope to achieve. Your surgeon will most likely show before and after example pictures or use modern imaging techniques to show you the results you may be likely to experience.

Everyone is different, so you may experience different outcomes than expected. However, an experienced and skilled plastic surgeon has seen a range of patients and has most likely seen patients similar to you.

You Meet Any Procedure-Specific Requirements

The procedure you seek may have its own unique set of requirements. In that case, your surgeon will talk with you about these requirements.

Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation to Learn More

We hope you found this article on how to qualify for plastic surgery informative and helpful. Your next step is to schedule a consultation appointment with a skilled plastic surgeon.

Today’s aesthetic industry is enjoying a boom time with innovative new non-invasive treatments and improvements in the cosmetic surgery field. There was never a better time to seek cosmetic surgery than right now.

So many people are unaware of today’s options. Even if you are not yet a candidate for elective surgery, you may be a great candidate for other options. During your consultation, your surgeon will learn more about your needs, goals, and history and also help you understand your full range of options.

Charlotte Plastic Surgery has served Charlotte, NC, area residents for decades. We are the city’s go-to when you want safe and effective plastic surgery. We love helping people meet their aesthetic goals and live their most confident life. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn whether cosmetic surgery is right for you.