I have been following @thecurvyamanda on Instagram and TikTok for over a year. She has an amazing curvaceous body, and she also happens to be plus-sized. She shared her plus-size plastic surgery journey and inspired me to embark on my own path to self-love. One of the things I found extremely helpful was her nationwide list of plastic surgeons that don’t automatically exclude patients solely based on their high BMI.
My own plastic surgeon, Dr. Wayne Yamahata, in Sacramento, CA is not on Amanda’s list. I am sure there are many other surgeons that look at a patient as a whole person, and not just the number of their BMI. In my case, my obesity and my age are my only surgical risk factors. My BMI was 41 on the day of my Extended Tummy Tuck with liposuction to the flanks and repair of my diastasis recti. At 8 months post-op, my BMI is 38. 10 years ago, when I first met with a plastic surgeon to discuss my options, I was told to lose 50 lbs. and then he would do the tummy tuck. Well, I lost 50 lbs. and gained it back multiple times over the next 10 years. After watching so many TikToks made by people like Amanda and especially one plastic surgeon in Australia that worked with high BMIs, I saw that fixing my hanging belly was a possibility. Last year, I made three consultation appointments. One appointment was with Dr. Deb Johnson. She automatically denied me based on my BMI, said to come back when I lost a significant amount of weight. I met with Dr. Yamahata and he didn’t mention my weight or my BMI. He asked me questions about my health history and used some sort of points system to determine if I was a candidate for surgery. We did discuss if I had been at a stable weight and for how long, but that’s it. I don’t have any other problems (no heart disease, no diabetes, no high blood pressure, etc) He looked at me as a whole person, more than just a fat person. I had scheduled a consult with Dr. Cristina Clark, after finding her name on Amanda’s list. I knew several people that had surgery done by Dr. Yamahata and he made me feel safe, so I decided to go with him. I cancelled the consult with Dr. Clark. More and more plastic surgeons are safely operating on people with high BMIs, all risk factors considered. These doctors are improving the lives of their patients, one tummy tuck at a time.
My advice is this: if you hate the shape of your body and have exhausted other weight loss options and have the means to consider plastic surgery, then do it! You deserve to be comfortable in your own skin, even as a plus-sized person. I suggest reading my blog post “Go Easy on Me” if you want to understand more of my “whys.”
*I am working on adding more names to Amanda’s list, so please DM me or comment if you don’t see your board certified plastic surgeon listed here, as long as they do not exclude patients solely based on their BMI.