Weight Loss: Dr. Tattelbaum’s Mission
Each day I evaluate patients for cosmetic plastic surgery. Whether in Rockville, Mclean, Annapolis or soon Columbia, the goal is the same. Are they good candidates? Are they realistic? Are we compatible?
After all, it is a relationship we’ll be forming. While all these questions are important, perhaps the ultimate question is about their health.
Is this person healthy enough to safely have surgery? Hand in hand with safety and health comes weight. Whether it’s a tummy tuck, mommy makeover facelift or even breast implants weight plays a role in safety. Patients above a normal BMI have higher surgical risks.
As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (and general surgeon although most don’t know that), I feel it’s not only my job but my duty to help my patients minimize their risk by encouraging a healthy weight before surgery. I discuss diet, exercise and in some cases the programs I favor. I am a big believer in programs that offer a common-sense diet, with a support system and modification of behavior. “If calories in are less then calories burned,” I tell my patients “you will lose weight”. To me its basic math, although I have heard many excuses to the contrary.
As I proudly spouted my wisdom I realized recently that I was not following my own advice. I could feel my suits getting more uncomfortable as I sat in the office. I looked at the scale and started to see numbers that I would not like if I were one of my own patients. I recently realized it was time to look inward rather than outward- to do what I had been preaching. I looked at home remedies, but I know that I would not be disciplined enough. I am a huge fan of Jenny Craig, weight watchers, and food addicts all of which I recommend to my patients, but I knew I did not have the time to attend meetings and support groups.
I turned to Nutrisystem as the power greater than myself. I have no financial interest or any other kind of interest in this company, it just fit the bill. They had a roadmap for me to follow, an app to log (and be honest about) my calories and provided meals with portions I didn’t have to measure. I am reminded of the joke about two old women having lunch together. “How’s your food? One says? And the other replies “not so good… and such small portions”. Yet it’s working. I am down more than 30 pounds and within a normal BMI for the first time in as long as I can remember. Until recently I don’t think I have ever purchased smaller new clothes.
Perhaps I feel a bit more able to preach, but not from a pedestal. This has been challenging and hard. It has taken a lot of commitment, but mostly I fear what will happen in the future. Is this a blip? Will I keep it off? Will I change my behavior? I hope so.
I also hope this experience will help you as well if you are considering plastic surgery. It doesn’t mean that you won’t want the tummy tuck, mommy makeover, breast lift or other surgery you are considering, In fact, you may need it more as your skin deflates. What it does mean is that you’re your elective cosmetic surgery is likely to be safer and more gratifying. I would love to be your Plastic Surgeon, but if you can be at your best weight and have a safer outcome I am willing to wait for you and will be here for you when you’re ready.
February 15, 2018 8:02 am