Is Weight Loss Surgery a Cosmetic Procedure?

Weight loss surgery does have aesthetic benefits, but it’s not a purely cosmetic procedure. Learn how the treatment can transform you — both inside and out. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about bariatric surgery is that the goal of the procedure is solely to improve your appearance. While patients who undergo weight loss surgery may in fact want to slim down partly for cosmetic reasons, there are many other benefits that make the treatment a life-changing decision.

In this article, we explore the ins and outs of weight loss surgery, including why it’s more than just a cosmetic procedure.

Bariatric Surgery vs. Cosmetic Surgery

Bariatric surgery is designed to change the body from the inside-out as opposed to the outside-in. Weight loss surgery is generally recommended for obese people with a BMI of 40 or higher who aren’t able to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. (Those with a BMI of 35-40 accompanied by weight-related health concerns may also qualify for the procedure.) 

Bariatric surgery gets to the root of the problem by changing how your body interacts with food. The procedure makes your stomach smaller, which means you’ll naturally consume less calories. This, combined with hormonal changes (such as the effect of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”), can impact your metabolism, enabling you to lose weight and keep it off.

Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, alters the body’s appearance by making it look like body fat has been reduced. Nothing about the body’s fundamental composition has changed and neither has the patient’s relationship to food. This means that if you’re someone who tends to overeat when stressed, you’re still likely to do so after cosmetic surgery. 

What’s more, the underlying health issues associated with obesity — like high cholesterol or high blood pressure — will persist even if you have surgery to look thinner. In fact, many people who undergo cosmetic surgery to reduce fat end up having bariatric surgery years later because their underlying health issues have not been resolved. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for good, weight loss surgery is your best bet.

Weight Loss Surgery is More than Skin Deep 

Weight loss surgery is about improving your health first and foremost, but the benefits of the procedure can extend to your appearance, as well. For example, one of the most common aesthetic benefits of weight loss is clear, vibrant skin. Shedding excess fat boosts collagen production and gives your skin a youthful glow. Weight loss surgery also helps prevent sleep apnea from disturbing your sleep, so you’ll wake up fresh-faced and more energized. 

The holistic health benefits of bariatric surgery cannot be overstated. On average, weight loss surgery participants lose 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight and successfully keep it off. They also drastically reduce their risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even breast cancer — and increase their chances of going into complete remission if they already have one or more of these diseases. 

Show Off the New You!

A happy, healthy body looks good on anyone, no matter the size. At Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors, we’re committed to helping our patients look and feel their best. If you’re ready to love the skin you’re in, contact us today for a free ten-minute consultation. Our team can break down even more misconceptions about bariatric surgery and help you choose the weight loss procedure that’s right for you.