Why is Body Mass Index (BMI) So Important For Gynecomastia Surgery?

BMI scale for men to use when considering gynecomastia surgery

Body Mass Index (BMI) is nothing more than a measure of your body fat based on a calculation of your height and weight. This provides a number. That number is looked up on a BMI table like the one below or a BMI calculator that places you in a weight category from underweight to obese. Truth be told, this is not a precise or perfect method to determine your body habitus, but it is generally an excellent all-purpose guideline that is very helpful, if not life changing for many. At the Austin Gynecomastia Center, BMI is an important measure when considering gynecomastia surgery.

BMI table for men to use when considering gynecomastia surgery

Knowledge is power. The benefit of a BMI analysis for gynecomastia treatment is that it lets you know where you are on the scale so you can use this information to your advantage. The benefits of keeping your weight in the ideal range include better health, looking and feeling better, and when it comes to gynecomastia surgery, obtaining better results with less risk.

There are simply no downsides to being in your ideal BMI – it is a goal we all must have our entire lives! I typically won’t offer my gynecomastia treatment services to those patients who are well outside their BMI because of increased risk and compromised results. Plastic surgery to treat gynecomastia is elective and it is not a life saving treatment for a disease or condition. It can wait until the ideal circumstances exist. It is the responsible thing to do. 

My popular Online Consultation form requires that patients submit information for me to make an appropriate analysis and recommendation. The most common reasons why I hesitate to offer gynecomastia surgery is because patients are well outside their  BMI or they have underlying health issues that increase the treatment risk profile and compromise my results significantly. There is such a thing as the “best time” time for gynecomastia surgery. 

It is important for patients to avoid being skeptical or making excuses about their BMI. As I said, it is not a perfect calculation, but it is very useful. The first step in managing a weight problem is to admit you have one and that is why BMI is critical. It is often the first time overweight patients realized how far they are outside of their healthy/ideal weight.

A big problem with our medical establishment is that we often don’t discuss this difficult issue with our patients, nor do we offer much by the way of solutions to the problem. People are often confused and overwhelmed by the information on the Internet regarding weight loss. My best advice is to start by picking a weight number that is ideal and then use common sense methods like eating healthy, eating less and make exercise a part of your life – it’s actually that “simple” in concept but more challenging in reality. If your BMI was a shocker for you, this is the time to make a change for the better.

Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Founder of the Austin Gynecomastia Center