Are dramatic plastic surgery “transformations” realistic?

Even if you’re not a fan of “reality TV,” you’ve likely heard about the recent and dramatic weight loss of “Mama” June Shannon, star of “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” and, now, “Mama June: From Not to Hot.” Shannon has shed 300 pounds, going down to a weight of 160 thanks to a gastric sleeve surgery, breast augmentation and skin removal surgery on her neck, arms, and stomach that on its own totaled a nine-pound loss.

Overall, Shannon seems pleased. “I can promise you I’m never going back to my old size. I’m happy where I’m at,” she told People in a recent interview.

For many, Shannon’s transformation is an inspiration. Not only is she feeling great about her look, she’s embracing a healthier lifestyle to go with it. If a change like Shannon’s is on your mind, it’s important to remember that they aren’t always as easy (or as dramatic) as they seem on TV — and they aren’t a magic “fix all.” Still, under the right conditions, they are completely do-able. Here are some things I would encourage my New York patients to keep in mind if they  are considering taking a similar path to weight loss.

It doesn’t just happen all at once

If a doctor suggests that you receive several dramatic plastic surgeries in one session, look for a second or third opinion. Plastic surgeries are a serious commitment, and your body needs time to heal following a procedure. Rushing into a series of surgeries is draining on both your physical self and your mental state. Shannon and others didn’t just change shape overnight. A big transformation takes time and a continued commitment to self-care. Be prepared for a slower process with a great reward.

You might not need multiple surgeries

Another motivation for taking things slow is the opportunity to avoid unnecessary surgeries. You might be surprised at how much of an impact just one or two procedures can have on your overall appearance. If you are having a face lift, for example, you’ll notice a change in the way that your neck appears — even if you don’t have any work done to it. Likewise, a breast augmentation might impact your posture, which can have a dramatic impact on the way your arms and stomach appear. These smaller changes might be enough to give you the confidence you feel you’re missing without going through additional surgeries.

You might not be ready right now

You may be eager to have a change in weight, but the truth is that you might not be ready for certain procedures. For example, to see optimal results, you might be better off waiting until you first shed some pounds through exercise or dieting, or, like Shannon, an internal medical procedure, before undergoing liposuction. Additionally, you might consider holding off on a procedure if you are expecting other dramatic body changes, like a pregnancy, in the near feature. Think of plastic surgery as the “final touch” in your weight loss journey.

Weight loss transformations are exciting and make for great TV — and they are totally possible for certain people. If you have any questions about your options, feel free to call or stop in for a consultation.