According to a recent study conducted by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the University of Illinois’ Division of Plastic Surgery, and the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Health Network, body mass index (BMI) has a great effect on whether a patient can be considered a candidate for plastic surgery.

In terms of liposuction and a patient’s BMI, risk can vary patient to patient in accordance with varying liposuction volumes and interactions with the body. A patient’s BMI should be a crucial factor in deciding whether to go through with a surgery or not.

“The most important finding [of our study] is that liposuction in the hands of properly trained surgeons is an exceedingly safe procedure with low morbidity,” study co-author John Y. S. Kim, M.D., of the Feinberg School of Medicine, said to Cosmetic Surgery Times. “BMI plays a role in outcomes of liposuction volumes, and higher-BMI patients may be able to tolerate more liposuction than lower-BMI patients.”

Although it may seem like a higher BMI would be a detracting factor in terms of surgery, for liposuction, a smaller BMI should actually be a deciding factor. For higher liposuction volumes, a higher BMI reduced risks.

Although BMI is an important factor, what other considerations should be taken into account before a surgery is chosen? Three major factors should be discussed with your surgeon, as well as touched on during your own reflective periods of thinking.

First, consider your complete expectations. No matter the surgery, the reasons behind it, as well as the final outcome should be thought of in depth before any decisions are made. How much of a change do you desire, and what is actually necessary or able to be completed? Plastic surgery can produce improvements, but not total perfection in terms of what you may be thinking.

Along similar lines, a physical difference will not enhance or change a psychological thought process you have always had. Before you undergo your procedure, or even decide on one, both you and your surgeon will discuss your mental health history, as well as any reservations you may have about your body. Self-esteem will most likely improve, but it won’t fix any underlying mental health conditions or body issues.

After undergoing the surgery, will you have enough time to recover? Although the surgical aspect is an important part of the change, the recovery period is just as crucial in terms of both your safety and the ultimate results. Physical as well as mental effects will be present after the surgery that may affect both personal and professional expectations. Being prepared for a change before it occurs is essential.

Although each procedure is accompanied by a certain degree of risk, choosing the right surgeon and the right facility can often help diminish some of these risks. Take the time to consider your options today before making a change.