DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends wants to get a tummy tuck, and she is intent upon doing it this spring. Being someone who has had a lot of non-elective surgery, I am reluctant to even consider going under the knife when it isn't needed. Naturally, I think this is a horrible idea. But another reason I don't like it at all is that my friend is overweight. We don't talk about that so much, but I just don't see how she thinks that getting belly fat cut out is going to solve her problems. Everything I have read suggests that the fat will just fill right back in if you don't actually lose weight. Should I say this to her or just step aside and let her do what she wants? -- Having Her Back, Chicago
DEAR HAVING HER BACK: Your personal concerns about elective surgery aside, you do have a point about the lasting effects of a tummy tuck when a person is overweight. My research suggests that anyone with a body mass index above 30 should not consider this type of surgery. Chances are her surgeon has told her the same thing. Yet many women who are slightly overweight get this surgery on a regular basis. While it does not make them slim, it can flatten out their bellies.
My recommendation would be to step aside. Your friend is working with a doctor who should know the parameters for safely conducting this surgery. You should address the issue only if your friend asks your opinion. Otherwise, just be there to support her recovery should she need it.