Why Major Weight Loss Surgery?
Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after any substantial amount of weight loss due to weight loss surgery and/or lifestyle changes, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.
Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging skin and fat while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a better-proportioned appearance with smoother contours.
Body contouring procedures may include:
- Arm lift: correct sagging of the upper arms
- Breast lift: correct sagging, flattened breasts
- Facelift: correct sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck
- Lower body lifts: correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs
- Medial thigh lift: correct sagging of the inner thigh
- Tummy tuck: correct apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
Is it right for you?
As with any surgery, you should have realistic expectations, and we will help you understand those at your consultation appointment. Ideal body contouring candidates are:
- Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
- Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
Preparing for your consultation
The success and safety of your body contouring surgery after major weight loss depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. During your consultation, we will discuss:
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your plastic surgeon will:
- Evaluate your general health and any preexisting health conditions or risk factors
- Examine your body and take detailed measurements
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of body contouring and any risks or potential complications
It’s very important to understand all aspects of your body contouring procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing any concerns with your plastic surgeon.
Preparing for surgery
Once you have completed your consultation and decided body contouring surgery is right for you, it’s time to prepare for surgery day. We might ask you to:
- Get cleared for surgery by your bariatric surgeon and/or primary care doctor
- Get a lab test
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements or other medications that may increase bleeding
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
What to expect after surgery
During your recovery from surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that might collect.
You will be given specific instructions that might include:
- How to care for the surgical site(s).
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
The results of body contouring following significant weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it can take two years or more to see the final results. Visible scars are something you must accept to achieve a body contour that matches your new weight and proportion.
The results of body contouring surgery are generally long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should remain.