Body contouring after major weight loss addresses the excess skin that results when loosing significant amount of weight either through diet and excercise or bariatric surgery. Very frequently with significant weight loss, the skin does not contract back to the slimmer body frame, resulting in excess skin in the face, neck, breasts, abdomen, buttock, and thighs. Body contouring procedures are designed to remove this excess skin.
Results of Major Weight loss
Major weight loss results in significant health benefits, including the elimination of diabetes and hypertension. However, in addition to the benefits, any substantial amount of weight loss also results in excess skin. The skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched now is unsupported. Frequent sequelae are:
- Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
- Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
- Abdominal area may extend around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overhang
- Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin
Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin. The result is a more normal appearance to the body, with smoother contours. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience.
Good candidates for body contouring are:
- Adults of any age whose weight loss has stabilized
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what body contouring can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
Major Weight Loss Surgery
Body contouring surgery usually combines multiple procedures to achieve a comprehensive result. Dr. Thomassen will recommend the procedures needed. Frequently these will need to be staged, or performed at separate times, usually with 4-6 week recovery period in between. The most frequently performed procedures include:
- Lower body lift: to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs. Incision patterns vary, and may include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat. This is also called a circumferential abdominoplasty.
- Breast lift: to correct sagging, flattened breasts. A breast implant also may be recommended to enhance breast shape and size.
- Arm lift: to correct sagging of the upper arms. Additional incisions into the axilla and flank may be necessary to address excess skin in these areas.
- Thigh lift: to correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh. Reshaping of the thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that can extend downward to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. These procedures are all performed under general anesthesia.
The results of a body contouring following major weight loss are visible almost immediately. Each stage of surgery will require 4-6 weeks of recovery.
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