After all the hard work you’ve done to lose weight, treat yourself to body contouring to get rid of loose skin so you can really show off the results of your efforts! Anyone who has had massive weight loss, whether through bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise, has sagging skin in multiple areas: the face and neck, breasts, arms, abdomen, back and thighs. If you’ve had gastric bypass surgery, the elastic tissues of your skin are usually permanently damaged from being stretched to an extreme degree. With body contouring, we can improve the shape of the skin but we cannot improve the quality of the skin. Patients seeking body contouring after massive weight loss must be realistic in their expectations. The tissues will give over time, but not to the same degree as before.
A variety of surgical procedures are often necessary and are often performed at different times, in stages. Depending on which area bothers you the most, the surgery is tailored to fit your needs, starting with the area of greatest concern.
Often an abdominoplasty is done first, either alone or more commonly as part of a lower body lift or circumferential body lift. A lower body lift addresses the tummy, outer thighs, lower back and buttocks.
Breast lift with or without implants, arm lift, thigh lift, face lifts and neck lift are all additional procedures that can be done as well. An upper body lift may be needed to take care of excess skin on the upper back.
Plastic Surgery procedures should be considered only after your weight has stabilized following your bariatric procedure or weight loss through diet and exercise. This is usually 18 months or more, depending on your preoperative weight. Performing a skin tightening procedure prior to weight stabilization may result in the need for further skin tightening in the future.
Depending on the type of contouring surgery that is performed, you may be able to go home after spending a few hours in the surgery center or you may need to stay in the hospital 1-2 days. Generally, you may shower two days after your surgery. Pain is a very individual thing and may range from mild to intense. Most pain is greatly improved or gone within 7 days and is controlled by medications. You can expect swelling, which can be mild to moderate and peaks at 2 to 3 days and improves over the next 6 weeks. You can usually resume light activities within the first week, and most activities within 4-6 weeks. You can expect to be out of work for 1-2 weeks, but you will be able to be up and about. Again, the actual recovery process is dictated by the type of contouring procedures you have done at one time.
We will spend a lot of time in our office carefully discussing everything you might expect after your contouring surgery. We want you to have all the information you need to make the choices that are right for you and safe for you.
You will have a tightened, lifted and improved contour to your abdomen, thighs, buttocks, breasts, arms, and any other areas treated. Touch ups and revisions are often necessary. You will probably be more confident and comfortable in clothing, especially sportswear and jeans. Your final results will be evident 9-12 months after the surgery, when the scars have matured.
Anyone who desires a more toned appearance through removal of stretched and sagging skin, and anyone with excess folds of skin after weight loss may be a good candidate for body contouring. The best candidates for body contouring are people who are looking for improvement, not perfection, in the way they look. If you're physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in your expectations, you may be a good candidate.
You’re not alone, and one of Dr. Kavali’s patients wanted to share her story: Click here.
See the before & after gallery for Post Weight loss Contouring.
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