Patients often ask me what they can do to improve their bodies after a significant weight loss. Many people who have achieved great weight loss are left with unsightly, heavy loose folds of skin appearing on the abdomen, thighs, breast, face, buttocks or arms. The reason that this occurs is that the skin has lost elasticity as a result of being stretched for a lengthy period of time and often times, after a significant weight loss, the skin can not shrink back to its previous size and shape. Whether the patient underwent a surgical procedure to lose the weight or simply achieved this accomplishment after months of diet and exercise, many parts of the body will not recover on their own. It is not solely an issue of appearance that drives people meeting these criteria to cosmetic surgery. In these cases, excess skin can also limit mobility, cause hygiene and medical problems and can result in rashes that could lead to infection.
Fortunately, many surgical Body Contouring procedures can significantly improve the body appearance and reduce this excess skin. Most people in this situation have put a tremendous amount of effort to achieve their goal weight and with the addition of cosmetic surgery will be able to achieve the best result and the appearance that they are striving for. Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of underlying tissue that supports fat and skin while also removing excess sagging fat and skin. There are several alternatives in Body Contouring that can be targeted to the areas of concern. In some cases, a Body Lift will be performed to address many areas at once. Every year, more and more Americans will undergo Bariatric Surgery or Gastric Bypass to treat obesity, and with that over 20,000 Americans will undergo a full or lower Body Lift this year. A Body Lift can be a complex procedure that could take up to six hours to complete and the surgeon must not only be experienced in this type of procedure but must also utilize a proper surgical facility and staff. For that reason it is imperative that a person choose their surgeon carefully and be certain that they have extensive experience in performing this type of procedure. Some people opt for a Breast Augmentation or Lift and a Tummy Tuck, less involved procedures that still show significant and measurable results. While most patients will require a breast lift, some will need either a breast reduction or a breast implant procedure, depending on their desired results. The Tummy Tuck is the nickname for Abdominoplasty which is designed to tighten up the abs and surrounding skin. This is particularly helpful after losing a lot of weight because the loose hanging skin is removed from the abdomen and the stomach area is flattened. Additionally, Liposuction is often performed with the Tummy Tuck to eliminate localized fat deposits that may not be responsive to diet and exercise.
Body contouring procedures required as a result of significant weight loss are not specific to women. Both men and women request these types of procedures to increase the tightness and overall appearance of their bodies. Every patient is different and procedural recommendations are customized to each individual so that they achieve both the look that they are striving for and an increased emotional and physical self confidence.