Body Controuring Following Massive Weight Loss
Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a more normal appearance with smoother contours.Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.
Body contouring procedures following massive weight loss may include:
- Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
- Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
- Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
- Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
- Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
- Brachioplasty (arm lift): sagging of the upper arms
Am I a good candidate for plastic surgery after massive weight loss?
There may come a time after dramatic weight loss when your weight is stable, but you are distressed by sagging and overhanging skin. If you are considering plastic surgery to improve your body contour, these characteristics make you a good candidate:
- Your weight has been stable for at least six months with no further weight loss expected. For optimal results, body contouring should not be done for approximately two years after the start of any dramatic weight-loss program. This time allows your skin to shrink as much as possible and your nutrition to be stabilized and optimized, factors that will aid in your recovery.
- You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body-contouring procedures. Get clearance for plastic surgery from your primary care physician or from doctors treating you for medical conditions.
- You have a healthy diet; problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
- You do not smoke; smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
- You have mental stamina; surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.
- You have realistic expectations; surgery will lead to marked improvements in your shape, but it is impossible to restore the skin or body to what it would have been without the weight gain or to what it was in your teens or twenties. Even after body-contouring surgery, skin continues to sag over time as part of normal aging.