Body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin.
What is body contouring after major weight loss? Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin.
Beauty for life
Enhancing your appearance with body contouring surgery
Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, 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:
- 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 improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, and 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.
Is it right for me?
Before you decide to undergo body contouring following major weight loss, your weight loss must be stabilized.
- If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop.
- If you rapidly regain the weight, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned skin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars.
- f you had weight reduction surgery, your plastic surgeon will work closely with your physician to determine when it is appropriate for you to begin body contouring.
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
What to expect during your body contouring consultation
The success and safety of your body contouring procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You?ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- The options available in body contouring surgery
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of your surgery and any risks or potential complications
Preparing for body contouring surgery
Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
- What to do on the day of surgery
- The use of anesthesia during your body contouring surgery
- Post-operative care and follow-up
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Body contouring surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient or ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital.
You?ll need help
If a component of your body contouring surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Body contouring risks and safety information
The decision to have body contouring surgery is extremely personal and you?ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.
Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks and potential complications.
Possible risks of body contouring following major weight loss include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Blood clots
- Numbness or other changes in skin sensation
- Anesthesia risks
- Skin discoloration and/or prolonged swelling
- Fatty tissue found deep in the skin might die (fat necrosis)
- Major wound separation
- Recurrent looseness of skin
- Pain, which may persist
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Persistent swelling in the legs
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Be sure to ask questions:
It's very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about 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 these feelings with your plastic surgeon.
What happens during body contouring surgery?
Body contouring procedure steps
The procedures necessary to achieve your goals will be defined along with a plan for the timing of these procedures. Plastic surgery procedures that may be recommended by your physician include:
- Lower body lift: to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
- Breast lift: to correct sagging, flattened breasts
- Arm lift: to correct sagging of the upper arms
- Thigh lift: to correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 - The incision
All body contouring procedures require incisions to remove excess skin. In many cases, these incisions may be extensive.
Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and your doctor?s surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing, but this is not always the case.
Body contouring is often performed in stages. Your particular condition and goals, as well as your plastic surgeon?s best judgment, will all influence how your doctor defines a surgical plan. While it may have taken you two years or more to lose all the excess weight, it may take equally as long for the results of your body contouring to be complete.