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Body Contouring after Bariatric Surgery

Think of losing a massive amount of weight like a balloon that has been slowly deflated. You have succeeded in losing a significant amount of weight, and you look and feel great. However, you are permanently left with a lot of excess hanging skin, due to the lack of elasticity. The skin hangs. Breasts become flat. Chins and faces sag. The skin under the arms is flabby. Pockets of skin droop around thighs and buttocks. This excess skin also can cause hygienic problems, skin irritation, skin breakdown and pain, and infection. You may find that in spite of all of that weight loss, your body contour is still not in the shape that you desire. Take the next steps and have a consultation for body contouring to lose that excess skin, with Dr Goyal.
While simple skin or fat excess may be treated by a tummy tuck or liposuction, large weight loss individuals may require a more extensive procedure known as a circumferential tummy tuck, or even a lower body lift. These surgeries can improve the appearance of your waistline, thighs, and buttocks. Other procedures such as an arm lift, breast lift, and face lift may also be needed to complete the new tighter and toned you! Procedures can be combined depending on your specific body shape and health history, but if you desire many different areas improved, the surgeries may have to be staged at different times for your health and safety.

Body contouring procedures may include:

  • Facelift: for sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
  • Breast lift: for sagging, flattened breasts
  • Tummy tuck, Panniculectomy: for apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
  • Lower body lift: for sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
  • Thigh lift: for sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
  • Arm lift (Brachioplasty): for sagging of the upper arms

Most of these procedures involve scars which are usually placed in locations hidden under the clothing. Most people accept these scars happily for getting improved shape.

Procedures

Panniculectomy
A panniculectomy is performed to remove the hanging pannus, or apron of skin, from the lower abdomen below the belly button. The excess skin and fat above the belly button are not removed. A panniculectomy is often performed on patients who are still significantly overweight but have skin irritation from their hanging skin. The best candidates will have their weight remain relatively stable for about a year before the procedure. The candidate additionally must be participating in proper diet and exercise plans. If the candidate has had a gastric bypass they need to wait for at least a year before having a panniculectomy.

Arm lift
An arm lift can remove the excess skin and fat deposits, leaving the upper arms with a more pleasing and youthful contour. Usually the scar is on inside of arm from armpit to elbow.

Breast lift
Breast sags and looses volume after weight loss. Breast lift can lift up and firm the breast. Sometimes breast implant is used to enlarge the breast.

Face and neck lift
After dramatic weight loss, the face skin can become loose, resulting in the cheek pads dropping, and jowls forming, resulting in the loss of a defined jaw line. In addition, the neck is loose and sagging. A face and neck lift raises the cheek pads, corrects the jowls, and removes the loose and sagging skin. The incisions are inconspicuous. They are placed in front of and behind the ears, and extend into the hair above and behind the ear.

Lower body lift
In one procedure, the sagging skin of the abdomen, outer thighs, buttocks, hips, and waist is corrected. Incisions extend completely around the body to remove a "belt" of excess skin and fat. Another common name for this procedure is a "belt lipectomy."

Medial thigh lift
The medial thigh lift will lift and tighten the sagging skin of the inner thigh. Incisions are usually placed in the groin.
Important facts about body lifting surgeries
Massive weight loss patients often require multiple surgical procedures to address excess skin and fat throughout their entire body. From the healing and safety standpoint it is not feasible to perform all of these procedures in one stage. Typically, panniculectomy or lower body lift procedures are performed as the first stage. Breast reduction/lift procedures can be combined with either brachioplasty or medial thigh lift. The remaining procedure can be performed as a third stage. If there is significant facial laxity, a face lift can be performed, often, as the final stage. Typically, the time period between stages is four to six months to allow for recovery and healing. With virtually all types of cosmetic surgery there is scarring. In most cases, however, your plastic surgeon can minimize the visibility of these scars through careful incision placement. Over time, scars will fade and become far less noticeable.
People on chronic diet and after bariatric surgery may be anaemic or nutritionally deficient. Assessment of nutrition by blood tests is needed before surgery. If problems are detected, it’s best to correct them with medicines and diet before surgery for best healing.
Results The results of body contouring surgery after significant weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it may take one to two years or more for the final results of all the recommended body contouring procedures to fully develop. Firmness of the skin and repositioning of sagging body parts can restore self esteem and confidence for those who have had massive weight loss. Scars are unavoidable, but can be ingeniously placed in hidden locations. Visible scars from surgery will remain, but the overall results are long lasting if you maintain a stable weight and general, overall fitness. The vast majority of patients are extremely pleased with their body contouring surgery. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent. Follow-up with Dr Goyal at Lavanya is the best way to ensure long-lasting results from your body contouring procedures. If you're considering body contouring surgery after significant weight loss, look for a plastic surgeon with specialized training and significant experience performing these procedures. Consider going to a plastic surgeon who is affiliated with a major medical center.