Body Contouring by Wave Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Laser Center
Why do patients seek Body Contouring Surgery after Major Weight Loss?
A significant loss of weight loss, while it may be a moral victory of sorts, brings with it other, sometimes unanticipated, issues. There can be significant sagging and redundancy of the skin in areas where the former excess volume of fat and soft tissue has been lost.
This occurs because the skin and soft tissues had been gradually stretched over many years to conform to the increased volume represented by the excess body weight. When this excess body weight is lost due to diet and exercise, and sometimes with the help of bariatric surgery, the overall size and shape of the body shrinks, but the skin and soft tissues no longer possess the elasticity to re-conform to the new smaller size and shape of the body. This results in a mismatch of skin and soft tissues versus the new surface area of the post-weight-loss body frame, much like having a king size sheet to cover a double bed.
What Is Body Contouring Surgery?
There are specific areas of the body where we can reliably expect these issues to appear after significant weight loss. The following is a brief list of the areas most commonly affected by massive weight loss and the procedures that can be employed to address these issues.
In the groin region there is frequently a hanging apron of redundant skin. The buttocks can sag dramatically after massive weight loss. The thighs often exhibit redundant skin on the medial aspect of the legs, and these can rub and chafe with walking, while excess fat and redundant skin can also hang from the lateral thigh and saddlebag areas. Most frequently, massive weight loss patients have a large abdominal pannus, or apron of redundant abdominal skin and soft tissue that hangs down from the lower abdomen. This excess of skin and soft tissue often continues around to the flanks on both sides and onto the lower back. A procedure called a lower body lift can simultaneously address the redundant skin and soft tissue of the abdomen, flanks, lower back, pubic area, and the lateral thighs. This usually involves a circumferential incision around the abdomen that allows the removal of a continuous segment of the excess skin and soft tissue in a circular fashion.
The sagging skin and soft tissues of the medial or inner thigh can be addressed in a separate procedure called a medial thigh lift. The incisions for this procedure typically begin in the groin and extend along the medial (inside) aspect of the leg to just above the knee. If a lower body lift has not been performed, and there is redundant, sagging skin of the lateral (outer) thigh, a separate lateral thigh lift can be performed. The incisions for this procedure begin in the pubic area and extend around the hip, allowing redundant skin and soft tissue to be excised, and the contour of the lateral thigh to be made tighter and smoother.
Massive weight loss may also produce a “bat wing deformity”, in which the upper arms become deflated in volume, leaving the remaining skin and soft tissues to hang down below the arms when they are extended. The surgery that corrects this problem is a brachioplasty or arm lift. The incisions for a brachioplasty typically begin inside the axilla (armpit),extend along the medial (inside) or posterior (back) of the arm, and end just above the elbow. Brachioplasty can deliver a dramatic change in the overall shape of the arm, as well as improving the smoothness and tightness of the skin.
Finally, the breasts after massive weight loss can lose volume and elasticity so that the remaining breast tissue becomes flat and ptotic, or droopy, while enveloped by redundant skin. This can be treated with a procedure called a mastopexy or breast lift. The most common pattern of incisions for this surgery is that of an inverted T, in which there is a circular incision around the nipple-areolar complex, a vertical incision extending from the 6:00 position of this circumareolar incision to the center of the inframammary fold, and then, from this point, a horizontal line extending medially and laterally along the inframammary fold. Usually the mastopexy is performed with the concomitant placement of a breast implant, or the redeployment of a portion of the redundant soft tissue, to replace some of the breast volume that has been lost as well as improve the overall breast shape.
Frequently, patients will have several of the problems listed above coexisting after massive weight loss. In these circumstances, various combinations of procedures can be performed in stages to systematically address the effects of the weight loss on different parts of the body.
An important requirement for body contouring surgery is that the patient’s weight has stabilized for a period of time after the weight loss. In a sense, body contouring can be thought of as the final stage in this process of weight loss. As long as the patient maintains her weight,the dramatic postoperative changes in the shape and appearance of the patient’s body after body contouring surgery will remain long lasting.
What is Body Contouring?
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.
Enhancing your appearance with body contouring surgery/h4>
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:
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 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:
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