What is body contouring?
Whether through bariatric surgery or other means, dramatic weight loss can lead to sagging skin, most commonly in the following areas:
- 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 post weight loss body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue, and removes this excess skin to improve appearance and boost your confidence. In cases where a patient’s “skin no longer fits the body that’s under there,” many patients can suffer from a lower body image than before they lost the weight. These procedures enable them to fully experience their improved health. You deserve to look and feel your best.
Saint Agnes Specializes in the Following Post Weight Loss Procedures
This involves a complete lower body lift of the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips, and outer thighs in one procedure, or several staged procedures. The incision patterns vary, but often include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat.
This procedure lifts sagging breasts and removes excess skin. Typically, incisions are made in a circular pattern around the areola, down to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease. Implants may be recommended to enhance breast size and shape.
Sagging skin along the upper arms is treated with an incision from the underarm along the inside or back of the upper arm. Additional incisions may be needed in places where excess skin has formed sagging pockets. Almost immediately following this procedure, you’ll see smoother, tighter contours and a dramatic improvement in skin appearance and texture.
The thighs are reshaped through an incision in the groin that extends down to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh. For the outer thigh, an incision from the groin around to the hip may be required. These incisions allow your plastic surgeon to tighten tissues for a smoother, better toned appearance.
Is body contouring surgery right for you?
According to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, 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.
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:
- 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.
Because of the significant amount of skin to be removed during contouring surgery, there are greater associated risks than with standard cosmetic surgery, including:
- Separation of incision.
- Skin laxity (looseness).
- Skin necrosis (tissue death).
- Abnormal scar formation.
- Formation of a seroma (a mass or lump caused by fluid buildup in a tissue or organ).
- Asymmetry (unbalanced appearance).
- Unsatisfactory results.
Side effects may include swelling, bruising, soreness, numbness, scars, and depression.
Questions to ask your plastic surgeon
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- What surgical technique is recommended for me?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect to look over time? After pregnancy?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
Dr. Tom Grace, Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Saint Agnes Hospital discusses his work at the hospital. Dr. Grace and his team provide a wide variety of services. Dr. Grace also discusses his approach to patient safety.
For more information on plastic & reconstructive surgery at Saint Agnes Hospital you can reach us at 1-866-690-9355. To find a physician click here.