Also known as post-bariatric surgery or body contouring, surgery after significant weight loss reduces excess skin and fat left behind following such an accomplishment. The goal of this type of surgery is to restore attractive body proportions by tightening loose and sagging skin. This is done by removing the excess skin around the face, neck, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks and thighs that creates a misshapen contour.
Surgery options include lower body lift, tummy tuck, facelift, liposuction, breast lift, breast reduction & gynecomastia, thigh lift, arm lift and panniculectomy. Although these procedures leave scars, most patients find them to be an acceptable tradeoff for an improved appearance.
When to Consider Surgery after Significant Weight Loss
- If you have experienced dramatic weight loss from bariatric surgery or diet and exercise.
- If you have sagging skin in multiple areas, including the face and neck, breasts, arms, abdomen, back and thighs.
- If 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.
- If 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 cosmetic surgery from your primary care physician or from doctors treating you for medical conditions.
- If you have a healthy diet. Problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
- If 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.
- If you have mental stamina. Surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.
- If you have realistic expectations. Surgery will lead to marked improvements in your shape, but it is impossible to restore the skin and/or body to what it would have been without the weight gain or to what it was you were younger. Even after body-contouring surgery, skin continues to sag over time as part of normal aging.
If you have experienced significant weight loss in Annandale and are interested in surgery to improve your body contours, contact Anne Nickodem, M.D., at 703-560-8711 or aestheticallyyours.com to schedule a consultation with her.