Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss
The Cosmetic Reality of Dramatic Weight Loss
Excess skin can be a harsh reminder of dramatic weight loss, multiple pregnancies, or the aging process. It occurs when skin and fatty tissue have lost their elasticity after being stretched for a long time, and hang from your abdomen, arms, breasts, buttocks, or face. From a cosmetic perspective, the excess skin can prevent you from feeling your best. However, it can also limit your mobility, inhibit your clothing options, and cause medical issues including painful rashes, sores, and infections. The only way to remove excess skin after dramatic weight loss is through plastic surgery.
Risks and Benefits
Body contouring surgery can improve the quality of your skin, smooth the body’s natural contours, and improve your self-esteem. However, it is not without risks. As with any surgery, the risks include bleeding, infection, wound healing concerns, scarring, and the possibility of unsatisfactory results. Choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon who routinely performs these procedures in an accredited facility will minimize the risks and maximize the benefits associated with skin removal procedures.
Body Contouring Procedures
This procedure removes the excess skin and tissue of the lower belly that can hang over the genitals and onto the thighs. It may be combined with a tummy tuck. The length of your incision is determined by how much skin must be removed. This procedure may be covered by insurance if the excess skin is causing a medical concern, including skin rashes. Medical documentation is required for insurance coverage.
Removes excess fatty tissue and skin, and tightens abdominal muscles to create a smoother, firmer abdomen. The incision is made across the lower abdomen, just above the pubic area. A complete abdominoplasty requires repositioning your belly button. A partial or mini-abdominoplasty removes excess skin and fat only from the lower abdomen but does not reposition your belly button.
Brachioplasty removes sagging, drooping skin from the underside of the upper arm. Excess skin and fat are removed through an incision on the inside or back of your arm. This procedure may include liposuction to improve contours. Supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped, and the skin is smoothed over the new contour of your arm.
Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)
A thigh lift removes excess skin and fat to reshape, tighten, and contour the inner or outer thigh. A crescentic thigh lift removes skin from the upper inner thigh. A vertical medial thigh lift removes excess skin down the entire inner thigh. A lateral thigh lift, which removes skin and fat from the outer thigh, is combined with a buttock lift.
Excess skin and fat are removed, and the buttock is contoured to give it a smoother look. This procedure may be combined with an outer thigh lift or a buttock augmentation. In the latter, fat deposits may be implanted or added to the buttock area to improve its appearance.
Men who experience enlarged breasts (gynecomastia) may be candidates for male breast reduction surgery.
A breast lift can reshape breasts that lose volume and shape with massive weight loss. Volume can be restored using your own body tissue with fat grafting. Shape can be augmented with breast implants.
Liposuction is a procedure to remove excess fat deposits from the chin, neck, cheeks, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, knees, calves, and around the ankles. The fat deposits are removed through a hollow tube that is placed under the skin through a small incision.
Fat grafting may be combined with another procedure to enhance the cosmetic effect when too much fat is lost in certain areas. Liposuction is performed to remove fat from one part of the body -- usually your thighs, belly, or buttocks. The fat is transferred through injection to the breasts, buttocks, or face to fill out hollows, irregularities, or grooves.