For patients who are significantly overweight, losing that weight is the single most important step they can take to improve their quality of life and health. The tremendous results obtained through bariatric (weight loss) surgery, can have a more pronounced and positive effect on a patient's life than almost any other area of medicine.
Plastic surgery can be very beneficial for patients who have had bariatric surgery, or lost a significant amount of weight through other means. Bariatric surgery is not done for cosmetic purposes and plastic surgery is not done for weight loss. Patients who lose much weight often develop laxity of the skin and soft tissues of the body. Such laxity frequently develops to varying degrees and can create significant cosmetic issues. Skin and tissue laxity can interfere with the normal activities of daily living, be a hygiene problem, and produce secondary medical problems. The results of plastic surgery to correct these issues are among the most dramatic and consistent in the field.
Various areas are typically affected by wide fluctuations in weight. These areas include the abdomen, torso, breast, thighs, arms, face, and neck. Not all patients will develop laxity to the same extent or of the same areas. For each patient, an approach to correcting the problem areas should focus on those that are most troublesome and be tailored to the individual patient's needs.
After dramatic weight loss, skin around the face can become lax, while tissue descends to create a "hollow" look. A face lift and other facial procedures will help you achieve a beautiful, natural result.
There are a number of body plastic surgery procedures for people who have lost a significant amount of weight.
The skin and soft tissues of the abdomen are often the areas which most dramatically develop laxity. As described, this can present a significant cosmetic hindrance and also interfere with normal activities and become a hygiene problem. These areas are best addressed with a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty).
For some patients, the laxity of the soft tissue that develops is not limited to a single area. Rather it can affect them circumferentially. That is, it can involve the abdomen, back, flanks and buttocks. When this is the case, a Lower Body Lift can address all these areas in a single operation with very impressive results.
The skin of the thighs is an area particularly susceptible to developing laxity which manifests as cellulite and irregularities in contour. This can affect both the inner and outer parts of the thighs. A thigh lift can be performed either as an isolated procedure or as part of a Lower Body Lift. An inner, or medial, thigh lift is performed to tighten the tissues along the inner aspect of the thighs.
The upper arms can develop extensive laxity following weight loss. This can occur at almost any age. Once such laxity develops, the only means of correcting it is by removing the excess skin. This is accomplished with a brachioplasty, or arm lift. When properly performed, the results of this procedure are quite impressive.
Breasts frequently lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. This can occur with the passage of time and pregnancies. It can also be particularly exacerbated by fluctuations in weight. A mastopexy, or breast lift, is a procedure which reshapes the breasts and restores their position. A breast lift can be performed with or without implants.
There are a number of unique considerations when treating patients who have undergone bariatric surgery or lost a large amount of weight by another method. It is very important that patients find a plastic surgeon that is aware of these considerations. Patients should have completed most of their weight loss and their weight should be relatively stable.
There are times, however, when they may be a candidate for body contour surgery before their weight loss is complete. The most common example of this is when hanging skin, such as an abdominal apron, interferes with exercise or becomes a hygiene problem. By correcting this patients are able to improve the quality and amount of activity leading to further weight loss.
Another important consideration is a stable metabolism. Patients need to be monitored prior to surgery to assure adequate nutrition. This is necessary to promote postoperative healing. Also for this type of surgery smoking is a contraindication as it greatly increases the risks and complications.
When you're ready to discuss the plastic surgery procedures that are suited to you, please request a consultation.