Losing a lot of weight, either on your own through diet and exercise, or with the help of bariatric surgery, is a major accomplishment. While losing weight can have a number of positive effects on your health and overall quality of life, in some cases, it can also cause unpleasant changes in the body. While a number of people manage to lose the fat, sometimes up to 100 pounds or more, the left over extra skin is much more difficult. Even after the fat is gone, the flabby skin around the midsection or the face and neck can cause embarrassment; detracting from the amazing weight loss results.
After dramatic weight loss, some patients decide to have body contouring surgery – sometimes referred to as a body lift – to help trim away the excess skin, and increase their confidence in their body.
Why Do Body Countouring?
There are several reasons why a person might consider body contouring after weight loss, as well as facial plastic surgery procedures such as a facelift or neck lift. Feeling better about your appearance is often a main driving factor, but it is likely not the only reason. Having a lot of extra skin or fat in the abdominal area or on the thighs can be extremely uncomfortable. This loose skin can rub together, leading to painful chafing or rashes.
It can also be more difficult to keep the body clean when there is a lot of excess skin. It is hard to lift up multiple folds of skin to wash; and the sagging ripples creat nooks and crannies where dirt and bacteria can hide. The excess skin may also make it difficult to fit into certain garments or can keep you from wearing the clothes you want to wear, even with the dramatic weight loss.
What are the Body Sculpting Procedures?
Plastic surgery after weight loss can include a number of body shaping procedures, such as a tummy tuck, thigh lift, and arm lift. Some patients might also decide on a breast lift, if losing weight has negatively altered the shape of their chest. A breast lift will not increase or decrease the size of the breasts, but will reposition them so that they are more elevated and attractive.
If losing weight has led to changes on your face and neck, a facelift or neck lift may also be of benefit. A facelift after weight loss can help to address extra skin and fat, all while creating a more youthful and smoother appearance by tightening the facial muscles.
Who is a Good Candidate for Body Sculpting?
To be considered a good candidate for plastic surgery after weight loss, whether on the face or body, it is recommended that patients wait until they have been at their goal weight for at least six months. Gaining or losing weight can significantly affect the results of the surgery. Even waiting for a year or two will not only give you time to lose the weight, it also gives your skin time to shrink down as much as possible before the surgery.
It is important that you have realistic expectations for the results from the body contouring surgery. The procedures will remove extra skin and fat, but will also result in permanent scars where the incisions were made. It is equally vital that you understand the body sculpitng surgery will not transform you into a totally new person. You will look like an improved version of yourself.
Health will play a part in determining whether a body sculpting procedure is the right call for you. If you smoke, your surgeon will ask that you quit for several weeks before the surgery and for several weeks afterwards. Heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other health conditions can mean that surgery is not a good option for you at the moment. You will need medical clearance from your doctor before undergoing body contouring surgery.
What is Involved in Body Sculpting?
Exactly what will be involved in plastic surgery after weight loss depends on the type of procedure you wish to have. Usually, you can expect to be put under general anesthesia. The surgery will take several hours to complete. The more additional procedures you combine, the longer the operation will take. However, combining procedures can still be shorter overall, and have a fast recovery, than when each is performed separately.
Recovery after surgery will take anywhere from a week or more than a month, depending on how many and the type of procedures you have. People typically need about a week or two before they can go back to work after a facelift, and might need to continue to take it easy for about a month. After a tummy tuck, many people can go back to an office job after two weeks, but will need avoid lifting or straining for up to six weeks afterwards.
To determine if a body sculpting procedure after weight loss is right for you, set up a consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas in Houston. Call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.484.0088 for more information. If you are live outside of the Houston area, you can request an online consultation. Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery also provides assistance with travel arrangements and accommodation reservations upon request.