Submitted by Twin City Plastic Surgery
We’ve all heard countless success stories about friends, family members and even total strangers who have lost significant amounts of weight. Maybe it’s even you who has dropped 100 pounds or more, either strictly by diet and exercise or interventional methods such as bariatric surgery. While either of these results in better long-term health, your initial appearance after weight loss may be not quite what you expected.
What happens after massive weight loss?
While you’re carrying those extra pounds, your skin is stretched around areas of your body like the abdomen, arms, legs, breast and face. After significant weight loss, the skin often fails to shrink back, resulting in upper arms that may sag and appear loose or full, flattened breasts, excess abdominal skin that may lay apron-like around your sides and lower back area, and hanging pockets of skin around buttocks, groin and thighs.
Many individuals who have experienced a great weight loss are turning to plastic surgery to improve the shape and tone of underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin. The result gives your new body a more “normal” appearance, with smoother contours.
The skinny on post-weight loss plastic surgery
There are a number of procedures that may be of interest to an individual who has recently lost 100 pounds or more. They include:
Also called a body lift, this is the most commonly-performed surgery after weight loss. More than 106,000 body-contouring procedures were performed in 2004, up 77 percent over the last five years, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Massive weight loss patients accounted for nearly 56,000 procedures. Body contouring is the removal of excess, sagging skin around the abdomen and a tightening of skin around the buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips, thighs and arms.
A tummy tuck involves an incision at the bikini line and around the navel. The surgeon then manipulates the skin and tissues and repairs weakened abdominal muscles. In some cases, you may have an additional incision to remove excess skin in the upper abdomen.
During a breast lift, excess skin and tissue is removed and the nipple is repositioned. Implants can be added as well to improve shape.
This procedure removes excess skin from the upper arm area.
This procedure involves removing excess skin around the face and neck.
Are you ready for the final step?
Many consider plastic surgery the “final step” in their weight loss journey. If your weight has stabilized for at least a year and you’re in overall good health, and if you don’t smoke and are committed to good nutrition, fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle, you are likely to get the thumbs up from your doctor as well as your plastic surgeon to make the desired physical tweaks. However, this process is not one to be entered into lightly. The results may be immediate but the healing will take time, your activity will be restricted temporarily, visible scarring will remain, and it will be your job to maintain a stable weight and overall fitness for the remainder of your life.
No matter if your weight loss is due to diet or surgical means, you deserve to have the body you earned for a lifetime to come.