Massive weight loss following a diet, exercise or bariatric (weight loss) surgery can give rise to large loose folds of skin in the neck, torso, and limbs. These can be surgically treated by means of various body contouring procedures.
Who benefits from body contouring procedure?
Individuals with loose folds of skin following massive weight loss. The procedure is done after the weight has stabilized. After bariatric surgery stabilization of weight may take one to two years.
What are the surgical treatments which come under body contouring procedures?
These include the following,
- Body lifts
- Breast lift
- Arm lift
- Tummy tuck
- Thigh lift
Is there a right time to undergo these procedures?
They are undertaken once the weight has stabilized. In the case of weight loss following this depends on the type of bariatric procedure.
Who is a good candidate for body contouring procedure?
You are a good candidate if,
- You are bothered about the loose folds of skin following massive weight loss.
- Your weight has stabilized.
- There is no serious co-existing illness which may influence wound healing.
- You are a nonsmoker.
- There are reasonable expectations about the procedure.
What are the steps in undergoing body contouring procedure?
Preoperative consultation: During the consultation we will be able to assess your aesthetic goals. After examination, we will be able to give treatment options, risks, and alternatives. Further tests may be ordered to assess the fitness to undergo the procedure. These also indicate any problems with wound healing abilities. Photographs will be obtained as part of medical records. You may be asked for clearance from your bariatric surgeon.
Procedure: Most of the procedures are carried out under general or regional anesthesia. Body contouring procedures have extensive incisions to remove the excess skin and underlying fatty tissue. As much as possible we try to hide these incisions in creases.
- Body lift: Here the incision goes around the torso in the lower part. It tightens the tummy, upper part of thighs and gluteal regions.
- Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty): This tightens the sagging tissues of the abdomen giving it a more smooth contour. The incision is placed in the lower part of the abdomen. Click on the link to learn more about tummy tuck.
- Breast lift: This lifts the sagging breast tissue. Incisions may be placed around the areola ( pigmented skin around the nipple ) and may have an extension below as a straight line or an inverted T. The incision chosen depends on the extent of the deformity.
- Arm lift (Brachiplasty): This improves the sagging of the arms. The incisions are placed in the medial surface of the arm or the axilla (armpit). The incisions are visible when the arms are lifted up.
- Thigh lift: The incision is placed on the medial aspect of thighs. This reshapes the proximal part of thighs.
Recovery: After surgery patients can ambulate after recovery from anesthesia. Depending upon the area involved you may be asked to adopt a posture to relax the sutured site. Sutures are removed between one and two weeks. Initially, there is swelling at the operated sites. It may take approximately one year to settle into the final appearance.
What are the benefits of undergoing body contouring procedure?
It results in a better appearance with a more smooth contour. It is associated with improved self-confidence.
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