Plastic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss
Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight are usually overjoyed with their success and proud of what they’ve achieved. Unfortunately, some patients may also find that they have substantial amounts of loose skin or pockets of excess fat left behind. Body contouring can help reduce these often unavoidable side effects of losing massive amounts of weight. William Franckle, MD, FACS performs several types of body contouring procedures that can help remove excess skin and may lead to a smoother, tighter appearance.
Procedure Options for the Upper Body
Many patients seek to correct the loose skin and excess fat that remains on their upper body after weight loss. The most commonly affected areas are the breasts, arms, and upper back.
Breast Lift and/or Breast Reduction: A mastopexy procedure, commonly known as a breast lift, can help correct drooping, flattened breasts with or without the use of an implant. This can help produce an elevated, more youthful-looking breast contour. After weight loss, if a patient finds that her breasts are still too large or heavy, a breast reduction procedure may be suggested to decrease breast size.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty): Frequently, after extreme weight loss, patients are left with excess skin and fat around their upper arms. An arm lift procedure can help to reshape the upper arm, which can reduce loose, saggy skin.
Upper Back Lift: Very rarely, patients who have lost an extreme amount of weight are left with loose skin and fat pockets in the upper back area. In these cases, an upper back lift may be included in a body contouring procedure.
Lower Body Procedure Options
After significant weight loss, patients may seek body contouring procedures to change the appearance of their abdominal areas, buttocks, and thighs.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty): A tummy tuck is intended to give patients a smoother, flatter abdomen by reducing loose or sagging abdominal skin. For some patients, tightening of the abdominal wall muscles is included in the procedure as well. The length of the incision is determined by the amount of skin that needs to be removed.
Butt Lift With Augmentation: After massive weight loss, patients can be left with a flattened, drooping backside. A butt lift with augmentation can help adjust the shape, size, and position of the buttock.
Lateral and Medial Thigh Lifts: A thigh lift can help reshape the inner, outer, and mid-thigh by excising sagging skin. Liposuction may also be used to reduce any stubborn excess fat that has not been lost with diet, exercise, or weight loss surgery.
Am I a Candidate for Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss?
An ideal candidate for body contouring after weight loss has been at a stable weight for several months and is committed to a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition. Body contouring results can be long-lasting when patients continue to maintain a healthy weight after their procedures. Patients should also be in good health and have realistic expectations. To determine if body contouring is right for you, Dr. Franckle will meet with you to discuss your overall health and progress goals. Call Dr. Franckle at 856.772.6500 to schedule a consultation.
What to Expect
The post-operative process for skin removal surgery and body contouring treatments will depend on which procedure(s) a patient decides to have. Still, many of the procedures have several similarities. As skin removal treatments and body lifts are surgical, patients will be under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. While the size of the incision will depend on the area being addressed, Dr. Franckle will use advanced techniques and strategically placed incisions to help minimize visible scarring.
The recovery process for body contouring procedures vary, but most patients will experience some degree of temporary soreness and mild swelling during the days after their surgery. Patients may also have to wear a specialized bra or compression garment. Dr. Franckle can determine the best recovery regimen after your surgery to help ensure optimal healing.
The cost for each body contouring procedure will vary. While most cosmetic procedures are not covered by insurance, Dr. Franckle offers financing options for his patients, with no interest for up to six months. Also, patients can use CareCredit® or Prosper Healthcare Lending to help finance their body contouring. Dr. Franckle also accepts multiple forms of payment, including cash, check, and major credit cards.
How to Prepare
At your initial consultation, Dr. Franckle will discuss your surgical goals and any medical conditions that you may have. This can include a review of your previous surgeries and current medications. After going over your medical history and your goals, Dr. Franckle can help determine which body contouring procedures may best help reduce the loose skin and excess fat associated with significant weight loss.
Explore our list of frequently asked questions about body contouring after massive weight loss.
As with any surgery, patients will likely experience some mild bruising, swelling, and discomfort. The incisions will be wrapped in bandages, and any surgical tape should be left on for a week or until it falls off. To care for the incision sites, gently wash them with soap and warm water when you bathe, but keep the area clean and dry otherwise. If Dr. Franckle prescribes medications to help with healing, take them as directed. As body contouring after weight loss can involve several different procedures, Dr. Franckle will give each patient specific advice on the best way to recover at home.
As with any surgical procedure, incisions are made so scarring is likely. However, Dr. Franckle will make strategically placed incisions and hide scars as best as possible in body creases to help reduce their visibility. In addition, visible scars may fade over time.
The results of body contouring can be long-lasting if you maintain your post-surgery weight. Dr. Franckle recommends that each patient keeps up an active lifestyle and follows his post-operative care instructions. Results may vary.
If you have any other questions about surgical body contouring, contact William Franckle, MD, FACS at 856.772.6500.