Body Contouring after Weight Loss Explained
This article provides a good entry point for those considering body contouring after weight loss. Body contouring after weight loss is both a reconstructive plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin and restore the body contours to normalcy. A common misconception is that plastic surgery is a weight loss procedure; it is not. What body contouring after weight loss can be, however, is an extremely transformative operation or staged operations following massive weight loss.
To help you better understand body contouring after weight loss, we’ve compiled a list of common “bariatric plastic surgery terms.” Bariatric plastic surgery is another name given to body contouring plastic surgery after weight loss. We’ve also included links to information on plastic surgery after weight loss for further reading.
Hanging, sagging, or redundant skin that has lost its elasticity and cannot retract even through rigorous exercising. Getting rid of this excess skin can only be achieved through a body contouring procedure. Examples of procedures are abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), body lift, brachioplasty (arm lift) and mastopexy (breast lift).
Body contouring surgery is the general term used to describe various surgical procedures performed by a plastic surgeon on a patient for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. Body contouring after weight loss focuses on removing excess skin to improve function and appearance.
Weight Reduction Surgery
The planning and combining of multiple body contouring procedures over time. By safely combining procedures into a larger surgery the cost can be 10-20% less.
The volume loss in body areas such as the breast, arms, thighs, and buttocks due to the loss of fat and atrophy of glandular tissue or muscle.
Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure of the abdomen from the pubic area to the breastbone that removes loose skin and fat, and tightens a relaxed underlying abdominal wall. It is commonly referred to as a tummy tuck and popular with men and women after significant weight loss.
A large apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen due to obesity and often made worse by weight loss. The pannus is removed during an abdominoplasty and the abdominal wall is tightened. A procedure that removes the pannus but does not tighten the abdominal wall is a panniculectomy. Oftentimes this procedure is covered by insurance.
A true body lift combines upper and lower body contouring procedures to achieve total body restoration. It typically affects the lower body (abdomen, thighs, lower back, and buttocks) and the upper body (upper back, sides, breast/cheat, and arms).
An undesirable outcome of treatment that can change the outcome and may require additional treatment. Complications include seroma (fluid accumulation beneath the skin), dog ear (mound of skin at the end of an incision), dehiscence (separation of wound edges), necrosis (death of skin), and abscess (pus).
It’s very important that your doctor be board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means that the doctor has met specific standards of knowledge and clinical skills by way of vigorous written and oral exam.
For more articles on body contouring after weight loss please visit our Plastic Surgery section.
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My Bariatric Life
Photo: Sepehr Egrari, MD