Weight loss surgery normally delivers what it promises. The amount of weight that might be lost is dramatic, as is the speed of the weight loss. The consequence of sagging skin after this weight loss is the result of prolonged stretching of the skin over time from morbid obesity. And it is an unpleasant surprise for many people. Post bariatric plastic surgery is the only way to remove this excess skin.
Loss of Elasticity
A significant amount of weight is lost in the first 12-18 months after bariatric surgery. The skin that remains may not retain the elastic quality that is needed for a desired body shape.
Obese people can damage the underlying support structures of the skin and stretch the connective tissue too much. When this happens, the structure of fascia and skin become diseased and no longer function properly. The integrity of the skin’s elasticity is ruined.
Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss
Patients who have lost extreme amounts of weight will require a great deal of alteration and soft tissue modeling to produce the desired effect. It is unlikely that a single post bariatric plastic surgery will accomplish all that the patient hopes for. Studies support the contention that a series of small plastic surgeries are less risky than a single post bariatric surgery that attempts to address everything at once.
Weight loss surgery provides significantly improved health. It may extend life. However, if a bariatric patient wants to have a body that pleases her aesthetically, then weight loss surgery will probably not be sufficient.
Types of Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery
Bariatric patients normally want specific results from plastic surgery after weight loss.
Breast droopiness or loss of breast volume is a concern for both men and women. Women can have a procedure that lifts the breasts and enhances shape and cleavage. Men have several breast reduction procedures to choose from depending on how much correction is needed.
Sagging facial skin will require eyelid surgery or a facelift.
Too much abdominal skin can be corrected with a tummy tuck.
A lower body lift can shape the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks.
Hanging skin under the arms can be lifted and tightened.
Expectations for Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery
Patient expectations for post bariatric plastic surgery are normally high. They anticipate improved mobility, appearance, self-confidence, and quality of life. While procedures such as a body lift and facelift can produce great results, patients should be aware that there will be some degree of scarring following any post bariatric plastic surgery.
Above all, patients must have realistic expectations about what can be achieved through post bariatric plastic surgery. Read, “Realistic Expectations of Plastic Surgery.”
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life