Reconstructive Surgery after Weight Loss Surgery
Many people who have lost 100 pounds or more are overjoyed at their success. After losing weight, loose, heavy folds of skin can interfere with walking, balance, hygiene, skin care, and simply getting clothes to fit correctly. Plastic surgery, in most cases, is the only effective long-term solution. Removal of excess skin can improve the fit of clothes, ability to walk and/or maintain balance, maintain hygiene, and eliminate chronic skin irritation and even infections. Improving body self-image is also a great motivator for patients to maintain their efforts in weight loss. There are several things that can be offered to deal with excess skin. Dealing with excess skin after large weight loss is mostly referred to as body contouring (also known as a body lift). Several body areas can be addressed including the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, arms, and breast.
Body Contouring (Body Lift)
Body lift surgery is one of the most common procedures used to improve the body's appearance after weight loss surgery. It’s also long-lasting if you keep your weight stable. Body contouring can be very extensive addressing all body problem areas at once, or focused on one or two isolated body parts at a time. An extensive examination and discussion between you and the surgeon will determine what will work best for you, what approach will be chosen, and how much surgery is needed and/or desired. Our bariatric surgeons are glad to discuss these issues with you as you are losing weight. They recommend you to lose your weight first and reach a stable weight before considering reconstructive surgery. The results are better and more permanent when weight loss has been maximized. Once you are ready, our surgeons will discuss the risks and benefits with you and begin planning your surgery.
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
The most common plastic surgery procedure performed after weight loss surgery is the tummy tuck. The abdomen is usually the most problematic area for both males and females. Most common issues encountered are skin rash, maceration, and fungal infections. Another frequent issue is mobility difficulties (balance and movement restrictions because of the excess redundant skin). Despite successful weight loss, a pannus or abdominal skin flap [of the above nature] will not improve with time making plastic surgery the only real option when the above difficulties are encountered.