Apr2022

Patient BlogPlastic SurgeryBody Contouring After Weight Loss

Weight loss is often seen as a path not only to a healthier lifestyle but also to achieving that perfect body that people dream of. Unfortunately, losing a lot of weight in a short period of time can result in aesthetic issues of its own, leaving patients with excess sagging skin on their bodies. While your skin has a natural ability to adjust to the size of your body, its potential is limited by a variety of factors, including, e.g., your genetic predispositions, age and the stage of obesity prior to your weight loss. Sometimes seeking surgical help in body contouring procedures to remove excess skin is the only effective way to achieve the desired results.

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Types of Body Contouring Surgeries

The main goal of body contouring surgery is to reduce the amount of extra skin left after weight loss. When you gain weight, your skin slowly stretches to accommodate the increasing body size, but with the sudden loss of fat tissue, it loses support and starts to sag. This excess of skin can occur in different parts of the body, leading to dissatisfaction with one’s appearance and the results of weight loss surgery or dieting. However, it’s important to realise that loose skin is not a complication of bariatric surgery but a natural and common result of a weight loss. Luckily, there are multiple body contouring procedures available that offer skin removal in specific areas of the body to help patients achieve their dream body. These procedures include:

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty, also known as tummy tuck surgery, is a procedure used by both men and women to achieve a more defined body contour in the abdominal area by removing sagging skin to accentuate a new, slimmer body shape. We differentiate between two types of abdominoplasty surgery techniques – the regular abdominoplasty and the fleur de lis abdominoplasty (extended, usually after weight loss). At KCM hospital every abdominoplasty procedure is performed with liposuction for a better esthetical result.

Body Lift

A body lift is a more extensive type of surgery and can focus on different areas of the body depending on each patient’s individual needs. During the operation, any excess skin is surgically removed, with the remaining tissue being stretched to create smoother contours of the operated area. Types of body lifts include:

  • a lower body lift that improves the shape of thighs, buttocks and hips, with the help of procedures such as a back lift or a thigh lift,
  • an upper body lift that can help give your arms a more toned look or correct flattened breasts with a breast lift.

Face and Neck Lifting

Weight loss can significantly change your appearance but not always for the better. Loose skin around your face and neck can end up making you look even a few years older than your actual age. Subtle face lifting plastic surgery can provide natural-looking results and rejuvenate your face by tightening the skin around your neck, jawline, and cheeks.

Do You Need Body Contouring Surgery After Bariatric Surgery?

Interest in body contouring procedures is common among bariatric patients, and they are often chosen as follow-up treatments after bariatric surgery. There is a big chance that the post-weight loose skin will shrink naturally without the need for surgical intervention. If there is no reduction in the amount of loose skin over time or the effects are not satisfactory, you can consider undergoing plastic surgery to remove the excess of the skin and achieve a smoother body contour.

Is Loose Skin a Purely Aesthetic Problem?

It’s important to note that dissatisfaction with the look of one’s body and having sagging and unattractive looking skin after weight loss is not simply a matter of vanity. The consequences of post-weight loss surgery problems with loose skin can be divided into two categories:

  • physical: large amounts of sagging skin can significantly affect one’s everyday life by leading to difficulties with hygiene, mobility and irritations in the affected areas,
  • psychological: excess skin left after bariatric surgery or dieting can be just as detrimental to one’s self-acceptance and self-esteem as obesity, its removal or reduction can significantly improve quality of life and wellbeing.

When Is the Right Moment for Body Contouring Surgery?

One of the most important things to consider is your weight. You should postpone any skin removing surgeries until the moment you’re happy with your weight loss results. Otherwise, you risk undermining the effect of body contouring with further body mass reduction.

How Long After Weight Loss Surgery Can You Undergo Body Contouring Surgery?

If you’re following your bariatric surgery with cosmetic surgery to improve the contour of your body, it’s best to wait until the post-surgery wounds heal properly and you fully recover from the procedure. Rule of thumb is a minimum of twelve months post bariatric weight loss surgery. You will also need to obtain a first plastic surgeons qualification to make sure that your organism is ready to undergo your plastic surgery.

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Who Can Qualify for Body Contouring Surgery?

In order to qualify for any type of cosmetic surgery, you need to undergo a health evaluation by a plastic surgery specialist and provide up-to-date results of all required tests as well as your detailed medical history. You’ll be approved for surgery if there are no health contraindications.

During a pre-surgery consultation, you should also talk to your doctor about your expectations to find out whether they are achievable and in line with the typical outcome of the procedure you’re interested in.

How Much Time Do You Need to Recover After Body Contouring Cosmetic Surgery?

The exact length of the recovery period depends on the type and extent of your body contouring surgery. In most cases, you’ll only have to stay in hospital for one to two days after the procedure, and you’ll be able to resume your normal activities soon after. But please be aware that it may take a few weeks for the swelling to disappear, and you should avoid physically demanding activities during the first month or two. To ensure a speedy and satisfactory recovery, it’s best to strictly follow the recommendations provided by the clinic.

Do Body Contouring Surgeries Leave Scars?

Incisions made during surgical skin removal can leave scars, however, during the procedure, the surgeon chooses the best placement of the cuts to make them as inconspicuous as possible. You can also limit the risk of visible scarring by tending to your wounds as advised by the doctor and avoiding smoking in the weeks directly proceeding your surgery because nicotine can have an adverse effect on the healing process.

Modern and innovative surgical techniques used during body contouring procedures at KCM Clinic offer patients safe and effective procedures to complement their weight loss results. We provide comprehensive and professional assistance and care throughout the entire process to help you to transform your body in comfortable conditions.