Achieving substantial weight loss, either through diet and exercise or a bariatric surgery procedure, can be life-changing for your health and quality of life. With that in mind, it is common for individuals to experience collections of stretched, loose skin and folds in certain body areas after significant weight loss that do not contract to the new body shape. These concerns may still limit physical abilities and cause self-esteem issues at a time when the overall feeling should be one of accomplishment and renewed self-confidence. Fortunately, our board-certified plastic surgeon in Tampa, Dr. Dana Coberly, offers a variety of post-weight loss body contouring procedures to tighten and smooth one or more target areas, including the abdomen, arms, thighs, and others, so individuals can address aesthetic concerns that may result after significant weight loss. Her goal for every patient after a thorough evaluation of their health and cosmetic concerns is to develop a highly customized treatment plan unique to their specific goals.
- After-Weight Loss Body Contouring Surgery Benefits
- Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Surgery Treatments
- Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Surgery Recovery
What Are the Benefits of After-Weight Loss Body Contouring?
Loose, hanging skin folds and excess fat pockets leftover after major weight loss should not overshadow the positive effects of settling into your new, slimmer figure. After-weight loss body contouring surgery can bring your health journey full-circle by helping you look and feel your best. The potential benefits of these treatments can include:
- Tighter, more toned appearance of the skin
- Firmer, flatter abdominal area
- Less hanging or drooping skin folds in the arms and buttocks regions
- Smoother contours around the thighs and hips
- Relief from dermatological issues (rashes, irritations, or infections) caused by overhanging skin folds
Dr. Coberly can do an in-depth survey of the area(s) you wish to target and explain the optimal procedure(s) that can improve your individual aesthetic or dermal concerns.
What Are the Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Options?
Dr. Coberly can help determine which type of after-weight loss body contouring surgery will be ideal to eliminate excess skin and tighten contours while providing a natural-looking appearance. Most of these surgeries are usually outpatient procedures requiring general anesthesia, although some are more extensive and may require an overnight hospital stay. Please continue reading below for more information about the most commonly sought-after post-weight loss body contouring surgeries.
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift can be an effective surgery after major weight loss to tighten, firm, and eliminate excess skin in the abdomen, flanks, lower back, buttocks, and thighs. A lower body lift procedure, which may include liposuction in some cases, can take four to eight hours to complete. Although noticeable mid-section scarring is more common after a lower body lift, the scars may easily be concealed under clothing.
Medically referred to as brachioplasty, an arm lift procedure is designed to reshape the upper arms by pulling the skin tightly to fix the appearance of lost tissue elasticity, giving the skin a much firmer, more defined look.
Undergoing a thigh lift can address concerns of: excess skin and fatty tissue hanging from both the inner and outer thighs (as well as the knees); persistent chafing; or the development of rashes. During the thigh lift procedure, excess skin and tissue are removed while the remainder is reshaped for improved tone and smoother contours.
Specifically focused on the intricate curves of the abdomen, tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty) is designed to tighten abdominal muscles and improve contours by removing excess, overhanging skin. For this procedure, each individual’s unique physical anatomy is considered when pulling the remaining skin taut for a flatter, firmer abdominal appearance. Post-weight loss patients in particular may develop what is called a “pannus,” which causes an overhanging fold of skin on the front of the abdomen. A tummy tuck can help fix this concern for many individuals, therefore also relieving related symptoms of rash and irritation in the fold. In more severe cases, patients may be candidates for a panniculectomy.
As one of the most affected areas that cannot be altered with diet and exercise alone, breast surgeries are available to restore, rejuvenate, and renew the appearance of breasts affected by major weight loss. This is a special area of expertise for Dr. Coberly, in which she has received extensive training. For her weight loss patients, Dr. Coberly usually recommends a breast lift or breast reduction, depending on the concerns being experienced.
A breast lift, medically referred to as mastopexy, not only removes excess, loose skin but can also reposition breasts to a higher, more youthful position on the chest wall. If you would like to complement the procedure by filling lost volume, a breast lift with augmentation may also be considered. For patients who are concerned with excess breast tissue and fat, especially if their breasts cause an additional heaviness or weighted feeling, a breast reduction may be more suitable. Breast reduction surgery may also help with relieving pain in the neck and back, deep grooves from bra straps, and skin irritation under the breasts.
While combined body contouring treatments may be possible in one comprehensive surgery, it is important to know your surgical plan may take place in strategic stages for the safest, most successful outcome. Our surgeon will be able to outline your options in more detail after your evaluation.
What Can I Expect During Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Surgery Recovery?
Due to the variety of post-weight loss body contouring surgery options available, the recovery process and timeframe has many variables. This can ultimately depend on how many procedures are performed, the details and complexities of the surgery, and the patient’s natural healing abilities. A normal amount of swelling, redness, soreness, and bruising is to be expected and we typically recommend compression garments to support the treatment areas, incisions, and the newly shaped contours as the body heals. Generally, these types of surgeries may take several weeks of recovery time before patients can expect to return to work, exercise, and regular daily routines. Dr. Coberly and her team will ensure you receive all of the proper instructions and safety guidance to maintain successful healing during the various phases of the recovery process.
For more information about post-weight loss body contouring surgery options, or to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Coberly, please contact us today.