Significant weight loss: No matter how you accomplish it, it’s a big achievement. In our practice, we see plenty of patients who have made serious diet and exercise adjustments or even undergone weight loss surgery. These St. Louis plastic surgery patients have all demonstrated an incredible commitment to their own health and wellness, an admirable feat that’s often the result of years of frustration.
But often, especially if the weight loss was rapid or the patient is a bit older, leftover, empty skin can hang around and obscure the gorgeous new contours. Unlike fat, skin can’t be reduced with diet or exercise adjustments. Without surgical excision, it’s there to stay. Post-bariatric plastic surgery is often the final — and arguably most exciting — step on the weight-loss journey.
So what actually happens to the body after a significant weight loss? When a great deal of fat is reduced, the skin that used to house it can appear empty or deflated. This is often true when the patient was significantly overweight and can be an extremely frustrating result of significant weight loss. Because weight loss seldom follows a prescribed pattern, different areas of the body may look uneven or asymmetrical. Additionally, some areas of isolated fat can linger despite the individual’s new lifestyle.
We offer a number of options for improving the physiques of men and women who have lost a lot of weight. Each of the following procedures can be customized for the individual patient, ensuring a cohesive result that brings out your body’s personal best.
- Tummy tuck: The classic tummy tuck can be modified for smaller or larger areas of skin fat, depending on your specific needs. Using an incision placed low on the abdomen, your surgeon removes extra abdominal skin, pulling the remaining tissue smooth. Your belly button is also reshaped. Although tummy tuck typically uses a long incision, the resulting scar is low enough on the abdomen to be easily concealed.
- Thigh or butt lift: These procedures can be performed in conjunction with each other or on their own, and they both reduce excess skin. Butt lift surgery can also reshape the buttocks, creating an appealing round shape that’s perky, too. It’s often a great motivation to keep up your squat routine! Thigh lift surgery can be performed on the inner or outer thighs. In many cases, a thigh lift can significantly improve a patient’s comfort and mobility, making it easier to get around.
- Arm lift: Sagging upper arms are often called “bat wings” because of their unflattering resemblance. The arm lift procedure uses an incision on the inside of the arm to tighten and reshape this area.
- Facelift: Just like any other part of the body, the face loses fat during weight loss. This can result in quite a bit of sagging and a prematurely aged appearance. A facelift tightens up the areas most susceptible to sagging and adds definition.
- Liposuction: Often a wonderful complement to the procedures listed above, liposuction nips away small areas of fat to further improve contours.
In order to be a good candidate for body contouring after weight loss, it’s best that patients be in generally good health and at their final weight. Significant weight loss after surgery can alter your results. To get the most enjoyment from your new body, it’s a good rule of thumb to maintain your weight for at least several months before your surgery.