America is in the midst of an obesity epidemic that threatens the health of the nation. The increasingly common problem is a major risk
factor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. For those who are over a certain weight, surgery may be the only thing that can save their lives.
According to the current guidelines, doctors may recommend weight-loss (bariatric) surgery to patients who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. While the surgery itself has gotten much safer and more effective in recent years, it is not without its complications. One fairly common one is excess skin.
What Is Body Contouring?
As a plastic surgeon, I have seen many patients who have lost incredible amounts of weight. Whether they accomplish this awesome feat through diet and exercise or surgery, they almost always complain about loose, sagging skin. Not surprisingly, they want a solution that will help them complete the wonderful transformation they have undergone. My answer to them is almost always the same: body contouring.
For those wondering if there is a non-surgical option, I am sorry to say there is not. No amount of fancy skin lotions or creams will magically make sagging skin tighten up. There are also many “skin tightening” devices (lasers, radiofrequency, etc), and the results of these treatments are subtle, at best. The only way to get rid of the excess skin is to operate. The surgery itself is relatively simple, but can be expensive—especially if several areas of the body require attention. Fortunately, financing options are available.
As a general rule, the parts of the body that benefit most from body contouring after major weight loss are the ones that shrank the most. If, for example, a patient carried a good deal of weight in his or her stomach, chances are there will be a lot of loose skin in that area. An experienced surgeon can address this common problem with a tummy tuck. The arms, upper back, breasts, buttocks, thighs, neck, and face are other areas that may benefit from body contouring surgery. Because many patients who have undergone extreme weight loss have sagging skin in all of those areas, most surgeons offer a full-body lift that tightens things up considerably.
Like any surgery, body contouring has its share of side effects and possible complications. As such, it is important to discuss any questions or concerns with the surgeon before the procedure.
Please contact us directly for more information about body contouring after major weight loss.