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Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss

Body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin.

  • What is body contouring?
    For Men and Women

    Body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin, while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a more normal appearance with smoother contours.

    Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.

    Body contouring procedures may include:

    • Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
    • Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
    • Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
    • Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
    • Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
    • Arm lift: sagging of the upper arms
  • Body contouring candidates

    In general, good body contouring candidates are:

    • Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
    • Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
    • Non-smokers
    • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
    • Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
  • Body contouring recovery

    During your recovery from body contouring surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions following the procedure.

    Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

    You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for the surgical site(s), medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

    You may be instructed to avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days to weeks.

    Where tightening of the abdomen or thighs is involved, your plastic surgeon may also instruct you to avoid standing fully upright and stressing any internal sutures as they heal, and to sleep with pillows elevating your knees.

    To minimize the risk of DVT (blood clots in the legs) you will need to be up and walking as soon as possible, and drinking plenty of fluid.

    Follow all instructions carefully – this is essential to the success of your outcome.

    You'll need help. If a component of your body contouring surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

    Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:

    • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
    • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
    • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
    • Are stitches removed? When?
    • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
    • When do I return for follow-up care?
  • Body contouring before and after results

    The results of body contouring following aggressive weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it can take two years or more to see the final results.

    Visible scars are something you must accept in your goals to achieving a body contour that matches your new weight and proportion.

    You can view body contouring surgery before and after photos in our gallery. The results of body contouring are generally long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.

    Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

    Following your physician's instructions is critical to the success of your surgery.

    It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, swelling, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

  • Body contouring risks and safety information

    The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications of body contouring surgery are acceptable.

    You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications

    The risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

  • Your body contouring consultation

    During your body contouring consultation be prepared to discuss:

    • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
    • Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments
    • Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
    • Previous surgeries

    Your surgeon will:

    • Evaluate your general health and any preexisting health conditions or risk factors
    • Examine your body and take detailed measurements
    • Take photographs for your medical record
    • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
    • Discuss likely outcomes of body contouring and any risks or potential complications
  • Preparing for body contouring surgery

    In preparing for body contouring surgery, you may be asked to:

    • Get cleared for surgery by your bariatric surgeon or primary care doctor
    • Get a lab test
    • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
    • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
    • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
  • Questions to ask your body contouring surgeon

    Use this checklist as a guide during your body contouring consultation:

    • Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
    • What will be expected of me to get the best results?
    • Where and how will you perform my procedure?
    • What surgical technique is recommended for me?
    • How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
    • What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
    • How are complications handled?
    • How can I expect to look over time? After pregnancy?
    • What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my procedure?
    • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?

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