What You Need to Know About Plastic Surgery After Extreme Weight Loss
Losing significant weight is a huge achievement. But after reaching your weight-loss goal, you may find your healthy, thin body needs some additional aesthetic fine-tuning. Extreme weight loss often leaves behind a large amount of skin which may hang around the face, breasts, legs, arms, and abdomen. Because skin loses elasticity after stretching, it often does not shrink back to its former shape and size.
Dr. David Dreyfuss offers body contouring surgeries designed to remove excess skin for patients who have lost substantial weight. These post weight-loss surgeries remove excess skin and fat and lift and tighten target areas so you are more comfortable in an active lifestyle and can wear fashionable clothing with confidence.
When to Consider Plastic Surgery after Dramatic Weight Loss
- When sagging skin is an issue in multiple areas including the back, thighs, abdomen, breasts, neck, and face.
- When your weight is stable for 18 months or more after reaching your weight-loss.
When plastic surgery is necessary to treat sagging skin, these characteristics define a good candidate:
- Target weight is stable for at least six months, and the patient is expecting no additional weight loss. Body contouring should not be considered for two years after starting a dramatic weight-loss treatment plan. This period will allow the skin to shrink to its limit and for any nutrition plan to become stable as well.
- The patient is in good health without any serious medical issues like heart disease or diabetes. The patient should seek clearance for body contouring procedures from their primary care physicians or their physician treating their medical condition.
- The patient maintains a healthy diet to maintain optimal weight.
- The patient does not smoke. Smoking will increase the chance of complications like excessive bleeding and slow down the recovery process.
- The patient has mental stamina. A body contouring procedure requires endurance and patience.
- The patient has realistic expectations. Although body contouring will achieve a marked improvement in your shape, it may be impossible to restore the body and skin to how it would be if there were no weight gain.
What Surgeries are Available?
The first step to any body contouring procedure is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They may suggest necessary procedures to help you achieve your stated goals and give you a realistic idea of the outcome you can expect. Often, multiple procedures are necessary and can be performed concurrently or done in interval sessions.
Dr. Dreyfuss will create a detailed surgical plan which may include one or more surgeries to help you achieve the body contour you want and need. These include:
Liposuction is designed to improve the contour of your knees, upper arms, thighs, neck, flanks, breasts, and hips. It is often performed with other body contouring procedure to extract any stubborn fat in target areas.
Dr. Dreyfuss will create tiny incisions in the targeted areas. He will then insert a cannula through the incision to remove stubborn fat. Suction from a vacuum will extract the necessary amount of fat cells to ensure proper contours.
After the procedure, he will apply surgical dressings and a compression garment.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
A Mastopexy is designed to resolve sagging breasts, stretched areolas and drooping nipples.
Dr. Dreyfuss will make the necessary incisions to remove excess skin, reposition nipples and reshape the breast tissue. The breast surgery will create a youthful and perky breast presence and may reduce the size of the areola if necessary. It will also tighten any loose skin to help support your newly-shaped breasts.
Surgical tape or skin adhesives may be applied to help support the skin and close the incisions.
Upper Arm Lift
After dramatic weight loss, the upper arms often become flabby and loose. An upper arm lift will remove excess fat and skin, resulting in a youthful and pleasing contour. The incision pattern and length will depend on the location of excess skin and the volume necessary to remove.
Dr. Dreyfuss will place incisions either inside the arm just above the elbow to the axilla (underarm) or toward the back of the arm. He will utilize liposuction if he deems it necessary to remove excess fat from the area.
A thigh lift removes extra fat and skin resulting in better-proportioned thighs which are tightened and toned. Liposuction is often done concurrently with a thigh lift to remove the excess fat.
Multiple types of thigh lifts are available including:
- Inner thigh lift
- Vertical thigh lift
- Outer thigh lift
Dr. Dreyfuss will discuss the differences with you during the consultation to suggest the most appropriate option according to your needs and preferences.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
A tummy tuck will remove excess skin and fat from the abdominal area while tightening underlying muscles and removing stretch marks below the belly button.
Dr. Dreyfuss will eliminate most fat and skin between the pubic hair and the belly button while tightening the fascia overlying the muscles with permanent sutures. The surrounding skin and belly button will be repositioned.
An incision from hip bone to hip bone is required. However, it will follow the natural crease of the bikini line and be easily hidden.
Why Choose Dr. Dreyfuss
When considering surgery after significant weight loss, look for a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience and specialized training. Dr. David Dreyfuss has a history of superb work with body contouring with satisfying results.