After the significant weight loss that takes place after bariatric surgery, usually 15 to 18 months post-surgery, there is excessive skin remaining. Generally speaking, the skin does not retain its elasticity so when you lose weight, your skin does not shrink to fit your new body. After such a dramatic weight loss, the patient has several areas of concern:
- Breast ptosis, or droopiness, as well as a loss of breast volume. Mastopexy is a procedure to lift the breasts and may be performed with or without the addition of breast implants to improve shape, fullness and cleavage.
- Sagging of the facial skin. Facelifting, forehead lifting and eyelid surgery may be necessary to achieve complete facial rejuvenation. Endoscopic or minimally invasive techniques are also available.
- Excess abdominal skin and a laxity of the muscles of the abdominal wall, sometimes with an accompanying hernia. Abdominoplasty or a lower body lift procedure can contour the abdomen, hips and buttocks.
- Hanging skin under the arms. A brachioplasty can be performed to lift the arms.
- Wrinkling and excessive bagginess of the thighs. A medial thigh lift can be performed.
While all of these procedures cannot be completed at the same time, usually a patient can have up to 2 done simultaneously.
What Is Body Contouring?
Our Plastic Surgery Team at La Peer Health Systems will conduct an initial consultation. During your appointment, be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- The options available in body contouring surgery
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Your surgeon may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of your surgery and any risks or potential complications
Once you have met with a doctor for your pre-surgical consultation, you will be on the road to surgery day. The surgical process includes:
Step 1: Anesthesia
Anesthesia will provide you comfort during your procedure. There are 2 types: intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2: The Incision
The pattern and length of the incision depends on the type of procedure performed. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing. At the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, we use the latest in surgical techniques and aim for the most minimally invasive method. Additionally, body contouring is oftentimes performed in stages.
Each body contour procedure is unique, therefore it is best to speak with one of La Peer’s surgeons to understand your surgical options as it relates to body contouring.
Body Contouring After Weight Loss Recovery
Recovery times differ depending on the procedure. After your body contouring procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Compression garments are also used to help hold skin firmly against the body, aiding in proper skin retraction and general body contouring.
Body contouring is a very personal experience. Unlike most large hospitals, we at La Peer have a unique structure that maximizes our ability to provide patients with personal care. At La Peer, we provide each of our patients with pre-surgical consultations to help prepare you for this time. Schedule your consultation today with a Los Angeles surgeon by calling us at (888) 391-0182.
Next, learn about postoperative bariatric follow-up appointments.