Achieving a healthier weight after gastric bypass surgery is a major achievement that can greatly improve your health and overall well-being. But for some, they find another challenge facing them as they adjust to their new bodies.
With the massive amounts of weight loss can come droopy excess skin that doesn’t always snap back to fit a new, slimmer body size.
In fact, loose skin is common in anyone who loses 50 to 100 pounds or more. But there are options to help people overcome this obstacle and feel confident once again.
A type of plastic surgery called body contouring helps address this problem. It removes excess skin and body fat. At the same time, it improves the shape of underlying support tissues. The result is a smoother, more normal-looking body shape.
But it’s not just a matter of improving your appearance. Folds of surplus skin can be hard to keep clean and dry. They may cause chafing, rashes and other skin irritations. In addition, loose, hanging skin may make exercising more difficult or limit your ability to find clothes that fit.
Body-contouring surgery helps resolve these problems that can stifle your ability to live your best life after weight loss success. Let’s learn more about it.
Understand Your Options
Not everyone chooses to have body-contouring surgery after a major weight loss. For some, skin elasticity may improve over time and with some patience. For others, exercise may bring them their desired results. But for many, those lifestyle changes might not be enough.
If the later hits a chord, the first thing to do is talk to your bariatric team to recommend a plastic surgeon with training and experience in body-contouring procedures. Then, schedule a visit with the plastic surgeon to discuss your individual pros and cons of the surgery. This can help you make the most informed decisions about your long-term health and happiness.
In general, good candidates for body-contouring surgery:
- Have reached a stable weight after a large weight loss
- Don’t have health conditions that increase their surgical risks
- Are committed to following their nutrition and exercise plan
- Have realistic expectations about what the surgery involves
The exact procedure that’s needed varies from person to person. Some of the surgical options that are considered body countering include:
- Tummy tuck to remove excess abdominal skin
- Thigh lift to reshape the inner, mid, and outer thighs
- Lower body lift to correct sagging of the tummy, outer thighs, and buttocks
- Arm lift to remove excess skin on the upper arms
- Breast lift to give droopy, flattened breasts a lift
In many cases, body-contouring surgery is performed in stages. It may take up to two years for all the stages and surgeries to be completed.
Know What to Expect
Body-contouring procedures may require large incisions, which leave visible scars. The incisions can usually be placed where clothing will hide them, but that isn’t always possible. The surgery has potential risks, including bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, and blood clots.
Be aware that your health insurance might not cover body-contouring surgery. Before having a procedure, weigh the costs, risks and benefits carefully with your plastic surgeon, bariatric surgeon and other health care team.
To us, there’s nothing more important than helping you live your best life along your journey to whole health. If your journey brings with it challenges in achieving and thriving after weight loss, turn to our surgical services for guidance and support.