Body Contouring After Significant Weight Loss
Monday 6 March 2017
Weight loss surgery is a life-changing procedure, but patients can be left with excess skin that affects comfort and hygiene and prevent patients from adopting a more positive body image. Body contouring can complete the journey of the fight against obesity and can be just as life-changing as weight loss surgery itself.
The patient should be made aware of the changes that weight loss surgery will make to their physical appearance, and the bariatric surgeon should highlight the possibility of the need for further surgery (plastic surgery) to complete the transformation. The bariatric surgeon should be able to offer access to a cosmetic surgeon who is experienced in procedures linked with sufficient weight loss. The relationship between the two surgeons should be to monitor the patient at all stages of the journey and to liaise regularly to ensure the best care for the individual.
When to Access Body Contouring
The patient’s weight should have been stable for 2-3 months and they should be close to their ideal body weight before having any further surgery. Also, the results of body contouring surgery tend to be better for patients that are close to their ideal body weight.
You should also ensure that your health and diet are in good shape. People in poor health or with nutrition problems can be at risk when undergoing surgery; this can also affect the healing process. Another factor affecting the healing process is smoking. You must quit smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery.
Surgery: what to expect.
Skin reduction surgery is usually done in stages, over a period of time (often years), to reduce the risk of complications such as blood loss and infection.
Your surgeon will work with you to produce a plan and timescales that are best suited to you, your health and your lifestyle.
Face and neck surgery.
Similar to a traditional face lift procedure, but more skin is removed, from incisions in front of the ears and along the hairline.
Breast surgery: There are a number of procedures available including, breast augmentation (implants), uplift and reduction.
Arm surgery: This is sometimes performed at the same time as breast surgery and requires an incision from the armpit to the elbow.
Abdominal surgery (Abdominoplasty – ‘tummy tuck’): This procedure involves tightening the skin and underlying abdominal muscles. This is usually done by making and incision just above the pubic area from hip to hip, but may sometimes require further incisions. Your surgeon will help you to decide what is best for you.
Buttocks/Upper Thigh Surgery: This involves surgically removing the skin and lifting the thighs and buttocks. An incision is usually made on the upper hips and skin then removed from this area. This procedure can sometimes be carried out at the same time as an abdominoplasty.
Thigh surgery: During thing surgery, skin is removed my making an incision from the groin area, down the inner thigh and can extend all the way to the knee. Your surgeon will be able to advise you on the size of the incision required for your best results.
Recovering From Surgery.
Surgery will be performed under general anesthesia and will require you to stay in hospital for up to four days. This ensures that you receive the best care and that your pain and discomfort is controlled properly.
Bruising and swelling: This will last up to three weeks following surgery and people usually return to work up to four weeks after surgery. People with physical jobs must wait at least two weeks
Your first step would be to check with your bariatric surgeon that you are suitable to undergo body contouring surgery. Your surgeon should be able to recommend a cosmetic/plastic surgeon that has experience with weight loss patients.
You will then need to book in to see a consultant to discuss your plans.
Nadir Ali is a Consultant Cosmetic Surgeon who works from three Ramsay Hospitals:
Euxton Hall Hospital, Chorley, Lancashire Renacres Hospital, Ormskirk, Lancashire Oaklands Hospital, Greater Manchester
Mr. Ali offers free ten minute mini consultations, with no obligation to commit. If you would like to meet Mr. Ali, please call us or email using our contact page.
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