Reduces Excess Fat & Skin in Milwaukee, WI
Dramatic weight loss, whether achieved by proper eating and exercise, as a result of bariatric surgery, or from other forms of medical treatment, has many benefits. However, once you reach your goal weight, you may find that you still don’t have the fit and healthy body image you desire. Your skin may be loose and sagging and your body contours may appear irregular and disharmonious. Major weight loss generally results in redundant skin in the arms, breasts, abdomen, and thighs. Loose skin can cause physiologic problems, including rashes within skin folds (intertrigo), and difficulties in walking, exercising, urinating, or performing sexual activity. Dissatisfaction with and embarrassment about the appearance of this loose skin may have psychological implications, adversely affecting an individual’s self confidence.
If you have undergone dramatic weight loss that has resulted in loose sagging skin surgical body contouring may be right for you. Body contouring following major weight loss reduces excess fat and skin that has developed in multiple areas of the body. The result of surgery is a smoother, more toned and attractive shape. Body contouring after major weight loss is an important and rewarding phase of your desire to achieve a healthier, more proportionate body and can help you further enhance your body image and self-confidence. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience.
Following any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues usually lack the elasticity needed to conform to the reduced body size. The skin has been severely stretched and is now unsupported; it begins to sag in areas that most commonly develop around the:
- Face, neck and jowls resulting in a droopy, sad appearance
- Medial (under) arms, resulting in a bat wing like appearance
- Breasts, causing them to flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
- Abdominal area, extending around the sides and into the lower back, resulting in an apron-like overhang
- Buttocks, groins and thighs, causing hanging pockets of skin
It is important that an individual’s weight has stabilized prior to deciding to undergo body contour surgery. Continued weight loss that occurs after contouring surgery will result in the reoccurrence of sagging skin. Or, if weight is rapidly regained, the already weakened and thin skin will be stressed, causing stretch marks and widened scars. For those who have had weight reduction surgery, your plastic surgeon will work closely with you and your physician to determine when it is appropriate for you to begin body contouring.
Body Contouring Procedure
Your body contouring following major weight loss will be individualized to your needs in the areas to be treated. The procedures necessary to achieve your goals will be defined along with the plan for the timing of these procedures. Often, more than one surgical procedure may be required and some may be combined in the same surgical session. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures, and these may be staged over a period of time. While it may have taken you two years or more to lose all the excess weight, it may take equally as long for the results of your body contouring to be complete. In addition to preparing yourself for stages of contouring surgery and recovery, you must also accept that a single procedure to treat a specific area may not achieve your results. Uneven contours can develop following your body contouring surgery, and in some cases skin elasticity is so poor that relapse of sagging skin is possible.
Specific plastic surgery procedures that may be recommended for your body contouring include:
- Facelift: to reduce sagging of the mid face, jowls and neck
- Breast lift: to correct sagging, flattened breasts
- Tummy tuck: to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen
- Lower body lifts: to correct sagging skin of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
- Medial thigh lift: to correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
- Brachioplasty: to correct sagging of the upper arms
Body contouring requires extensive incisions to remove excess skin. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin and fat to be removed. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swim suits. Fat deposits that remain are treated with liposuction to further enhance contouring.
A complete lower body lift following major weight loss treats sagging abdominal, waist, hip, outer thigh, and buttock skin in one procedure or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary, and may include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat. Tissues are then repositioned and tightened for a smoother, toned lower body contour.
Sagging skin in the arm is treated with an incision extending along the inside of the arm. Sagging skin on the medial thigh may be treated with an incision in the groin crease or a vertical incision along the medial thigh. Additional incisions on the arms and legs may be necessary anywhere excess skin has formed sagging pockets.
The incision patterns for contouring a woman’s sagging breasts will be determined based on the amount of excess skin to be removed. A breast implant may also be recommended to enhance breast shape and size when there is a lack of breast volume.
Body Contouring Results
The results of body contouring following dramatic weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it may take one to two years, or more, for the final results of all the recommended body contouring procedures to fully develop. The results of body contour following major weight loss generally are 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. Studies have found that body contouring performed after bariatric surgery significantly improves physical and emotional well-being. Contouring surgery may also encourage patients to be more attentive to weight maintenance, resulting in greater success in long-term weight loss.
If you would like to schedule a consult to discuss whether body contouring is right for you, please call our office at 414-443-0033.