PLASTIC SURGERY AFTER MAJOR WEIGHT LOSS
Contouring the Body After Weight Loss
Overweight and obesity are pathological conditions that are affecting more and more people, even very young ones. In western countries, it is estimated that about 50% of the population has weight problems, with consequent critical physical and psychological health issues.
When you take the decision to start a weight loss program and you manage to reach a stable weight and maintain it for about a year, the quality of life changes radically. After major weight loss through bariatric surgery (gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, among the main techniques of obesity surgery), you finally arrive at the end of a journey of which you can be proud. That means that you have been through a process which has led you to acquire a new lifestyle, made of healthy habits.
It’s the moment in which it becomes essential to recognize yourself, to appreciate your body.
Nevertheless, your body looks thinner, healthier, but it’s still not what you want.
In your abdomen, limbs, breasts or pecs, back and even face, the skin is sagging, as if it were “detached” from the muscles below.
The excess of skin that exists after major weight loss does not only concern the aesthetic aspect but represents a real discomfort and hindrance in normal daily activities and especially in physical activity (essential to keep fit). All this saggy skin can only be removed through plastic surgery. Unfortunately, it is not possible to eliminate this excess skin with additional diets or exercises in the gym.
Body-contouring surgery combines multiple surgeries into a single operative time to reshape the body after major weight loss.
It is possible to evaluate and plan, in a single surgical session, treatments that remove the saggy skin of several body parts at the same time, including the abdomen, arms, legs, buttocks, pubes, back, face, as well as the remodeling of the breast and/or pectoral region.
It represents today a safe solution, as well as possible.
What to Expect
Body-contouring surgery is indicated when the saggy skin generates inflammation, excoriations and painful sores, limits the ability to move, creates difficulty in walking, dressing and hinders a respectable relationship life. These are plastic surgery procedures aimed at recovering the full functionality of the body and the quality of life of the person, also through aesthetic improvement. Body-contouring after major weight loss can reshape several body parts. In fact, we talk about surgeries that, by restoring a harmonious shape to the body, are able to help those who have been through an important weight loss to feel at ease and live in a serene and satisfying way :
- Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck can only be carried out at the end of an important weight loss process, therefore it is mainly addressed to bariatric patients. Abdominoplasty allows to remove the entire part of excess skin and fat, repositioning the abdomen in a correct way. The results are visible after 2 or 3 months and can be maintained for a long time if you follow a balanced diet combined with regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
- Breast surgery and breast lift. Patients who have lost weight after a drastic diet or after bariatric surgery, frequently have breast ptosis. Based on the position of the areola-nipple complex relative to the inframammary sulcus, three degrees of ptosis are identified, mild, moderate and severe. Obese patients who have had significant weight loss often have severe ptosis, thus with the areola-nipple complex below the inframammary sulcus. The breast lift is a surgical procedure that aims to lift the drooping breast. The mammary parenchyma is repositioned and reshaped, the areola-nipple complex is raised to the correct position and the excess skin is removed. Depending on the shape of the breast, the alterations present and the patient’s expectations, the surgeon will indicate the possible reconstructive strategies to achieve the desired result. Immediately after surgery, the patient will notice an improvement in the profile of the breasts, although a slight swelling may take a few weeks to subside. Normal daily activities can be resumed the day after surgery. After about a week it will be possible to return to work, while it is necessary to abstain from any sports activity during the first month.
- Arm-lifts and thigh-lifts.The arm-lifts and thigh-lifts are the cosmetic surgery interventions that allow the correction of the skin excess localized in the upper and lower limbs. These surgeries are indicated in patients who have had a major weight loss, with the presence of saggy skin due to the reduction of the adipose and muscular mass and that cannot be corrected only by a liposuction. The arm lift consists of removing the excess skin and subcutaneous tissue that appears when the patient lifts the arm to 90° separating it from the body. The procedure begins with liposuction of the area to remove excess fat. Afterwards, the excess skin is removed and all the skin on the arm is tightened. The thigh lift can be very extensive depending on how much saggy skin the patient presents. Like the arm lift, thigh lift surgery begins with liposuction to remove excess fat.
- A face lift, more commonly known as facial rejuvenation surgery, is a highly requested procedure in cosmetic surgery, especially after major weight loss. The facial rejuvenation gives the face a more youthful appearance while improving the aesthetics of the entire face without altering its physiognomy. The result of face rejuvenation is generally very satisfying and long-lasting but not permanent, as it will always be affected by your lifestyle (weight gain and loss, smoking, etc.) and the inevitable effects of aging.