A Quick Guide to Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss
There are so many obvious benefits of losing weight: increased energy, decreased dependence on medication, improved appearance, better overall health. We could go on and on!
Unfortunately, one of the down sides of losing weight is redundant skin and stray pockets of fat that don’t respond to diet and exercise. Patients who succeed in shedding large numbers of pounds may be ecstatic about their hard won results but disappointed in the impact these stubborn tissues have on their comfort and appearance.
If you’re considering plastic surgery to complete your journey to good health, here’s a quick overview of procedures that may benefit you.
For many patients, the abdomen is the number one area of the body that needs attention after weight loss.
- A panniculectomy removes excess skin and fat that can hang down as low as the thighs for some people. It does not involve the abdominal muscles.
- Many formerly heavy people opt for abdominoplasty, also called tummy tuck surgery, to remove excess tissue, tighten belly muscles and sometimes reposition the navel. Incisions can be placed in a variety of locations to customize the procedure to an individual’s exact needs.
- Patients who have lost a massive amount of weight may need an incision around the entire torso to reshape the abdomen and lift the lower body. This type of surgery has a variety of names including belt lipectomy and lower body lift.
Men and women frequently seek cosmetic surgery after weight loss to improve the appearance of their breasts. Both groups tend to find that breast skin has stretched quite a bit with weight gain.
- Women can choose from a variety of procedures. Some patients simply need a breast lift to reposition the breasts higher on the chest wall. Women whose breasts remain heavy after weight loss may choose breast reduction. Still others who characterize their appearance as “empty” or “deflated” can opt for breast augmentation in addition to a lift.
- Men may complain of persistent breast fat, lumps of breast gland and even skin “flaps” after weight loss. Male breast reduction surgery must be carefully tailored to meet a guy’s goals—some patients combine their procedure with upper arm surgery as well.
Women and men who are bothered by an aged appearance aren’t the only people interested in facial plastic surgery. Weight loss patients frequently choose a procedure or two to rejuvenate their face as they reach their weight loss goals. After all, the world notices your face first!
- The traditional facelift tends to be a great choice for many weight loss patients. It lifts skin and muscles of the mid and lower face, smoothing wrinkles and lifting jowls.
- Neck lift surgery is also popular with formerly obese patients. Fat pads that form under the chin with weight gain stretch the delicate neck skin and it tends to remain saggy after weight loss. Neck lifts are often combined with facelifts.
Arms and Thighs
Plastic surgeons also offer cosmetic surgery to address saggy arm and thigh skin. Patients who want a complete makeover add these procedures to their list, and patients who want to pursue athletics or who wear shorts, skirts, t-shirts and tank tops often want to have skin removed from these areas.
- Brachioplasty is the medical name for an arm lift. It can tighten up skin from the elbow to the armpit.
- Thigh lift surgery is performed via a crescent shaped incision high on the thigh and usually well hidden. Patients interested in a more extensive procedure may need a vertical incision for additional tightening.
There are many reasons we enjoy working with weight loss patients in our New York City plastic surgery practice. The strategy for each individual patient requires thoughtful decisions about combination surgery, timing, medical readiness and more—it’s rewarding to create a plan with each man and woman we meet. The relationships are often ongoing as a patient works through his or her list of needs over months or even years, and it’s a joy to help each person put the finishing touches on their new body.
With our thirty years in plastic surgery practice in Manhattan, a unique background in liposuction and the pleasure of working with as many men as we do women, we have unique skills and experience to offer. We welcome you to contact us to find out more!