Plastic Surgery After Dramatic Weight Loss

Dramatic weight loss either through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise is truly a life changing event. You look and feel better, but after any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size. Hanging skin can affect both comfort and self-confidence and can be a daily reminder of past obesity. Bariatric plastic surgery after weight loss is often done for medical reasons as much as or more than for aesthetic reasons. 

However, before having bariatric plastic surgery after weight loss, consider the following:

  • Are you at your low weight? Wait until you’re at your low weight and have stayed there for several months. If you had weight loss surgery, you’ll need to wait at least one year, preferably two. 
  • How is your current physical and mental health? Better overall physical health means less likelihood of complications. Work with your primary care physician to determine if your physical health is appropriate for plastic surgery. Mental health is a big consideration. Surgery preparation and recovery can be a lengthy process, and you must have the proper mindset going into it.
  • Would you do this for mental reasons, health reasons, or both? Mentally, the saggy skin may cause you to feel embarrassed both with and without clothes on. Physically, it can cause a myriad of issues ranging from annoying to potentially serious, including:
      • Difficulty getting dressed
      • Difficulty exercising, which may impact long-term weight maintenance and health
      • Skin fold rashes or breakdown of skin
      • Skin fold infections

These are just a few of the issues to think about before deciding to move forward with plastic surgery after weight loss. You should consider the severity of the mental and physical issues caused by your excess skin and weigh that against the risks and side effects of surgery along with how much it will cost.

If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, VIPSurg is ready to help. Dr. Tsuda and his team of experts can help find the right treatment for you.

Ältere Frau zeigt ihren Arm mit Elastizitätsverlust

Plastic Surgery After Dramatic Weight Loss

Weight loss whether through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise is truly a life changing event and a major achievement. You look and feel better and are healthier. And while most of the changes that accompany weight loss are positive, loose skin is a concern for many patients. Hanging skin can affect both comfort and self-confidence and can be a daily reminder of past obesity. 

Unfortunately, when skin has been stretched around the abdomen, arms, legs, breasts, and face, it may lose its elasticity. After significant weight loss, the skin often fails to shrink back to its former size and shape. How much this loose, saggy skin affects personal appearance can depend on age, genetics, exercise, speed of weight loss, and smoking, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

The areas of the body that most often are affected by excess skin include:

  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Buttocks
  • Face
  • Groin
  • Thighs
  • Neck
  • Upper arms

For some people, weight loss might be gradual enough that skin adjusts along with weight loss. For others, the loose skin can be hidden with clothing and compression garments. But when that isn’t enough to manage the problem, plastic surgery might be a logical next step.

The best time to consider plastic surgery in when you are as close to your goal weight as possible and are weight stable. Surgeons often recommend waiting at least 18 months before having surgery to remove or reduce excess skin because the more weight you lose, the more excess or saggy skin you could have.

 The goal of plastic surgery after dramatic weight loss is to restore attractive proportions by removing the sagging skin that creates a misshapen contour. Although these procedures leave scars, most patients find them to be an acceptable tradeoff for an improved appearance.

As with all major decisions, it’s always advisable to consider the positives and negatives:

Pros

  • Gets rid of loose skin so you can fit into your clothes better.
  • Gets rid of overhanging skin that might be causing painful chafing, rashes, and infections.
  • Improves your self-esteem.

Cons

  • Surgery results may not meet your expectations.
  • You will have permanent scarring.
  • Your surgery results may be affected by weight gain, aging, and lifestyle choices.

If you are considering plastic surgery to improve your body contour, these characteristics make you a good candidate:

  • Your weight has been stable for at least six months with no further weight loss expected. 
  • You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. 
  • You have a healthy diet; problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
  • You do not smoke; smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
  • You have mental stamina; surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.
  • You have realistic expectations; surgery will lead to marked improvements in your shape, but it is impossible to restore the skin or body to what it would have been without the weight gain. Even after body-contouring surgery, skin continues to sag over time as part of normal aging.

If you are considering bariatric surgery in the Las Vegas area, schedule a consultation at VIPSurg. Our doctors and expert team can help you find the right treatment for your unique situation.

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