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Plastic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss (MWL)



Recently, we have seen a phenomenal increase in cosmetic surgery for patients following massive weight loss. Although sometimes this is from diet and exercise changes, most commonly, this is as a result of the dramatic increase in people choosing Bariatric Surgery as a more permanent weight loss solution.

What Is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that removes or makes changes to your digestive system, which results in you losing weight. Bariatric surgery is usually only carried out when diet and exercise are unsuccessful and there are serious health problems compounded by being overweight.

3 Types Of Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is designed to limit how much you can eat and/or reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food you do eat. There are three main types.

  1. Gastric Bypass. One of the most commonly performed types of bariatric surgery, a gastric bypass, involves reducing the size of the stomach by creating a pouch and connecting this directly to the small intestine, effectively bypassing the majority of the stomach and digestive system.
  2. Sleeve Gastrectomy. Performed laparoscopically, a sleeve gastrectomy removes about 80% of the stomach, leaving a tube-shaped stomach much smaller than the original size.
  3. Biliopancreatic Diversion With Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS). A two-step process where the stomach is reduced to 80% of its size (a sleeve gastrectomy), and the small intestine is also reduced in size/length.

Common Cosmetic Issues Resulting From Bariatric Surgery

One of the most common cosmetic side effects of rapid weight loss is the natural occurrence of excess saggy skin and fatty deposits. This often acts as a constant reminder of being overweight and prevents people from enjoying the full benefits of their bariatric surgery.

How well your skin tightens after bariatric surgery will depend on your age, genetics, time frames, and the amount of weight lost. The right nutrition is vital immediately after surgery to help your body heal and recover at optimum levels, however, for many patients, body contouring cosmetic surgeries are often the most effective way to tighten stubborn, excess skin.

5 MWL Cosmetic Surgery Options

As the pattern of weight loss is different for everyone, and different patients have different concerns, it is difficult to make any hard and fast rules about what cosmetic procedures are the most popular following bariatric surgery.

However, vertical or circumferential body lifting is the basis of much surgery after significant weight loss. Once the trunk and abdomen have been tightened, there are numerous other areas that patients then turn to for re-contouring. Often, since multiple procedures may be required, your initial consultation with a surgeon will involve making a detailed plan and timeline for the surgical corrections required.

1. Trunk And Abdomen Re-Contouring

Tightening and re-contouring the trunk and abdomen is, for most people, the most significant procedure they do. Current thinking about re-contouring the body after weight loss concentrates on the concept of reconstructing areas of the body circumferentially and not in just one dimension.

2. Thigh Lifts

Medial and/or lateral thigh lifting for circumferential tightening of the thighs to reshape and tighten the thigh area. This procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the inner or outer thighs or both.

3. Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

Used to re-contour the upper arms – also called Bat Wing Deformity. An arm lift removes excess skin and fat between the armpit and elbow, creating a more toned look.

4. Back Contouring

The correction of back folds is also popular to provide better shape. Liposuction is a popular method of removing back fat bulges or for those with lots of loose skin, body contouring surgery can remove excess skin and fat to tone and shape the back.

5. Face And Neck Lifts

For many people who experience dramatic weight loss, the face and neck area is of particular concern due to excess skin and sagging. A face and neck lift removes any excessive saggy skin leading to a rejuvenated facial tone without the face looking stretched.

Surgical correction after massive weight loss can offer very dramatic results. If you or anyone you know has lost a significant amount of weight and is concerned about the resulting appearance, Howard Klein South Island Plastic Surgery would be very pleased to see you in consultation to discuss treatment options.