Massive Weight Loss Surgery
Bariatric surgery or gastric bypass surgery popularity has increased and it allows men and women to transform their bodies and their lives with significant weight loss. Significant changes in diet and exercise is another avenue to weightloss. After massive weight loss (>75 pounds) the excess skin, fat and tissues lack elasticity and cannot conform to the smaller body size. The skin has been severely stretched, is unsupported and left hanging on multiple parts of the body. Body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying
tissue. It removes excess skin and fat.
Candidates for massive weight loss reshaping are:
- Individuals who have lost a significant amount (>75 pounds) of weight
- Individuals whose weight loss has stabilized for 6 months
- Healthy individuals
- Individuals who live a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
Typical procedures after massive weight loss can include:
- Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
- Mastopexy (Breast Lift) with or without breast augmentation (implants)
- Lower body lift/Buttock lift
- Thigh lift
- Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Each patient is different, so some of these procedures can be staged together at the same time. This all depends on your individual needs and goals.
Massive weight loss reshaping is performed in a hospital or surgery center under general anesthesia. All massive weight loss reshaping or body contouring procedures require large incisions to remove excess skin. The incisions length and pattern depend on the amount and the location of excess skin being removed. There are advanced techniques that allow incision lines to be placed in locations that can be hidden by different types of clothing.
Length of Surgery
The length of massive weight loss surgery depends on which procedures are being performed. Surgery time can last anywhere from 3 – 6 hours.
Recovery, Risks and Results
- Fluid accumulation
- Poor wound healing
- Skin loss
- Excessive scars
- Numbness or changes in skin sensation
- Skin laxity or contour irregularity
Dressings and bandages will be applied to your incisions following your body contouring procedure. Tubes may be temporarily placed under your skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions that will include how to care for your incision sites, medications that should be taken orally and applied topically. Your surgeon will also inform you of any follow-up appointments needed.
Recovery time depends on which procedures were performed. Lifting, bending and any straining should be avoided for several days to a few weeks. But to minimize your risk of developing blood clots in your legs, you will need to be up and walking as soon as possible. These instructions will be given to you by your surgeon.
The results of body contouring following bariatric weight loss are immediately visible, but it can take one year to see the final results. Patients should expect visible scars. Body contouring results are long lasting as long as the individual maintains a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it will naturally lose some of its firmness but your initial improvement should be relatively permanent. Occasionally after massive weight loss the elasticity of the skin even with surgical tightening may still have some looseness.