Post Weight Loss Surgery
Body contouring after weight loss surgery can help reduce excess skin and fat, and also restore tightness and elasticity to the skin. After major weight loss (defined as losing more than 50% loss of excess weight), certain areas of your body may sag and appear misshapen, masking the positive changes your weight loss has provided. These areas, such as the arms, breast, abdomen, buttocks and thighs, can be easily improved through multiple procedures that will lift and sculpt your new and improved body. Known as a body lift when combined together, patients can pick and choose which procedures they would like to help achieve the look they desire.
The aim of body contouring is to rearrange and excise this surplus tissue for both cosmetic and functional purposes. Aesthetically speaking, large surface areas of skin hanging off a conversely small frame could be considered just as unsightly as the taut surface of a morbidly obese individual. Daily activity can be hampered by this misshapen body due to frequent chafing between the functional skin and excess skin. This can cause significant discomfort and possible skin infections from excessive irritation. The patient's hygiene also becomes an issue because of the ease at which moisture is retained between flaps of loose skin; this moisture presents an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Although it is possible to perform a full body lift in one lengthy session, it is often preferable to break up body contouring surgeries for the safety and comfort of the patient. Mr Fazel frequently works with a team of surgeons to minimize the anaesthetic time. Body contouring procedures are often split into a few of the most common areas operated on:
- Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
- Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)
- Lower Body Lift (normally thighs and buttocks)
Careful planning is required to ensure that the incisions are situated in normally covered areas of the body, such as under the arms or below the waist line.
The arm lift (or brachioplasty) procedure attempts to procure a more natural and youthful look by removing the fat and excess skin hanging down from the underarms. This is more commonly seen in women, but can also occur in men who have lost significant weight. The incision is made beneath the arm and can extend from the elbow to the armpit, depending on how much skin must be removed.
The breast lift (or mastopexy) reshapes the breasts and repositions the areolas. The skin below the breast is generally removed and the nipple is moved higher while skin above the breast is pulled around to create a swell. This procedure can be combined with a breast augmentation (enlargement) so as to better fill the empty space vacated by the fat loss. The areolas can also be resized if necessary. Most of the scars associated with this procedure are hidden by a normal bra.
The tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) tightens the abdominal walls and removes excess skin to create a flatter contour of the abdomen. This procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia and involves an incision along the bikini-line. The procedure lasts two ton three hours and requires a two to three weeks recovery period before exercise can be attempted.
A lower body lift consists of both a thigh lift and a buttock lift, both aimed at removing as much excess skin as possible. The thigh lift is performed in a similar fashion to an arm lift, with the surgical incision varying in position based on where most of the skin lies. The buttock lift may be combined with a buttock augmentation by utilizing fat harvested from other parts of the body to "fill out" the buttock shape.