Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are usually left with excess, loose skin in various parts of the body like their face, breasts, arms, abdomen, and thighs. This is mostly true for those who have undergone massive weight loss, typically more than 100 lbs. Unfortunately for them, it can be difficult to enjoy the success of their weight loss when they are left with loose skin that hangs from the body. Not only does this affect your appearance, but it also does not allow you to enjoy a day out at the beach or fit well into the clothes you were waiting to try despite losing so much weight.
Since your highest weight stretches the skin to its maximum, your skin loses its elasticity and is unable to contract back, even after the weight is lost. At times, you will find that this droopy skin hangs lose from areas such as the abdomen, the chest, arms, buttocks, and thighs. These areas of excess skin rub against each other and lead to hygiene issues and skin irritation. It can be difficult to exercise with this persistent issue making it difficult to maintain your weight loss.
Some of the most common characteristics caused by loose skin include:
- The upper arms that hang create a “bat wing” effect
- Your breasts have flattened and hang with the nipples pointing downwards
- The abdominal area extending to the lower back and sides result in an “apron-like” overhang
- The thigh, groin and buttock area have hanging pockets of skin
How Does Body Contouring Help?
Body contouring after massive weight loss is meant to eliminate the excess skin that resulted after your bariatric surgery. These carefully selected procedures improve the tone and shape of the underlying tissue and remove any sagging skin and fat giving you a slimmer and toned appearance. An experienced surgeon will help you achieve a toned appearance by choosing different methods and techniques to restore your body’s natural contours. Usually, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia and in different stages.
Arm lift or brachioplasty
After bariatric surgery, most patients have extra flesh on the underside of the upper arm. Also known as ‘bat wings’, this excess skin can be embarrassing and make you look older than you are.. Liposuction may also be used to remove any excess fat and give you youthful contours. The skin is pulled tight and any excess skin is trimmed away.
Breast Lift Or Mastopexy
Massive weight loss also leaves women with deflated breasts with hanging skin and nipples that point downwards, giving a droopy appearance to your once perky breasts. During your breast lift, the surgeon will trim any excess tissue and move the breast mound upward. If there is fat and tissue loss as well, your surgeon will combine your mastopexy with breast augmentation or fat transfer, using implants and your own fat to add volume. The goal is to life the breasts and create a more youthful appearance.
Dr. Nakamura and his staff are wonderful. Everyone is very professional and the office setting is peaceful and welcoming.
Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck
Any excessive skin hanging down over your pubic region can be a source of embarrassment for some people. This excess skin also rubs against itself causing irritation and retained moisture. The surgical procedure which helps remove this excess skin in the front is known as panniculectomy. If you have excess skin extending to the sides and the back, you may need a circumferential lift.
This procedure known as a belt lipectomy or circumferential body lift improves the contours of your back, waist, and flanks in one procedure. The incision for this procedure extends all the way around your midsection at the lower waist level.
While the excess skin is trimmed from the sides and back, liposuction can be used on the flanks and stomach to reduce the excessive fat and tissue. The incisions and any resulting scars are well hidden within your undergarments or swimsuit line. Results after any abdominal contouring procedure are often life-changing, instantly giving you the slimmed down and tighter abdomen you desire.
Weight loss also leads to loss of youthful neck contours. Your face is the first thing anybody sees. There are several ways of achieving a natural and flattering lift to your neck area. Usually, in addition to the excess skin and fat in the neck area, you will also be suffering from loose underlying muscles that will require tightening. Your procedure can be performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation and may involve a traditional neck lift or a combination of different procedures.
Cervicoplasty is the procedure which removes the excess skin from the neck whereas platysmaplasty tightens the underlying muscle bands. Once the skin and muscles are contoured using these procedures together, you will obtain a slimmer and youthful appearance. Additionally, if you also have excessive fat in the neck or chin, liposuction can be used to remove these fatty deposits and give you more definition and sharper lines.
Restoring Your Contours After Weight Loss
Even when bariatric surgery helps those fighting obesity to achieve life-changing weight loss, any loose and excessive skin hanging from different body parts remains a constant reminder of your past. This deters you from enjoying your new body after the massive weight loss when the clothes still don’t fit well or you have difficulty exercising. Body contouring procedures help remove all this excess skin helping you achieve a toned, slimmer appearance.
If you are interested in learning more about your body contouring options after weight loss, contact Accent on You to schedule a consultation today.