Losing a significant amount of weight is a great accomplishment – congratulations! After massive weight loss, many people still experience a very common problem: the increased appearance of loose, excess skin around the abdomen, arms, chest, thighs, and/or neck. Maybe you’ve tried dieting and exercise to get rid of this excess skin, but nothing seems to work. After the hard work involved with losing significant weight, you deserve to feel proud and happy about your accomplishments. We understand it can be very frustrating to deal with this undesired side effect of weight loss.
Our plastic surgeon, Dr. Wesley Schooler, is highly skilled performing a variety of procedures that can maximize your weight loss benefits and give you a firmer, fitter appearance. Whether you have lost weight through bariatric surgery or through traditional dieting and exercise, these procedures can reduce the excess skin left from significant weight loss and tighten the remaining skin for results that can be truly transformative.
If you would like more information, please contact Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center today.
- What is Post-Weight Loss Surgery?
- Body Contouring Benefits
- Body Contouring Candidates
- Body Contouring Procedure
- Body Contouring Recovery
- Body Contouring Results
- Body Contouring Scars
- Body Contouring Cost
What is Body Contouring Surgery After Weight Loss?
Post-weight loss body contouring, also referred to as a “body lift,” is performed to remove the excess skin that can accumulate after losing substantial weight. In many cases, this stretched skin does not contract to patients’ new body shape following immense weight loss. If loose and/or hanging skin along the arms, thighs, chest, or abdomen is inhibiting your confidence, Dr. Schooler can formulate a customized treatment plan to smooth the area(s) of concern and improve your body contours. Depending on your goals, this may involve combining multiple procedures, such as an arm lift, tummy tuck, or thigh lift, among other treatment options, to attain your desired look. For those who have recently experienced major weight loss, a body lift is often considered the last step in the journey to look and feel like their best selves.
What are the Benefits of Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring?
A personalized body contouring plan is commonly developed for former bariatric patients, or for individuals who simply struggle with loose, stretched skin throughout the face and body. Our body contouring procedures can be very effective for patients who have one or more of the following goals:
- Reduce excess breast skin and lift the breasts for a firmer, more youthful appearance
- Give the abdomen a more toned, flatter appearance
- Get rid of excess folds and “flab” that have accumulated in areas like the face, abdomen, breasts, and neck
- Attain a fitter appearance overall, allowing better-fitting clothing
During the consultation process, Dr. Schooler will evaluate your concerns and review your medical history to help ensure post-weight loss body contouring surgery is the best option to achieve your goals. A comprehensive understanding of the procedure as well as realistic expectations for the outcome are key to satisfaction after post-weight loss surgery.
Is Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Right for Me?
This treatment plan often involves multiple procedures and the best candidates for surgery are usually patients who are healthy enough to undergo the recovery period. Individuals who have excess, hanging skin in more than one area can also benefit from body contouring. If you’re frustrated with skin laxity in the face, breasts, arms, abdomen, thighs, or buttocks, post-weight loss body contouring may be an ideal way to improve your concerns. The following factors can also indicate whether after-weight loss surgery is right for you:
- Loose, hanging skin is compromising your body contours
- You’re embarrassed to show off your new body due to loose skin
- You experience irritation, chafing, fungal infections, or redness from hanging skin rubbing together
A consultation with Dr. Schooler will allow you to learn more about the procedure(s) that can help you achieve your goals, confirming whether or not you’re a good candidate for body contouring after weight loss. This surgical plan is most successful for patients whose weight loss has stabilized, and who do not smoke/are willing to quit smoking before and after the procedure.
How is the Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Procedure Performed?
A body lift is typically performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia. Dr. Schooler will help you determine the most ideal combination of procedures to eliminate excess skin and tighten your contours. Depending on your needs, we can help you complete your weight loss journey with the following procedures:
Post-weight loss body contouring may take place in stages or during one comprehensive procedure. The treatment timeline typically varies from patient to patient depending on the surgeries incorporated into your body contouring plan. In either case, Dr. Schooler will answer your questions and discuss the best technique to help you safely achieve your goals.
What is Recovery From Body Contouring After Weight Loss Like?
Recovery information varies based on the procedure(s) chosen and the treatments necessary to achieve your goals. Our doctors will explain all aspects of treatment, including recovery expectations, during your initial consultation. Some patients who undergo post-weight loss body contouring may require several weeks of recovery time, depending on the extent of surgery. Swelling and bruising are normal reactions to a surgical procedure, and should dissipate as your body continues to heal. Based on the details of your treatment plan, Dr. Schooler will explain when you can expect to return to work again, exercise, and fully return to your daily routine.
How Long Do Results From After-Weight Loss Body Contouring Last?
The outcome of post-weight loss body contouring can last forever as long as patients maintain a stable weight and live an active lifestyle. This is typically the best way to preserve your skin elasticity. Excess skin is removed for good during your procedure(s), allowing individuals to enjoy their sleeker, smoother contours well into the future. In order to help ensure the longevity of your results, we recommend patients only undergo body contouring when they no longer plan to lose a significant amount of weight. It’s also generally advisable to wait until after you no longer plan to have children to undergo surgery. Pregnancy and nursing can change your body shape, increasing the likelihood of additional skin laxity developing after having children.
Will I Have Visible Scars After Body Contouring Surgery?
Scars are inevitable after any surgical procedure and due to the nature of post-weight loss body contouring — in which skin is excised — patients can expect some extent of scarring following surgery. The shape and size of your scars will depend on the treatments included in your post-weight loss body contouring plan. In general, a tummy tuck often requires the longest incision to remove excess skin from the abdomen. This incision usually extends from hip bone to hip bone depending on whether you’re receiving a full abdominoplasty or a mini tummy tuck. Liposuction usually does not produce extensive scarring, requiring only half-inch incisions to remove stubborn fat. Incisions during breast lift surgery are typically made along the borders of the areolas, as well as along the natural breast crease.
With all procedures, Dr. Schooler uses his experience and training to camouflage all incisions along the natural folds and contours of the body whenever possible. He will provide you with post-operative instructions on incision care, which can allow your incisions to heal as optimally as possible and further decrease the prominence of your scars.
How Much Does Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Cost?
Generally speaking, the cost of post-weight loss body contouring at our Santa Barbara practice ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. This “all-in” figure includes applicable fees for anesthesia, post-operative care, the operating facility, and other surgical expenses. A body lift is completely tailored to the needs of each patient, therefore the price of body contouring surgery will be similarly personalized according to:
- The procedures chosen to achieve your goals
- The surgical techniques utilized
- The complexity of your treatment plan
We accept a couple of different plastic surgery financing options, including the payment plans presented by CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit. These leading healthcare lending providers offer qualified patients many short- and long-term payment plans to choose from based on the most ideal arrangement for their budgetary concerns. For more information, please call our office at (805) 687-7336 to learn about patient financing or the price of a body lift.
If you are interested in learning more about our post-weight loss body contouring procedures, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.