The Body Lift
While most of the changes that accompany weight loss are positive, you may find your new figure has left you with some excess skin that may be keeping you from fully enjoying your new, huge accomplishment. It’s common for some areas to be worse, or more of a concern to you, than others.
Almost all parts of the body can be affected by loose skin after weight loss and it’s not just a cosmetic concern; it’s a major risk for health and hygiene issues. Whatever your reason may be for looking into a surgical solution, a consultation with Dr. Stephanie Oberhelman will put you on the path to restoring the natural look you new body has earned.
Why do people have surgery after massive weight loss?
Excess skin after massive weight loss, or even pregnancy, can lead to lowered self esteem and health concerns. The stomach, arms, thighs, face, and neck are among the areas people struggle with the most. Even with a smaller waist size, some patients still have to buy larger clothing to accommodate remaining skin.
Hygiene difficulties may arise even through diligent bathing and good preventative efforts. Moisture created by folds of skin is the perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to thrive, allowing odor to easily become an issue. These same microorganisms can cause frequent rashes, irritation, and infections that require medical treatment. Loose skin can also prevent the loss of additional weight by limiting mobility and physical exercise.
Typical Post-Weight Loss Procedure
Although excess skin after weight loss can affect all areas of the body, certain areas may be more of a concern to you than others. One of the procedures to remove a large amount of skin is a total body lift. This is a procedure that removes skin from the thighs, buttocks and abdomen in a circumferential fashion to achieve a more fit appearance. Additional areas may require different amounts of attention or treatment. Your recommended procedure will be determined in your consultation and tailored to your personal needs.
What to Expect
The surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis but you may be required to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring, depending on your health and the extent of the surgery. Your safety is always our primary concern. After surgery there may by drains, dressings, or binders that you will need to care for, change, or wear. Recovery from a large procedure like this takes time and you should plan to have someone stay with you to assist and care for you during your recovery. Everyone recovers at different rates but most people are back to limited activities within a week. From the very first day, you are encouraged to walk frequently as this helps with swelling, pain, and reduces the risk of blood clots.
Things to consider
A procedure like this requires careful pre-operative planning and preparation. Many factors need to be considered and evaluated by a trusted surgeon and yourself before deciding to undergo a body lift. One of the first factors to take into consideration is weight stability. Your weight needs to be stable for at least 3-6 months before considering any kind of cosmetic surgery. Sometimes touch-up surgery is needed but a constant weight will help you avoid second surgeries. This will also allow the body to rebuild protein stores that are important building blocks for healing. Proper nutrition is essential to long-term health and healing of surgical scars. Activity, such as regular exercise, plays a key role in your overall health and helps make the recovery process easier and quicker.
Most importantly, select a cosmetic surgeon that has special expertise in working with patients who have lost a significant amount of weight. It is important they have specific training in repairing hernias, understands changes in anatomy due to previous surgeries, and has a dedicated staff that is passionate about taking care of you.