Losing a significant amount of weight is a major achievement for anyone, so you if you’ve recently gone through a massive weight loss, congratulations on your hard work.
For many men and women who have achieved this goal, however, the work doesn’t quite end once the fat is gone.
In particular, a frequent and frustrating symptom of massive weight loss is the excess skin it leaves behind. This is most common in areas like the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. Excess skin after major weight loss is usually the result of the skin stretching upon initial weight gain.
Whether an individual will have a large amount of excess skin after weight loss depends on a number of factors — from what their peak weight was and how quickly they lost the weight, to what they did to lose the weight and their overall genetic makeup. Sometimes, it can feel up to chance. For example, someone who may have 150 or more pounds to lose may not end up with any excess skin of note, while someone else who lost 50 to 75 pounds may unfortunately end up with extra skin on the arms, abdomen, hips, and legs.
Excess skin after major weight loss is something that many people experience, but the good news is, there are cosmetic procedures that can help alleviate some of the symptoms of this common challenge.
“Weight loss surgery” as a general term generally refers to body contouring procedures that trim excess skin and, in some cases, use liposuction to reduce stubborn fact that is difficult to lose through diet and exercise. Up ahead, we’ll go over what body contouring entails, how to know if you’re a good candidate for this procedure, and how to move forward if you’re ready to learn more and possibly schedule surgery.
What Is Body Contouring?
Body contouring refers to a range of surgical procedures, all of which have the goal of reducing excess skin and tightening and smoothing the overall appearance of the body.
The tummy tuck procedure (abdominoplasty) reduces excess skin and some excess fat on the abdomen as well as tightens the muscles of the stomach.
Thigh and Arm Lifts
Thigh and arm lifts also remove excess skin and tissue to give the upper legs and upper arms a smoother, tighter appearance. These procedures use liposuction and skin tightening techniques.
Breast Lifts and Breast Augmentation
Many women who have gone through significant weight loss are unhappy that their breasts have lost fat and volume and appear to sag and droop. The nipples may point downward instead of directly out or even upward as they once did.
In the case of sagging, drooping breasts, a breast lift is the best option. This procedure brings the nipple line up and gets rid of excess skin. For other women, breast augmentation may be a good option. This is generally the case when the patient is interested in going up a few cup sizes. Breast augmentation (breast implants or fat transfer augmentation) can be combined with a breast lift as well.
Selecting the Procedures That Are Right for You
In the end, most body contouring patients choose several of the procedures listed above.
For example, a patient may opt for a breast lift and a tummy tuck if most of their excess skin is located on their abdomen, and they are struggling with drooping breasts. Another patient may be more interested in reducing excess skin on their upper arms and some of their abdomen and as a result, will go with an arm lift and a mini tummy tuck.
Am I a Good Candidate for Body Contouring?
It can be difficult to know if you are a good candidate for a cosmetic procedure without booking a consultation appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon. On the other hand, there are a few signs that may help you know if body contouring is right for you.
Most notably, have you recently lost a significant amount of weight? If so, have you reached a healthy weight range — in other words, a healthy BMI (body mass index) or a healthy target weight? If you answered yes to these questions, do you have a lot of excess skin that is causing you problems?
Excess skin can be extremely frustrating for individuals who have endured months and sometimes years of blood, sweat, and tears to achieve their healthier, happier lifestyles. Sagging skin can make it difficult to feel confident in intimate situations and when wearing certain clothing like tight jeans or bathing suits.
It can also be problematic when exercising as excess skin can rub in an uncomfortable way and make specific movements more of a challenge. Reducing excess skin can give individuals more self-esteem as they will be able to achieve the shape and silhouette they worked so hard for.
Another prerequisite for weight loss surgery is living a healthy lifestyle now. It’s important to continue eating a proper diet and exercising regularly. Overall good physical health is mandatory before any kind of major cosmetic surgery, and especially when it comes to weight loss surgery as any future weight gain could hamper your results.
Lastly, it’s important that candidates are non-smokers and have realistic expectations when it comes to their body contouring results.
The best way to know for sure if you are a good candidate for weight loss surgery is to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Sieber.
Schedule Your Body Contouring Consultation Appointment
Achieving major weight loss is an amazing feat that not everyone can do. It requires diligence, a tremendous amount of hard work, and seemingly endless resolve to stay the course. A huge congratulations to you if you’ve achieved your weight loss goal.
Now, here’s something else to ponder: You’ve come this far. Why stop now?
If excess weight on you are abdomen, arms, thighs, breasts, or elsewhere is holding you back from feeling confident in your new body, body contouring can help. Dr. Sieber a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon has helped numerous patients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area achieve the body of their dreams and boost their self-esteem and self-confidence as a result. He can help you too.
If you have been considering weight loss surgery and body countering after major weight loss, contact us today to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Sieber.