Dramatic weight loss has many benefits. But after any substantial amount of weight loss due to weight loss surgery and/or lifestyle changes, the skin and tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.
Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging skin and fat while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a better-proportioned appearance with smoother contours.
Body contouring procedures may include:
Arm lift: correct sagging of the upper arms
Breast lift: correct sagging, flattened breasts
Facelift: correct sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck
Lower body lifts: correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs
Medial thigh lift: correct sagging of the inner thigh
Tummy tuck: correct apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
Who is a good candidate for body contouring?
In general, good body contouring candidates are:
- Adults whose weight loss has stabilized
- Healthy individuals without medical conditions that impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
- Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
What should I expect during my body contouring recovery?
During your recovery from body contouring surgery, dressings or bandages will be applied to your incisions following the procedure.
Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include:
- How to care for the surgical site(s).
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
Be sure to ask your body contouring surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period:
- Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
- What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
- Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
- Are stitched removed? When?
- When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
- When do I return for follow-up care?
- Body contouring recovery at home
- You may be instructed to avoid bending, straining or lifting for several days to weeks.
Where tightening of the abdomen or thighs is involved, your plastic surgeon may also instruct you to avoid standing fully upright and stressing any internal sutures as they heal, and to sleep with pillows elevating your knees.
To minimize the risk of DVT (blood clots in the legs) you will need to be up and walking as soon as possible, and drinking plenty of fluid.
What results should I expect after body contouring?
The results of body contouring following significant weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it can take two years or more to see the final results.
Visible scars are something you must accept to achieve a body contour that matches your new weight and proportion.
The results of body contouring are generally long-lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should remain.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your physician’s instructions is critical to the success of your surgery.
It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, motion, swelling or abrasion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
Why Should I Have Contouring?
Body contouring is a treatment perfect for those patients who suffer from any loose skin after rapid weight loss, or those who suffer from cellulite in different areas of their body.
Body contouring procedures may include: Breast lifts, for sagging or flattened breasts, face lifts for sagging of the neck, mid-face, and neck, tummy tucks, to reduce excess skin which hangs over the abdomen, lower body lifts to help with sagging of the buttocks, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, medical thigh lifts for sagging of the inner thigh, and arm lifts for sagging of the upper arm skin.
Body contouring – Frequently Asked Questions
The treatment is completely safe for patients. Most patients don’t experience any form of discomfort so there is no need for any form of anaesthesia. To help ensure therapeutic results, skin temperature is also measured throughout the procedure.
The full effects of the body contouring treatment will not be visible for up to two to three months. However, the treatment will cause instant changes due to contraction of the collagen fibres. A high percentage of patients notice an instant improvement in their contours.
The results of body contouring can last up to 16 months to 2 years. Whilst one or two treatments can produce great results, it’s important that you undertake follow-up procedures to maintain your body’s youthful appearance and your newfound confidence.
This treatment is suitable for both men and women who suffer from loose skin after rapid weight loss, or those who suffer from cellulite on the abdomen, thighs, buttocks or arms. If you wish to undertake the procedure, it’s important you are in overall good health, and that you have realistic expectations of what the results will bring. It’s also important you have a positive outlook. The treatment is unsuitable for those who have metal plates, pins, or pacemakers. The procedure also needs to be avoided by those who are suffering from diseases associated with connective and muscular tissue, including severe heart disease. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid the procedure.