Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring
Individuals who have recently lost a significant amount of weight through a healthy balance of diet and exercise—or through bariatric surgery—may notice an excess of loose, inelastic skin and stubborn pockets of localized fat in various regions of the body. Oftentimes, these aesthetic concerns keep women and men from achieving the transformation they envisioned when they first made the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle. For those experiencing these issues, our double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul J. LoVerme, offers a number of body contouring procedures that can remove extra skin and fat, helping to create a slimmer, more toned appearance that accentuates one’s weight loss efforts.
When you arrive for your consultation, Dr. LoVerme will perform a physical examination and review your medical history. He will then listen to your aesthetic goals and proceed to recommend a treatment plan that can best address your specific concerns. Depending on your unique needs and desires, this proposed treatment plan may include one or multiple plastic surgery procedures.
Below, we have highlighted several of the body contouring options offered for individuals who have lost a considerable amount of weight. If you are interested in learning more about any of these treatments, or if you wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. LoVerme, please contact our office today.
A thigh lift, or thighplasty, is used to restore a slimmer, more toned appearance to the upper part of the legs. Performed under general anesthesia, this procedure begins with an incision being made in the trouble area. Excess skin will then be removed, and the remaining skin will be pulled taut for a smoother aesthetic. All thigh lift procedures are custom-tailored to each patient, meaning that the exact location of the incision will be determined on a case by case basis. To promote a full recovery, it is best to take a couple of weeks off of work and rest as needed. Should any discomfort arise, Dr. LoVerme will prescribe medication to provide relief. Some bruising and swelling can be expected, but these symptoms will subside with time.
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift is used to tighten skin and remove excess fat throughout the entire midsection. It is typically performed after a patient has lost a dramatic amount of weight through a well-maintained diet and exercise plan, or via bariatric surgery. This procedure is designed to make the stomach appear flatter, contour the hips and thighs, and create a more shapely behind.
During the lower body lift, an incision will generally be made along the lower abdomen, extending around the hips to the buttock crease. Due to its location, any potential scarring can often be conveniently concealed with most undergarments or swimsuits. Once the incision is made, excess skin is removed, abdominal muscles are tightened, and liposuction may be used to further shape the entire midsection for an even appearance. Remaining skin is then lifted and pulled taut for a smoother, more toned appearance.
Following lower body lift surgery, Dr. LoVerme will place a compression garment to help reduce any swelling and aid healing. He will also prescribe pain medication to help keep discomfort at bay. The extent of this procedure generally requires an overnight stay in the hospital, and patients are usually allowed to leave under the care and supervision of a friend or family member the next day. Total downtime after a lower body lift is typically about three weeks, after which normal, non-strenuous daily routines can be resumed. To help ensure an ideal outcome, however, any heavy lifting, vigorous exercise, or various other strenuous activities should be avoided for at least six weeks after surgery.
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is performed for patients looking to remove excess skin and fat around the abdomen. This treatment is also designed to tighten underlying abdominal musculature that may have stretched or torn due to significant weight gain. During surgery, Dr. LoVerme will utilize an innovative technique known as Progressive Tension Sutures (PTS) to perform “no drain abdominoplasty”. Unlike a traditional tummy tuck, “no drain abdominoplasty” allows for secure healing, prevents fluid accumulation, and reduces risk of seromas and hematomas. Dr. LoVerme has found this approach to produce the highest quality results and reduce recovery time, while eliminating the need for drains. Some temporary bruising or swelling after the procedure is normal. Typically, the recovery process will last about one to two weeks, but patients should avoid vigorous exercise or heavy lifting for at least six weeks. After the incision in the lower abdomen has completely healed, any visible scarring can generally be concealed with a swimsuit or underwear, allowing patients to reveal their new, slimmer figure.
An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is commonly performed to address excess skin hanging from the upper arms—a concern sometimes referred to as “bat wings.” During brachioplasty, an incision is typically made along the lower edge of the upper arm, and excess skin is removed. Remaining skin is then pulled taut and secured for a smoother, more toned contour. If necessary, liposuction can also be performed to eliminate excess fatty tissue in the arms for an improved overall appearance. After the procedure, there may be some degree of bruising and/or swelling, and patients are advised to rest for about a week before returning to normal daily activities. In order to help ensure an optimal outcome, strenuous arm movements should be avoided for a few more weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does the recovery take?
A: Depending on the procedure(s) you choose, recovery can vary widely. Some patients may only need a few days of downtime, while others will require a stricter regimen that could last up to six weeks. Dr. LoVerme will review everything that is to be expected during your personal consultation.
Q: How long should I wait after bariatric surgery to undergo body contouring?
A: For individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery, it is best to wait until your weight has stabilized before pursuing body contouring options. Typically, Dr. LoVerme recommends waiting at least 18 months before opting for plastic surgery procedures.
Q: How much will the procedure cost?
A: The cost of post-weight loss body contouring will vary on a case-by-case basis. Factors that influence the total cost include where one’s specific concerns are located, which procedures are performed, the overall complexity of treatment, and more. Dr. LoVerme can give you a personalized estimate after reviewing your needs and goals at the time of the consultation.
Q: Will my insurance help?
A: Any medical insurance coverage will depend on your specific plan and unique needs. After meeting with Dr. LoVerme and deciding on which procedure(s) will be performed, our team can contact your insurance company to find out how much (if any) coverage may be provided.
If you think any of these body contouring procedures could be right for you, we encourage you to get in touch with our office online or by phone to schedule a consultation with Dr. LoVerme.