Some of the most satisfying surgical procedures I perform involve body contouring, especially after patients have lost a significant amount of weight. Their dedication to making a personal transformation often includes consulting with some of the best plastic surgeons in Los Angeles, and I’m honored they choose me for this final step.
Patients lose significant weight in different ways. Some change their lifestyles and lose the weight through diet and exercise. Weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass or banding procedures, is another way to lose the extra pounds. Whichever path patients chose to lose weight, they are often left with a large amount of loose skin that prevents them from fully enjoying their lean physiques.
Body contouring options after weight loss include various procedures and can involve staging procedures in 2 or more operations. It’s important to understand the choices that patients can make, with help from their plastic surgeons, so they can be confident in their decisions. In this blog post, I’ll provide insight into 5 issues to consider before scheduling body contouring surgery.
1. Timing of surgery after weight loss: I normally recommend that patients wait several months after bariatric surgery before scheduling body contouring procedures. This allows time for weight loss to plateau. Patients pursuing weight loss by changing their diets and exercising may be good candidates for earlier surgery, depending on their needs. In some cases, certain plastic surgery procedures can motivate patients to work even harder to meet their weight-loss goals.
2. Body contouring procedures: The body contouring procedures I offer at my Los Angeles practice address virtually every area of the body. Helping patients understand their best options is one of the most important parts of a plastic surgeon’s job. A tummy tuck is one of the most common body contouring procedures I perform, but more extensive excess skin can require other procedures. Those can include a panniculectomy (a modified tummy tuck), thigh lift, arm lift, or body lift. I wrote an earlier blog post exploring who is a good candidate for body lift surgery.
3. Who are ideal candidates? Candidates for body contouring procedures are healthy, non-smokers who don’t have any medical issues that could compromise the healing process. It’s important that patients maintain their weight loss for at least 6 to 12 months before undergoing plastic surgery. Additionally, demonstrating a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise is an important consideration about whether someone is a good body contouring candidate.
4. What are the risks? All surgery includes some risks and that includes plastic surgery after weight loss. Common risks specifically associated with body contouring procedures include seromas (fluid accumulating beneath the skin), bleeding, and delayed wound healing. Blood clots can also develop in the legs. Walking in the days following surgery minimizes this risk.
5. Choosing the right plastic surgeon: Body contouring surgery after weight loss is a specialized field that requires experience that not all plastic surgeons have. It’s typical to combine more than one procedure during a single operation, so choosing the right surgeon is critical. Plus, the relationship between patients and their plastic surgeons is one that often continues for months — or even years. It’s important to thoroughly research your options and find the most qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon possible for your surgery.
Viewing before-and-after photos is one way to evaluate the outcomes you can expect from a plastic surgeon. I’m proud to have established a name for myself in this exciting area of plastic surgery. I’ve offered my expertise on shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition.”
If you’re considering body contouring surgery after weight loss, contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call our office at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.