Post Weight Loss Surgery
One of the most important steps that people affected by morbid obesity can take is losing weight—through bariatric surgery or traditional means—and starting to live healthier lifestyles with slimmer physiques. Once the hardest part has already been addressed, losing the weight, there is a noticeable change in your appearance. However, areas of loose, overhanging fat and skin can remain and be difficult to get rid of, potentially clouding the thrill and sense of accomplishment that is felt post-weight loss. In addition to preventing you from wearing new, smaller-sized clothes, this extra skin can be very uncomfortable to carry around. Rashes may develop along the folds of skin, causing the areas to burn or itch. In individuals with a history of obesity, it is unlikely this skin will recover after major weight loss. The only real and definitive solution to excess skin after major weight loss is the surgical removal of the skin.
To help women and men who are experiencing these issues following significant weight loss, Dr. Steven Holzman, our board-certified plastic surgeon, offers numerous post-bariatric body contouring options at our Austin practice. For details about the variety of solutions available to you, we invite you to explore the information provided on this page, or simply contact Dr. Holzman today to schedule a consultation.
- What Is Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring?
- Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery Benefits
- Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Procedures
- Post Weight Loss Body Contouring Recovery
- Cost of Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss
- Choosing a Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Surgeon
- Post-Bariatric Body Contouring FAQs
What Is Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring?
Post-weight loss body contouring—sometimes called post-bariatric body contouring or plastic surgery after weight loss—refers to a variety of procedures designed to eliminate extra skin folds, remove stubborn fat, and give the body a tighter, more fit appearance following substantial weight reduction. Post-bariatric procedures can improve the contour of numerous areas of the body, including the abdomen, back, thighs, arms, chest, neck, and even the face. Based on your unique needs and goals, Dr. Holzman can perform one or more post-weight loss plastic surgery treatments to help you complete your transformation and achieve the figure you deserve.
What Are the Benefits of Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery after weight loss can be both physically and emotionally rewarding for individuals who have not fully achieved the body they envisioned when committing to bariatric surgery and/or a healthier lifestyle. Some of the most common benefits that can be experienced include:
- Elimination of stretched, hanging skin
- Removal of stubborn, localized fat pockets
- Reduction and/or resolution of excess skin-related rashes, chafing, and infections
- Improved ability to maintain proper hygiene
- Enhanced overall physique
- Improved mobility
- Better fit in a wide range of clothing
- Significant boost in self-confidence and self-esteem
“I have went to Dr. Holzman for 3 different procedures. All 3 have turned out amazing. He has a great stitching technique for minimal scarring and works with you to address your concerns. He has a great table side manner and makes the procedure very comfortable. Highly recommended!”
What Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Procedures Are Available?
To help you achieve your goals, we offer a comprehensive range of body contouring procedures to address the excess loose skin that comes from significant weight loss. Some patients only require a small amount of tissue excision and others may need two or more techniques to address their concerns. Dr. Holzman will help you determine which procedures can provide the optimal outcome.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Loose, flabby skin under the arms is a common occurrence after weight loss and can be improved with an arm lift, medically known as brachioplasty. This procedure removes excess skin and tightens the remaining tissue, giving a more youthful, smoother appearance to the arms.
Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)
Extra skin in the upper and inner thighs can be reduced with a thigh lift. This treatment lifts the skin of the thighs and eliminates the excess, tightening the area for a smoother appearance. Thigh lift surgery can also reduce friction between the legs while walking as well as enhance the legs’ silhouette.
Abdominoplasty and Lower Body Lift
After significant weight loss, patients are often frustrated with the excess skin around the belly or abdomen. Depending on the amount of weight loss, there can be a large amount of loose skin that may extend over the pubis and down to the thighs or even to the knee. We offer a range of tummy tuck options, including circumferential and fleur-de-lis abdominoplasties to correct this concern.
Back Lift (Backplasty)
Backplasty is a plastic surgical procedure used to address the excess skin of the upper to mid back usually seen in the massive weight loss patient. It is not commonly performed, but it does fill a need for those areas that do not flatten out after a circumferential abdominoplasty or lower body lift. Patients who require a backplasty often have a large fold of skin that extends from their upper back. The excess skin and fat can cause back pain, skin irritation, or rash, and makes it very difficult to fit into regular clothing.
Excess skin and fat are removed in a horizontal fashion, leaving a scar from side to side. In some cases, the incision may be a continuation of a breast lift (mastopexy) incision that extends around the side of the chest wall. Patients who require this procedure are happy with the freedom of movement that this procedure provides.
The breasts can often take on a sagging or drooping appearance after weight loss. A breast lift elevates the skin of the breasts and gets rid of excess skin, tightening the remainder, which relocates the breasts to a higher position, thus giving them a more youthful, “perkier” appearance. Other breast procedures may also be added to your treatment plan, including breast augmentation or breast reduction, to suit your cosmetic goals.
Dr. Holzman will trim excess skin from the chest for a natural-looking upper body profile. If any remaining glandular or fatty tissue is found in the area, these can also be excised or removed with liposuction for a smoother, more masculine appearance in a procedure commonly known as male breast reduction.
Some patients are surprised at the loss of volume in their face after massive weight loss. You may notice hollowed out areas and sagging skin on your face, making you appear older than your age. The areas that are frequently affected include the face, eyelids, eyebrows, and neck. Facial plastic surgery procedures, including facelifts, neck lifts, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift), brow lifts, neck liposuction, and injectables such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and dermal fillers, can improve these concerns.
What Is Recovery Like for Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring?
The hardest part of this entire process you have already completed: losing weight. That said, recovery following post weight loss surgery is an essential part of achieving your desired outcome. Facial procedures differ somewhat from body procedures when it comes to recovery. They are usually less painful, interfere with life less, and healing overall is often easier. Most of the recovery involves incision care, rest, and time away from the public. This last issue is the most cumbersome, as it takes time away from work and family commitments. Individuals who can telecommute, or work from home, can be back to work in just a few days after some of the facial procedures. Conversely, body procedures take longer to recover but healing incisions, bruising, and swelling can be hidden under clothing. Discomfort is managed with medication, and we will make every effort to ensure your experience is as smooth as possible.
Each procedure is unique, and it’s important to understand how you heal may be different from someone else undergoing the same surgery. Combining techniques does not usually mean your total recovery time will be twice as long and, in fact, may require the same amount of downtime as a single procedure. Dr. Holzman will review the typical healing process with you at your initial consultation once your treatment plan is developed.
How Much Does Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss Cost?
The price of post-bariatric body contouring will depend on which procedures you choose, how many procedures you would like, and the complexity of your cosmetic program. In addition, factors such as the plastic surgeon’s level of expertise and the city/region of the country in which the practice is located can influence total costs.
On our site we provide pricing for a number of the procedures mentioned above on their specific procedural pages, and we invite you to explore those. During your initial consultation, Dr. Holzman and our medical team will review the details of your treatment plan, including costs, so you are prepared for any financial responsibilities. If you would like to consider plastic surgery financing, we work with reputable lenders who may be able to help.
How to Find the Best Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Surgeon for You
Choosing the right plastic surgeon for post-weight loss body contouring is essential to not only achieving an optimal outcome, but also to helping ensure you receive the safest, most comprehensive care possible. Some key elements to consider when looking for a surgeon include board-certification through the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), experience and skill in the procedure(s) you desire, before-and-after pictures of previous patients, and a strong rapport with the doctor.
Dr. Holzman is board-certified by ABPS and has over two decades of cosmetic surgery experience, which includes helping numerous women and men attain the body contour they desire following massive weight loss. We encourage you to take a look at our patient photo gallery, as well as schedule a private consultation with Dr. Holzman to discuss your goals and discover the quality of care you can expect before, during, and long after treatment.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Bariatric Body Contouring
How many procedures can be performed at once?
In most cases, multiple body contouring procedures can be performed during the same session for a more convenient and streamlined treatment process. That said, this will ultimately depend on the specific procedure(s) you are undergoing and the amount of tissue and/or fat excision needed. Your safety is our top priority, and we want to ensure that your results are as satisfactory as possible. Once your treatment plan has been developed, Dr. Holzman can make specific recommendations regarding which procedures can be safely combined.
Does insurance cover plastic surgery after weight loss?
In some cases, insurance companies may provide coverage for post-weight loss plastic surgery, especially in cases where excess skin is causing significant physical discomfort or skin irritation. We advise you to check with your provider regarding their specific policies, as you may need a referral from your bariatric surgeon or a primary care provider. In cases where insurance coverage is not available, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss alternative payment and/or financing options with you.
What should I do to prepare for plastic surgery after weight loss?
One of the best ways that you can prepare for post-weight loss plastic surgery is by being well-informed. We encourage all of our patients to do their research and ask as many questions as they need to during their initial consultation with Dr. Holzman. It is also advised for patients to be at or near their target weight and committed to leading a healthy lifestyle prior to undergoing a body contouring procedure. Not only does this promote the overall health of your body, but it can also help maximize the longevity of your aesthetic results.
Additionally, body contouring procedures often involve a recovery period during which certain movements and activities can place unnecessary strain on the patient. As a part of preparing for your surgery, we advise you to organize a support network that can help transport you home from the surgical facility and provide care during your recovery.
Do I need to be at my goal weight prior to post-bariatric body contouring?
For optimal results, we do typically advise patients to be at or near their goal weight prior to undergoing any kind of body contouring procedure. This is because continued weight fluctuations may compromise your surgical outcomes. For instance, if patients lose more weight after undergoing a body contouring procedure, they may end up with additional loose skin that often requires a second surgery to address.
What if I regain the weight?
With proper diet and exercise, body contouring can be a long-term solution for getting rid of excess skin and stubborn fat after major weight loss. However, in cases where patients regain a significant amount of weight following their procedure, the effects of body contouring are often diminished, as excess skin and pockets of fat redevelop in response to the weight gain. Fortunately, by maintaining a stable weight and leading a healthy lifestyle, many patients are able to enjoy the effects of their treatment long into the future.
Contact Our Practice
Ready to complete your weight loss journey and see your results? Talk to us today to schedule a consultation for post-bariatric body contouring.