Body contouring after massive weight loss

Have you recently undergone a massive weight loss? Whether this is through healthy eating and exercise or with the help of surgical procedures such as a gastric band, a large weight loss is always a success. However, those who lose a large amount of weight often face one common problem following surgery – loose, sagging skin.

Sagging skin after weight loss can often leave people feeling unhappy with their appearance. After all, it takes a lot of time and effort to lose a substantial amount of weight, and it is disappointing when you still don’t look as good as you can. Excess loose skin will not disappear as a result of a healthy diet or good exercise regime. Fortunately, you don’t just have to live with the excess skin – you can undergo body contouring surgeries.

What body contouring surgeries can I have?

There are many options for what body contouring procedures you can undertake. These will vary from each person and will depend on your current size, where the excess skin is located on the body and your end goals. One combination of surgeries may be suitable for one person, but not suitable for the next.

You may be interested in having a:

Am I a good candidate for body contouring?

You will be considered a good candidate for body contouring if you have excess skin which you are wishing to remove.

Prior to having any body contouring surgery, it is recommended that you lose as much weight as possible. If you lose a significant amount of weight after surgery, you may have more excess skin and require further surgery to remove the skin. However, it is important to have maintained a stable level of weight prior to your surgery.

While you will need to be above 18 years old to have surgery, there is no upper age limit. It is worth noting that younger patients may achieve better results due to better levels of skin elasticity.

You will have to be a non-smoker, or be able to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to your surgery and continue to stop smoking throughout the recovery period.

It is important to have realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve. It is suggested that you continue to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle following the procedure in order to avoid having to undergo further surgeries in the future.

If you have had any weight loss surgery, such as a gastric band, it is recommended you wait between six to twelve months after surgery before having any cosmetic procedures.

Prior to having any surgical procedure, you will have to attend a consultation with a surgeon who will be performing your surgery. The surgeon will be able to assess your body and ensure whether or not you are a good candidate for body contouring. If you have excess fat, rather than excess skin, you may be suitable for liposuction rather than a body contouring procedure.

What does body contouring involve?

Prior to surgery, you will be given a general anaesthetic, so you will not be awake throughout the procedure. At Centre for Surgery, we use an anaesthetic known as ClearSleep™. Unlike other types of general anaesthetic, ClearSleep™ does not involve the use of breathing tubes and machines, removing the risk of damage to your throat, mouth and teeth. You will wake up very quickly after your surgery and will have a heightened sense of wellness, without that groggy feeling generally associated with anaesthetic.

Tummy tuck and lift procedures involve the surgeon making an incision along the area with excess skin. The excess skin will then be removed. If necessary, liposuction will be undertaken to remove any excess fat. The muscles are then pulled and tightened. The remaining skin is then pulled over the incision, and the incision is closed. This leaves your body with tighter, more contoured skin.

What is the recovery period like?

The recovery period will vary depending on which procedures you chose to undertake.

Body contouring procedures, particularly a tummy tuck, are considered fairly invasive cosmetic procedures. You will feel some bruising and swelling, as well as pain and discomfort, around the incision area. You can put ice packs on the incision area to help reduce any swelling. You may feel the need to take pain medication to help alleviate any symptoms.

You will be given a compression garment which will be worn over the areas where incisions were made. This will not only help to keep the area in the best shape possible but will help to reduce swelling, therefore reduce the recovery period.

You will be able to return home the same day as the procedure after the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. However, you will need to have a responsible adult drive you home. If you have had a tummy tuck or had multiple procedures, you may wish to have someone stay with you for at least the first few days after the procedure. During this period you may find it difficult to move around, get dressed or shower without assistance.

You will need to avoid strenuous physical activity, including heavy lifting, for at least six weeks. You can resume light activities after two weeks.

Body contouring, particularly a tummy tuck, involves a large incision. This is one of the rare procedures where a scar is unavoidable and will be noticeable. The scar will be more noticeable after surgery, as it may appear red and swollen. However, with time, the scar will fade in size and colour and become less prominent.

Are you interested in a body contouring procedure? Contact Centre for Surgery today for more information or to book a consultation with one of our surgeons. 

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