Losing a significant amount of weight is an amazing accomplishment and something that anyone should be proud of. This weight loss can often be a critical early step towards a more healthy and productive life. However, an important part of weight loss is achieving a trimmer and healthier-looking appearance. And even after a considerable amount of fat has been lost, loose, sagging skin after weight loss can put a damper on your new body contour. I perform post-weight loss surgery for this exact reason. To help patients get a better idea of how post-weight loss surgery can help them, I have taken some time to answer a few common questions on the subject.
Question #1: Is it possible for the skin to tighten and recover after weight loss without surgery?
This is unfortunately very unlikely. It is incredibly unlikely that the loose skin left behind after major weight loss will be elastic enough to tighten on its own. Additionally, non-surgical skin tightening treatments are not intended to treat the amount of skin that is typically removed during a post-weight loss procedure. So while post-weight loss surgery is never mandatory, it is often required to fully address the loose skin that people experience following their weight loss.
Question #2: Is it safe to undergo post-weight loss surgery soon after weight loss surgery?
It’s incredibly common for patients to pursue post-weight loss surgery after a previous weight loss (bariatric) surgery like gastric bypass or lap-band surgery. It’s important to time the procedures in a way that ensures your body has had enough time to fully heal from the initial weight loss procedure before undergoing any additional cosmetic procedures. But once this time has passed (typically around 6 months), post-weight loss surgery is extremely safe as long as the patient is confirmed to be a good candidate for their specific procedure(s). These are all things that I would personally review with the patient during our consultation appointment.
Question #3: Can multiple post-weight loss procedures be performed together?
Yes, and this is quite often the case. It’s rare for someone to only experience significant loose skin in just one area after weight loss this dramatic, so it makes sense to consider multiple procedures. Common post-weight loss procedure combinations include the mommy makeover, which helps achieve comprehensive skin removal by combining tummy tuck surgery, and a cosmetic breast surgery like a breast lift. Some patients may benefit from a procedure known as a circumferential body lift. This procedure takes a 360 degree approach to body contouring by removing excess skin and recontouring the legs, torso, buttock, hips, and back, depending on the case. It is important to get confirmation of what is a safe amount of skin to be removed during a consultation appointment, as more than one surgery session is needed for safety reasons in some cases.
I hope that readers found these answers helpful. When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, plastic surgery after weight loss can be the perfect final step in any weight loss journey. For more information or to schedule a complimentary plastic surgery consultation, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for additional plastic surgery tips, news, and so much more.