Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched now is unsupported.
- Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
- Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
- Abdominal area may extend around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overhang
- Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin
Surgical body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, and removes excess sagging fat and skin. The result is a more normal appearance to the body with smoother contours. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience.
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Before you decide to undergo body contouring following major weight loss, your weight loss must be stabilized. If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop. If you rapidly regain the weight, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned skin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars.
If you had weight reduction surgery, your plastic surgeon will work closely with your physician to determine when it is appropriate for you to begin body contouring.
Good candidates for body contouring are:
- Adults of any age whose weight loss has stabilized
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what body contouring can accomplish
- Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness