December 15, 2020

Get to Know: Body Contouring Procedures after Major Weight Loss.

Dramatic weight loss often leads to excessive skin which can be become a serious problem for many patients, even after one begins to feel healthier as the pounds come off.


Woman on scale measuring waist

Most patients find with major weight lost, the remaining skin and fatty tissues have poor elasticity after being stretched out for a long time, and can hang from the abdomen, arms, breasts, buttocks, or face.

From a psychological point of view, excess skin can prevent you from feeling your best. Functionally, excess skin can also limit your mobility, reduce your clothing options and cause medical issues such as recurring painful rashes, sores, and infections.

The only effective way to remove excess skin after massive weight loss is through plastic surgery. We always recommend you see a board-certified plastic surgeon for best results. You can also see a board eligible plastic surgeon with aesthetic fellowship training in body contouring.

Are you a good candidate?

Good candidates for body contouring surgery after major weight loss should have stable weight goals for at least 6 to 12 months. In other words, if you’re in the process of losing weight now, it is likely too early to consider a consultation.

Patients should also be in fairly good health. Remember, chronic medical conditions can increase the risks of complications after plastic surgery, so we recommend close attention in controlling blood pressure issues as well any other nutritional and metabolic issues. Best candidates are nonsmokers. Those who use tobacco now must completely stop at least 3 months before surgery.

In many cases, patients after bariatric surgery suffer from anemia, protein, and micronutrient deficiencies. Appropriate intervention with your primary care physician to address these deficiencies is critical to a successful outcome. In some cases, a delay in the timing of surgery could occur if the deficiencies are not discovered before your consultation.

We believe the best way to establish realistic expectations is to view before and after results with your chosen plastic surgeon. We will discuss the technique, recovery, and expected results with you at the consultation. We always remind patients that final results can take as long as 12 to 18 months to be achieved.

Get to Know: Body Contouring Nomenclature.

Below we have listed to most common body reshaping procedures used at Guerra Plastic Surgery Center.

  • Arm lift: the preferred treatment for sagging of the upper arms. We use a posterior arm lift technique which hides the scars more efficiently. We can also remove more skin when compared to the anterior approach, which has led to improved patient satisfaction. This technique also allows for contouring of the axilla and upper parts of the thorax. We typically do not use drains in the arms. This is usually a 2 to3 hour operation.
  • Breast lift: the preferred treatment for correct sagging, flattened breasts. This usually includes breast implants to add volume and shaping. The primary role of the breast lift is to reduce sagging and reposition the nipple into a higher position vertically. This operation lasts between 2 to 3 hours.
  • Facelift: the preferred treatment for sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck. This operation lasts between 4 to 6 hours.
  • Lower body lift: the preferred treatment for sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, inner and outer thighs. Body lift surgery is the most effective body contouring surgery. It is a truly powerful surgery to remove a great deal of unwanted excess skin. Drains are used with this operation. This operation can last between 4 to 6 hours.
  • Medial thigh lift: the preferred treatment for correct sagging of the inner thigh. We prefer a bidirectional thigh lift with a horizontal and vertical vector of pull. Our thigh lift is immediately preceded by liposuction which preserves the microvasculature, nerves, lymphatic system, and connective tissue support. We do not employ a drain for thigh lift. This operation takes between 2 to 3 hours to complete.
  • Tummy tuck: the preferred treatment for the apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen. Post bariatric patients may have a regular tummy tuck, and extended version of the tummy tuck, or a Fleur-De-Lis tummy tuck. We do use drains with these operations. Tummy tuck, depending on which is recommended, takes between 2 to 4 hours to complete.
  • Butt Lift: the preferred treatment for saggy buttocks. Most often used by itself after the patient has already had a tummy tuck in the past. Sometimes, this operation will usually include fat injections and liposuction, but these are not always recommended. We typically use drains with buttock lift. The surgery can take 2 to 4 hours to complete.

Interested in setting up your consultation? Call Guerra Plastic Surgery Center in Scottsdale, Arizona at (480) 382-4995 to speak to a coordinator today.


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