Guerra Plastic Surgery Center
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Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss

Information Overview

Plastic Surgery After Major Weight Loss in Arizona

It is important to assess the entire body, as excess skin can sag and fold over the
abdomen, breasts, back, hips, buttocks, pubic area, thighs, arms, and face.

Plastic surgery after major weight loss in Arizona.

Plastic surgery after major weight loss can include a variety of procedures performed on people after they have lost a significant amount of weight. In most situations, these patients have lost between 30 to 150 pounds prior to having plastic surgery. Most individuals have body contouring surgery after losing weight from a gastric bypass procedure, a lap band or by loosing the weight through diet and exercise. Those who have undergone major weight reduction need to be treated with special care, especially since the weight loss often occurs in a relatively short period of time.

As a leading plastic surgeon Phoenix / Scottsdale patients come to for body contouring treatment, Dr. Aldo Guerra performs a wide range of cosmetic procedures for patients following extreme weight loss. He is also recognized as a top Phoenix tummy tuck, liposuction and mommy makeover surgeon.

Body Contouring Procedures after Major Weight Loss

Body:Upper Body Lift
Lower Body Lift
Belt Lipectomy
Extended Tummy Tuck
Modified Vertical Tummy Tuck
Buttock Lift
Breasts:Breast Reduction
Dermal Suspension Breast Lift
Breast Lift with Implants
Thighs:Medial Thigh Lift
Lower Body Lift
Arms:Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Dirks Lower Body Lift Testimonial in Scottsdale Arizona
Actual patient, lower body lift testimonial video.

Assessing the entire body.

After major weight loss it is important to assess the entire body, as excess skin can sag and fold over the abdomen, breasts, back, hips, buttocks, pubic area, thighs, arms, and face. One or a combination of procedures may be appropriate for your unique situation. Your surgery may include extended tummy tuck, a body lift, breast reduction or breast lifts (mastopexy), arm lifts (brachioplasty), thigh lifts, buttock lifts, and removal of skin and fat from the back and hips. Additionally, major weight loss patients can also show premature signs of aging. They may appear older than their real chronological age as the excess skin makes them look much older. For these patients a facelift, neck lift or eyelid surgery may also be recommended to complete the journey to improve their appearance while reversing those signs of aging. It is you and your surgeon who will determine what combination of procedures is right for your body and in which order to proceed. Depending on the procedures you choose, you may need to schedule multiple surgery dates.

Extended Tummy Tuck
Actual extended tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patient, before and after photos.

Body Mass Index (BMI).

The most important factors in deciding when to proceed with body contouring surgery are your current body mass index (BMI) and the stability of your current weight. Your weight loss must be stabilized for at least 6 months before undergoing a major body contouring surgery. Stability of the weight implies that you will be in the best position to establish the most improvement in your body shape. If you continue to lose weight after plastic surgery, sagging pockets may redevelop. On the other hand, if you regain the weight, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned skin, potentially causing visible stretch marks and scars. It is generally accepted that a lower body mass index makes you a better candidate for surgery and reduces the potential for complications. Patients with a BMI of less than 30, have the lowest risks with body contouring surgery. Patients with a BMI between 30 ad 35 may have moderate risks of complications with body contouring surgery. If you have a BMI of 35 or greater you will have much higher risks of complications with surgery and in many cases we will ask these patients to continue to loose weight until the BMI is lower and surgery and anesthesia risks become more acceptable.

Inner thigh Lift markings
Diagram: Inner thigh lift markings

Timing and coordination of your plastic surgery.

Body contouring procedures should be considered only after the weight has stabilized. This can range from 7 to 18 months, depending on an individual's preoperative weight. Performing a skin tightening procedure prior to weight stabilization may result in the need for further skin tightening in the future. The priority for most patients is the central body and they want this addressed as soon as possible. However, some patients may prioritize other sections of their body higher and begin there. Patients usually present to the consultation knowing exactly which area of their body concerns them the most. We let patients choose which procedure they would like to perform first, although we do recommend a central body procedure as a good starting point for most patients.

The plastic surgery consultation is the most important step you can take towards choosing a plastic surgeon to perform your body contouring surgery. Choosing a plastic surgeon is a very important decision that should be made very carefully. Consider at least three board-certified plastic surgeons before making your decision. Some surgeons may have more experience than others, while other surgeons may have more recent or more extensive training in the latest surgical techniques. Make sure the surgeon you are considering is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and not just simply "board certified". I recommend choosing a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and one that can explain the plan for surgery that clearly outlines how to obtain your goals.

We make a great effort to explain the procedure as best as possible and the steps involved with your surgery should make logical sense to you when the consultation is completed. A thorough medical history and examination will be performed. You should bring any important medical records with you to the consultation. Once a plan is chosen, arrangements will be discussed with you as to where your surgery can be performed. In general, body lift, thigh lift and abdominoplasty are performed in a specialty hospital. The hospital can provide a 2 or 3 day stay for these procedures. Breast lift, arm lift or facial surgery procedures may be performed at a certified outpatient surgery center in which patients may choose to go home or stay overnight. If a patient decides on multiple procedures at the same time we recommend performing surgery at a specialty hospital.

Jennifer's Story - Lower Body Lift, Inner Thigh Lift

Jennifer's Story
Jennifer is an actual patient. These are her before and after photos of lower body lift.

Body contouring after major weight loss.

Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue and removes excess sagging skin and fat. After any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and underlying tissue often lacks elasticity and cannot conform to the newly reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched is now unsupported. Areas which may require improvement after weight reduction include the upper arms which may sag and appear loose, the breasts which may flatten and hang with your nipples pointed downward towards the floor, the abdominal area which may extend around the sides and into the lower back area and include a skin overhang, and the buttocks, groin and thighs which can sag causing hanging pockets of skin and cellulite. Surgical body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape of your body and the tone of the underlying tissue and skin. The body lift, thigh lift or extended tummy tuck procedures are able to accomplish this by removing excess sagging fat and skin while tightening the remaining tissues. The result is a more normal appearance to the body, with smoother contours.

Anterior lower body lift markings
Diagram: Anterior lower body lift markings.

Are you a good candidate?

The AB Guerra Plastic Surgery Center educates all patients so they can have the right tools in making a decision about when to proceed with body contouring surgery after major weight loss. We consider you to be a good candidate for surgery if you are and adult whose weight loss has stabilized, are healthy and currently have no significant medical conditions that can impair healing or increase the risks of surgery and anesthesia, have realistic goals about the results that can be accomplished, and are committed to leading a new healthy lifestyle with appropriate nutrition and fitness. All patients contemplating any kind of plastic surgery should be non-smokers.

Use BMI Calculator to check your BMI.

feet   inches
29.05 - low risk

How do I prepare myself for body contouring surgery?

Depending on your specific situation, we may ask you to obtain certain laboratory tests prior to surgery. For instance, patients after gastric bypass surgery are routinely malnutritioned. This is a normal consequence of the bypass procedure which causes the weight loss but also makes it difficult for patients to absorb certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals. We may need to test several protein levels to assess your overall nutrition and determine if you are anemic as a results of your weight reduction. Malnutrition after major weight loss has been implicated as a potential cause of complications in patients undergoing body contouring surgery. If you indeed are found to be anemic or malnutritioned we may recommended the addition of protein, calories and other supplements to your diet. All the information regarding labs and other examinations will be given to you at the consultation.

Certain medications should be avoided before surgery including aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as these can increase the risks of bleeding. We always recommend that you check with your regular doctor to certify that your health condition remains stable and no new medical conditions have developed since your last visit. You should stop smoking 6 months prior to surgery. Patients should also prepare themselves for this surgery from a psychological perspective. Major body contouring surgery can be life changing and the emotional effects of such surgery can sometimes be overwhelming. We recommend that you create an appropriate support group with trusted family and friends. We find that all patients need physical and emotional support after these procedures.

Considering plastic surgery after major weight loss in the Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona area? Please call (480) 970-2580 or use our contact form today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Arm Lift before and after photos
Actual arm lift (brachioplasty) patient, before and after photos.

Patient Testimonial

Dr. Guerra,

Thank you for helping me to feel better about my body image again. I feel like I have my body back again before I had my children. You are a gifted doctor.

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Located in Scottsdale.
(480) 970-2580

Dr. Aldo Guerra
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