Post-Bariatric Surgery

English: Mommy Makeover Patient #4 pre-op phot...

English: Mommy Makeover Patient #4 pre-op photo of a 35 year old female with weight loss. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Body contouring surgery can help to reduce the excesses of skin and fat which are often seen after a major bout of weight loss. The reduction of the fat added to the loss of elasticity in the skin can make it very saggy indeed, generally in areas around the upper arms, face and neck, abdomen, buttocks, breasts, thighs – sometimes the body can have an extremely irregular and mis-shaped appearance. If you have lost lots of weight and, importantly, have reached your target weight either through dieting, through a new exercise regime or due to a bariatric surgery procedure, then a post bariatric surgery procedure might be the answer to your prayers.

Body contouring procedures can be used to reduce, lift and enlarge parts of your body, and the success is largely dependent on your age, plus by the size, the skin tone and the shape of the body parts being treated. You may have to put up with scars, some might be small and hardly noticeable, some might be more prominent, it just depends on the type of post bariatric surgery undertaken, anyhow, most patients agree that they’d much rather have the scars than the saggy bits. Post bariatric surgery can do wonders for your self esteem and help to open up a whole new lifestyle and wardrobe which includes bathing suits and more snugly fitting clothes.

Some patients who have undergone a massive weight loss program may need to have multiple post bariatric surgery procedures in many areas of their body, generally performed in stages with anywhere between several weeks, months or a year between each surgery.

Common Areas for Post-Bariatric Surgery

  • Face and Neck Lift – if you lose a lot of weight it can result in saggy facial skin, particularly around the cheeks and jowls. The neck becomes saggy and loose and you lose any semblance to a defined jaw line. That’s why some patients opt for a face and neck lift, to fight off the jowls, lift up the cheeks and get rid of any loose or saggy bits. This type of post bariatric surgery usually results in inconspicuous incisions behind the ears and into the hair line.

  • Arm Lift or Brachioplasty – this is aimed at removing the saggy skin and fat from beneath the upper arm, commonly referred to as “bingo wings”, “bat wings”, “tuck shop arms”, “nan flaps” or “auntie arms” depending on which part of the world you come from, yep, every part of the world has their favorite name saggy skin beneath the arms. After massive weight loss this loose skin could reach right into the area of the chest. The incision for arm lift surgery depends largely on the severity of the problem, usually extending from the elbow all the way up to the upper arm.

  • Breast Lift – unfortunately when you lose a lot of weight you often lose it from places where you didn’t necessarily want to lose it, but that’s just how it is. If you were the proud owner of a nice pair of “jumper lumps” before you went through your weight loss program, the chances are you’ve been left with a couple of sagging, flat pancakes – not necessarily the look you were hoping for. All is not lost, a breast lift procedure can help to raise them up and defy gravity for a while at least, you could even have implants to help improve not only the shape of your breasts but also the size.

  • Medial Thigh Lift – if you’ve got very saggy skin in the inner thighs after losing lots of weight and opt for post-bariatric surgery, the incisions will be generally be placed in the groin.

  • Panniculectomy – I know it’s a long and unfamiliar word but it describes a very common problem, particularly for those who have undergone a dramatic loss in weight – it’s to deal with the sagging skin and fat which forms an “apron” beneath your belly button. The procedure doesn’t get involved with any excess fat or skin above the belly button, and is actually one of the few post-bariatric procedures which is often performed during, not necessarily after massive weight loss. Hanging skin in the area can cause lots of problems, including a significant amount of skin irritation.

  • Lower Body Lift – this post-bariatric procedure gets to grips with the whole of the lower body – just as the name implies. You see, when you’re overweight it very often involves your whole body, you get extra fat deposits around the front, around the back and around the sides too, so when you successfully shift a few pounds it can leave sagging skin in all of these places – the outer thighs, the buttocks, the hips, the abdomen. A lower body lift gets to grips with all of these areas. Lower body lifts are pretty extensive surgery, a major life event in fact. It can take a few weeks for recovery, and in the mean time some surgeons advise that you should wear compression garments to keep everything in position until it’s all settled down a bit. You won’t be able to see the final results of this post bariatric surgery until all of the swelling has finally abated which can take up to a whole year.

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