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Body Contouring Plastic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss Bellevue & Kirkland
Weight loss can have a profound impact on our bodies, health, and quality of life. While the vast majority of these changes are positive ones that make the surgery or lifestyle changes worth it, there are some unfortunate downsides to losing a massive amount of weight, especially quickly like after bariatric surgery. The main one is extra, saggy, and hanging skin. Skin can collect along the abdomen, back, arms, thighs, and other parts of the body. This is where plastic surgery can help weight loss patients see the true results of their efforts. Dr. Ludwig Allegra at Northwest Face & Body offers the best body contouring after massive weight loss Bellevue and Kirkland provides.
Overview: The Many Procedures Of Body Contouring After Weight Loss
There is not one standard procedure that makes up a plastic surgery procedure after weight loss. This is because everyone holds weight differently and may see more extra skin in certain areas while another patient may see it in others. Additionally, younger patients tend to see better skin retraction than older patients.
Thus, when you come in for a consultation with Dr. Allegra at Northwest Face & Body, he will evaluate the areas where you have extra skin and the severity of the skin. From there, he will want to know about your medical history and goals to help him determine the right combination of plastic surgeries to help you reach your goals.
Below are some of the skin removal surgeries that Dr. Allegra sometimes recommends after massive weight loss. Of course, not every patient will undergo all of these procedures, but it can help you garner an idea of which may work best for you.
When we lose weight, fat comes off the body evenly. Therefore, patients often lose weight in areas they would like more volume such as the breasts. This volume loss can cause the breasts to sag and cause extra skin. A breast lift surgery can remove the extra skin and reposition the nipple and breasts into a more natural, youthful position.
The skin of the upper arm can become loose and flabby with age and weight loss. An arm lift surgery is the most common and effective procedure to address this. Using vertical incisions from the armpit and moving down toward the elbow, Dr. Allegra can remove the extra, sagging skin and restore the arms to a thinner and more graceful appearance. The exact length of the incisions will depend on the amount of skin present on the upper arms. Regardless, they are hidden on the inside part of the arm where they will be mostly hidden.
A tummy tuck is a procedure most commonly performed after massive weight loss. The procedure uses a hip-to-hip incision to remove extra skin and tissue from the abdomen. It may also correct diastasis recti—or the separation of the abdominal muscles—to help provide more support to your core. Diastasis recti can also contribute to the pooch appearance of the stomach and is common after pregnancy.
There are multiple forms of tummy tuck that Dr. Allegra may use to remove abdominal skin. They may include:
- Mini tummy tuck
- Full tummy tuck
- Extended tummy tuck
- Reverse tummy tuck
Fleur-de-lis Tummy Tuck
The more extensive form of a tummy tuck is a fleur-de-lis tummy tuck that includes a vertical incision up the abdomen. Fleur-de-lis tummy tucks are common among patients who have lost over 100 pounds and can completely transform their figure. Like with a traditional tummy tuck, the surgery addresses extra abdominal skin, fat, and diastasis recti. However, it removes skin from the entire abdomen and not just the lower portion.
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift extends a tummy tuck around the entire lower half of the body. It may or may not meet, but it is frequently an entire circumferential incision. With a lower body lift, extra skin is removed from the entire lower body and it can help enhance the abdomen, hips, lower back, and buttocks.
A thigh lift is the lower body equivalent of an arm lift. With vertical incisions down the inside of the thighs, extra skin is removed. Dr. Allegra can sometimes also create a thigh gap. A thigh lift can help make the abdomen and thighs look more proportional to one another after weight loss and other plastic surgeries.
Volumizing, Contouring & Fat Transfer Procedures
Skin removal surgeries are the primary focus of plastic surgery after massive weight loss. However, weight loss and skin removal can leave patients with smaller breasts than before, or perhaps they have small pockets of fat that simply will not come off. Therefore, some patients may undergo other procedures to volumize, contour, or otherwise shape the body.
Losing breast volume happens naturally with age, but it can also be an unfortunate consequence of massive weight loss. Breast implants can help restore this volume and create a more feminine figure if desired.
Another option for breast augmentation is to use the patient’s fat. If they have areas with enough fat for harvesting via liposuction, Dr. Allegra can then take this fat and use it to augment the breasts. While this usually results in more subtle and moderate breast augmentation, it is among one of the most natural looking and feeling options.
Like with the breasts, patients may lose volume in their buttocks that they want. If a patient has enough fat, Dr. Allegra can transfer the fat into the buttocks to augment it, create more projection, and complement their new contours after weight loss plastic surgery.
While weight loss happens all over the body and cannot be specifically targeted, sometimes certain areas of the body will hold onto extra fat such as under the chin, along the waist, or in the thighs. Thus, liposuction can help remove these small pockets of fat to contour the body. Dr. Allegra can then use the fat to transfer to other areas if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions About Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss
Will It Help Me Lose More Weight?
No, plastic surgery is not a replacement for weight loss surgery. With that said, extra skin can weigh a surprising amount. Thus, once you heal from surgery, you may notice that you weigh less than before surgery. However, this is still usually minimal compared to the initial weight loss.
Can You Get Rid Of Extra Skin Without A Tummy Tuck?
There are non-surgical procedures that can help tighten the skin. Though, they are best when a minimal amount of skin is involved. Dr. Allegra can help you determine if these methods would help you and the types of results they could provide. Some of the non-surgical or non-invasive options for skin tightening include:
Dr. Allegra sometimes recommends these treatments after plastic surgery after massive weight loss because they can help refine results and make you look more toned.
Is Weight Loss After Plastic Surgery Medically Necessary?
No, though, for some patients, there may be medical benefits to undergoing skin removal after weight loss. For example, some patients experience skin rashes or infections due to their hanging extra skin. While these are treatable, they are more likely to be recurrent without skin removal.
Removing large amounts of extra skin can also help make it easier for patients to live a healthy lifestyle. Excess skin can make it difficult or uncomfortable to exercise. So, while not medically necessary, there are likely medical benefits to plastic surgery after weight loss.
How Long Will I Have Drains?
The amount of time you have drains depends on what surgeries you have. On average though, patients can expect to have drains for one to three weeks after surgery.
What Is The Recovery Like?
Again, the exact specifications of your recovery will depend on the procedures you underwent. In general, patients can expect instructions such as:
- Prevent stress on your incisions by staying hunched over if necessary and not lifting anything heavy
- Avoid getting the incisions wet
- Wear your compression garment
- Attend your post-operative appointments
- Take your prescribed medications
- Avoid strenuous activities
- Engage in light walking daily
- Avoid unnecessary touching or massaging of the surgical areas
- Eat healthily and stay hydrated
- Do not return to work or exercise until cleared to do so
The Best Plastic Surgery After Bariatric Weight Loss
Northwest Face & Body is a leading plastic surgery practice serving the Bellevue and Kirkland areas. Offering the top plastic surgery, injectables, and medical grade esthetics, our providers customize every treatment plan to the patient. Northwest Face & Body performs the best plastic surgery after massive weight loss Bellevue and Kirkland offer.
Dr. Ludwig Allegra is a board-certified surgeon who bridges the gap between aesthetics and medicine. Not only is Dr. Allegra a talented and capable surgeon, but he also has a deep understanding of bodily aesthetics and symmetry. He utilizes this knowledge and skill as one of the best Bellevue plastic surgeons.