Removal of excess skin from patients who have undergone massive weight loss following bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) or dieting can help restore confidence and a positive body image. Most procedures require an overnight stay in the hospital, although sometimes an outpatient procedure is possible.
All patients want to look great after surgery, but the most important goal is to complete the reconstruction with maximum safety. Breaking up the “makeover” into several stages is one effective means of increasing safety. This is one schedule that has been used safely and effectively:
Stage 1: Abdominoplasty and breast lift (with or without breast implants)
Stage 2: Brachioplasty (arm reduction) and buttock lift
Stage 3: Medial (inner) thigh lift
Obviously, not all patients will need or want all of these procedures. Every patient must be assessed as an individual, and recommendations made accordingly.
RISKS: Possible complications (adverse outcomes) from body contouring include, but are not limited to:
- bad scars
- undesirable shapes
- delayed wound healing
- persistent pain
- DVT (blood clots), with possible pulmonary embolus (clot breaks free and floats to lung – this is usually explained as a risk before gastric bypass)
With proper planning, most patients who are good candidates for surgery can be reconstructed without serious complications. Patients who have sustained incomplete or unsatisfactory weight loss, or patients who have developed blood clots in the past, may not be the best candidates for body contouring.