Body Contouring After Weight Loss
Following considerable weight loss, excess skin can hide your dramatically slimmer body contours. This can be frustrating and discouraging after working so hard to lose the weight. If you have undergone massive weight loss with or without bariatric surgery, Partners in Plastic Surgery in Grand Rapids, MI, offers numerous body contouring treatments that can help. Let us help you explore the procedures we offer to let you reveal the attractive body you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Dr. Dennis Hammond and Dr. Andrea Van Pelt understand that every case is different and strive to give each patient a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. We have extensive experience with these procedures, have board-certified anesthesiologists on staff, and perform surgeries in our fully accredited facility. To learn more about body contouring after weight loss, request a consultation online or call us at (616) 464-4420.
After Weight Loss Before & After Photos
See more cases like this one in our before-and-after gallery of real body contouring patients.
*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
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Your Options After Major Weight Loss
Whether you’ve lost weight through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, you may be left with hanging skin that can make you feel self-conscious and prevent you from fully enjoying your new, improved body. During your consultation, Dr. Kath, Dr. Van Pelt, or Dr. Hammond closely examines your body and your specific areas of concern to help you select the procedure or combination of procedures that works best for you. Our surgeons understand that major weight loss is often the result of years of hard work and discipline, and they look forward to helping you reach your ultimate goal.
The following procedures are popular with our Grand Rapids weight-loss patients:
Also called a brachioplasty, an arm lift reshapes the underside of the upper arm from the armpit to the elbow. This procedure can reduce loose or sagging skin that doesn’t respond to diet or exercise, creating a smoother, slimmer arm contour that you can’t wait to show off in sleeveless tops.
The “bra roll” area is a source of deep frustration for many women, and men are also bothered by residual skin on the back. The back lift tightens this skin and smoothes this area of the upper back for an attractive silhouette in or out of clothing. This procedure uses an incision that can be hidden beneath a bra.
By removing the apron of overhanging skin and fat that often protrudes from the lower abdomen after weight loss, this procedure can improve your mobility, personal confidence, and overall wellbeing. This surgery typically requires a horizontal incision from hip to hip that eventually fades to a discreet scar that can be hidden beneath your clothing.
Also called a lower body lift, this procedure goes a step beyond a traditional tummy tuck by removing excess skin and fat in the abdomen, sides, and lower back. This effectively smoothes the hips and buttocks in addition to the abdomen for a refined, cohesive contour that shows off your new curves.
Thigh lift surgery lifts, reshapes, and improves the inner or outer thighs by reducing excess skin and fat that can make it difficult to wear your favorite clothes or feel confident about your body. Thigh lift incisions can vary based on your body’s needs.
Other Body Contouring Options
Although these procedures are common for many plastic surgery patients, they’re also popular among weight-loss patients. Learn more about these specialized surgeries and find out how they can help you reveal your best body.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
By removing excess tissue and lifting the breasts to a more youthful-looking placement, a breast lift can offer volume and perkiness with or without implants.
Other women, particularly those prone to accumulation of fat in the breasts, may be better candidates for a breast reduction, which removes tissue and shapes the breasts to align more with your body’s new, slimmer contours.
Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
The growth of excessive mammary tissue in men, called gynecomastia, is a fairly common concern that’s often aggravated by being overweight. Male breast reduction can remove breast tissue and excess skin in a straightforward outpatient procedure.
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
The classic tummy tuck reduces excess skin and fat and can even repair weakened muscles, making it especially popular with women who have had children, as well as both men and women who have lost weight.
Recuperating After Body Contouring
How long your recuperation period lasts depends on the procedures you’ve undergone. In general, people who have undergone more minor procedures, such as a breast lift, can expect to take about 1 week off from work and other daily obligations. Those who have had a combination of multiple procedures may need 2 weeks or more to fully heal before returning to their usual activities. During your preoperative appointments, your surgeon will help you understand exactly what you can expect so you can plan accordingly.
Depending on the procedure you’ve undergone, you may have surgical drains in place for several days after surgery. These drains are an important way to reduce fluid accumulation and keep you comfortable and healthy while you heal. Your surgeon will give you instructions for monitoring and maintaining your drains, which are usually removed after about a week.
Over the next few months, as swelling subsides and you begin to ease into your favorite activities, your scars will flatten and fade and your new contours will take shape. By maintaining a stable weight, you can enjoy your results indefinitely. For many people, body contouring is the exciting, well-deserved final step on their weight-loss journeys.
Weight Loss Body Contouring FAQ
Massive weight loss patients in Grand Rapids, Michigan, often turn to the professionals at Partners in Plastic Surgery to help them put the finishing touches on their new bodies. Although bariatric surgery often results in a satisfying large-volume weight loss, many patients must still contend with unsightly, uncomfortable hanging skin that exercise can’t alleviate. Dr. Dennis Hammond, Dr. Andrea Van Pelt, and Dr. Melissa Kath find fulfillment in helping patients remove this excess skin through body contouring procedures, and they look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Check out their answers to some of the questions their body contouring patients ask most frequently.
Men and women who have undergone bariatric surgery in the Grand Rapids area often visit our practice to address excess skin left behind by their rapid and significant weight losses. But the mere presence of excessive loose skin isn’t enough to qualify someone for body contouring surgery. Good candidates are adults who are willing and able to maintain a steady, healthy weight after surgery. They should also be in generally good health, with medical clearance from their general practitioners.
No. When it comes to body contouring surgery, a low weight is not as important as the ability to maintain a stable weight. Patients considering body contouring surgery should show at least 1 year of weight maintenance before undergoing a procedure. If you’re still actively losing weight, it’s best to postpone your body contouring procedure in order to reduce the need for revisionary surgery later on.
Prior to your surgery, Dr. Hammond or Dr. Van Pelt will provide you with instructions to help you prepare. These instructions may include temporarily discontinuing the use of certain medications or supplements. If your doctor recommends lifestyle adjustments after surgery, do your best to incorporate those adjustments prior to your procedure to help you get used to them. Many of our Michigan plastic surgery patients also take the time to ensure their homes are clean, ready, and stocked with the things they will need after surgery, from medications to magazines. Many also enlist supportive friends or family members to lend a hand during the initial recuperation.
The answer to this question depends on your own unique areas of concern as well as your overall health. During your consultation for body contouring plastic surgery at our Grand Rapids, Michigan, practice, your surgeon will work with you to develop a treatment plan that fully addresses your concerns. This plan may include a staged procedure or a single surgery addressing 1 or more areas.
Possibly. Some private insurance carriers cover body contouring after weight loss if there is a physical need for the surgery, such as pain from rashes around hanging skin. We can work with you to help you find out whether you might qualify. Even if you do not qualify for coverage, considering these procedures is wise because of the vast improvements they make to patients’ mental and physical well-being. At Partners in Plastic Surgery, we offer financing through CareCredit® to help patients pay for their procedures.
The specifics of your recuperation depend on the type of surgery you undergo. Most body contouring patients should expect to spend between 1 and 2 weeks resting at home. Surgical drains may be in place, and your surgeon will instruct you on how to monitor them. In many cases, excessive bending, heavy lifting, and other activities are inadvisable for several weeks following surgery. During your consultation, your doctor will provide you with a more thorough overview of what you can expect after your particular surgery.
Maintaining your weight can extend the life of your body contouring surgery significantly. Although all skin changes and sags over time, maintaining a steady weight after surgery prevents development of the significantly loose, sagging skin that prompted you to undergo body contouring surgery. Many patients are so satisfied with the results of their transformation that it spurs a series of positive lifestyle choices about diet and exercise, helping them maintain a healthy weight — and a beautiful appearance — indefinitely.