Dramatic weight loss is an incredible achievement: Making this change confers numerous long-term health benefits and can substantially increase self-esteem. Unfortunately, whether weight loss is achieved through diet and exercise or through bariatric surgery (such as gastric bypass or Lap Banding), patients are frequently left with folds of loose skin. This occurs because the skin has difficulty regaining its full elasticity after dramatic weight loss. Body lifting procedures can help to eliminate this excess skin and give patients the confidence and body contour that they desire. Many individuals consider the removal of excess skin to be an exciting and central part of the transformation process—the final step that makes their weight loss journey complete.
What Procedures are Used During Post-Weight Loss Surgery?
A number of different surgical procedures are commonly used to tighten the skin and improve body contours after substantial weight loss. Not every patient will require all of the procedures described below; how many surgeries you need will depend on how many areas of your body have been adversely affected by dramatic weight loss. If you carry most of your excess weight on your belly, for example, you may only need to have tummy tuck surgery (abdominoplasty). If your excess weight was proportioned evenly over your limbs, hips, stomach and chest, you may require an arm lift (brachioplasty), breast lift (mastopexy), thigh and buttock lift and tummy tuck, depending on your age, gender and skin elasticity. When you visit our fully accredited Oakville Clinic, Dr. Julie Khanna will carefully examine your physique and advise you on which of the following procedures are right for you:
Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
Tummy tuck surgery is one of the most essential procedures for the majority of post-weight loss patients. Tummy tuck surgery is used to remove loose skin and stretch marks from both the upper and lower stomach, sculpting a taut, lean belly. Liposuction is also sometimes incorporated into this procedure to remove any lingering deposits of belly fat (that have not responded to dietary changes). Medically, abdominoplasty is often required to heal damaged abdominal tissues: Sometimes, the weight of excess fat causes tears in the tissue that connects the lateral halves of the abdominal muscles. If these tears aren’t closed with sutures, the muscles remain weak and unable to support the abdominal cavity. This leads to pronounced stomach protrusion and a range of potential health issues, such as a ventral hernia and chronic lower back pain. Tummy tuck surgery is therefore recommended for reasons of both wellness and cosmetic rejuvenation.
Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
During an arm lift, liposuction is generally used to remove any excess fat that remains on the upper arms after weight loss. This issue is especially prevalent in female patients because the hormone estrogen can cause deposits of stubborn fat to form on the upper arms and chest. (Note that liposuction can also be used to remove under-arm fat in order to prevent the formation of “bra rolls” and improve comfort.) After this fat has been removed, Dr. Khanna makes an incision along the inside of the arm and carefully removes any extra skin that’s present. Having an arm lift can reduce chafing and allow you to sculpt more visible muscle tone.
Visit our before and after photo gallery to view real patient results at ICLS.View Photos
Thigh and Buttock Lift
The thigh and buttock lift corrects loose, sagging skin on the upper legs and buttocks. Thigh lift incisions are made high up over the hips (near the bikini line) so that any resulting scar tissue can easily be hidden by underwear or a bathing suit. Then, the skin is draped carefully over the thighs and buttocks so that it forms firmer, smoother contours. Finally, excess skin is removed and sutures are placed to facilitate healing.
Patients who wish to increase the volume of their buttocks after dramatic weight loss may also be given the option of having a Brazilian butt lift. BBL surgery involves the transfer of fat from a donor site (usually the abdomen or thighs) to the buttocks in order to create fuller curves.
Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
Breast lift surgery is used to remove loose skin and tissue from the breasts, thereby making them rounder and perkier. Because the breasts often shrink in size with weight loss, most women who have lost in excess of 30 pounds require a mastopexy.
If you would like to restore lost breast volume, you can opt to combine your mastopexy with breast augmentation surgery. Dr. Khanna can use breast implants or a fat transfer to improve the size and shape of the breasts.
It is not uncommon to have these reconstructive body lift surgeries performed in stages. Taking this approach reduces stress on the body and greatly lowers the risk of surgical complications. However, it’s important to realize the level of commitment required to have multiple surgical procedures: After each procedure, you will need to rest at home for at least two weeks. You will also need to avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for one to two months after every procedure you have. If you’re using exercise to help you maintain a healthy weight, we recommend working with a nutritionist and a personal trainer to find diet and fitness strategies that will accommodate your surgical plan.
Arrange a Post-Dramatic Weight Loss Surgery Consultation in Toronto
Post-weight loss surgery can improve your comfort, increase your confidence and help you sculpt the body you’ve earned. Research has also shown that patients who have post-weight loss plastic surgery are more likely to maintain their weight loss than patients who don’t have any cosmetic surgery.
To find out if dramatic weight loss surgery is right for you, please contact the knowledgeable staff at our Oakville office, between Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario. If you are ready to schedule a consultation, Dr. Julie Khanna is able to provide her patients with all of the information that they will need to make the most informed decision. Contact ICLS via email or by phone at (905) 842-2262 to begin the intake process.