Losing weight is a tremendous accomplishment. However, many people who have lost a significant amount of weight are left with loose, excess skin and bothersome stretch marks. Whether weight loss is achieved through bariatric surgery, dieting and exercise, or after pregnancy, the excess skin often leads to difficulty wearing clothes and rashes.
Body contouring procedures are often extensive in nature, particularly when massive weight loss has occurred. Dr. Lim and Dr. Weintraub both evaluate every patient, and they perform all operations together as a team. With these procedures, Duet Plastic Surgery helps people from all over the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond to complete their weight loss journeys and enjoy their new bodies to the fullest.
Who is a Good Candidate for Body Contouring?
People who have successfully lost weight and maintained their weight loss through a healthy lifestyle are good candidates for body contouring procedures. The surgeons of Duet Plastic Surgery offer multiple procedures to remove excess skin after weight loss. These procedures are designed to sculpt the body and tighten the skin once the goal weight has been achieved and maintained.
After losing weight, loose skin on the underside of the arm frequently occurs. People are able to tone their muscles with exercise, but are unable to tighten the skin that hangs from the arms. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a procedure that removes excess skin and some fat in order to create a toned appearance in the arm. The scar ends up along the upper, inner arm, easily hidden when the arms are at rest along your side.
The procedure takes about 2 hours, and during your recovery you will wear a compression garment for several weeks to minimize swelling. You will likely wear a garment for several weeks after your operation to minimize swelling. As an alternative to or in conjunction with an arm lift, liposuction may be considered if the skin quality of the arms is good but fat remains after weight loss.
Breast Lift & Augmentation
Many women notice their breasts droop after losing weight. A breast lift reshapes the breasts to a more youthful, rounded shape and also repositions the breast and nipple to a more natural position.
There are several different ways to perform a breast lift, depending on the extent that the breast droops. A subtle breast elevation can be done simply with an incision around the nipple/areola, while a more extensive lift requires a vertical incision and possibly an "anchor" type incision.
In addition to the breasts sagging, weight loss often causes women to lose fullness in their breasts, particularly in the upper portion. In these situations, a breast lift can be combined with an augmentation. Breast implants can help bring fullness to the upper portions of the breasts and shape them, restoring their youthful appearance.
Abdominoplasty, or "tummy tuck", is a procedure that removes the excess skin and fat (including stretch marks) of the lower abdomen, leaving a scar that lies low and hides easily beneath underwear or swimsuits.
A variation is the "fleur-de-lis" abdominoplasty, which uses an additional vertical scar to enhance and contour the entire abdominal and trunk area.
The abdominal muscles are often tightened to help narrow the waistline. Liposuction is added when appropriate to further sculpt the abdomen and flanks.
The inner thighs are an area commonly affected by weight loss, especially if a significant amount of weight was lost. Skin loses its elasticity with age, gravity and with changes in weight.
A thigh lift removes the excess inner thigh skin and fat, improving the contour and shape of the thighs. Liposuction can sometimes be performed as well to further sculpt the thighs.
Most patients find that they fit into their clothes more comfortably after a thigh lift.
Lower Body Lift
People who have lost significant amounts of weight are often surprised at the profound effects on their skin. Skin that has been stretched by weight gain and weight loss has poor tone and elasticity, causing it to sag. Gravity and age also contribute to the problem, resulting in loose, excess skin of the lower body.
A lower body lift is an extensive procedure consisting of an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), outer thigh lift and buttock lift. The lower body lift removes the excess skin from the lower body, including the abdomen, hips, outer thighs and buttocks, to improve contour and shape. The abdominal wall is tightened to contour the waist, and liposuction is typically used as well to further sculpt the lower body.
Procedure & Recovery
All of these procedures can help restore your contour after weight loss. Because each patient is unique and requires a personalized approach to help achieve his or her goals, a carefully tailored plastic surgical plan is created for you at your consultation at Duet with Dr. Lim and Dr. Weintraub. Many of our weight-loss patients have several problem areas they wish to address with surgery, and our unique two-surgeon team approach at Duet allows our patients to take care of multiple procedures with a single surgery safely.
Although the scars will always be present, they fade over time and in the eyes of our weight loss patients, are a happy tradeoff for the banished folds of skin. After their body contouring procedures, Duet's weight loss patients notice an incredible improvement not only in their shape but also their lifestyle, comfort, and confidence.