While we value each and every one of our patients, people who come to our practice after achieving significant weight loss can be some of the most inspiring. By coupling cosmetic surgery procedures with losing a lot of weight, this patient group can truly transform both their body shape and their outlook on life.
When you come in for a consultation, you’ll have a physical exam and we’ll spend plenty of time discussing your options and providing recommendations. Every body is different, and unsurprisingly, the exact needs of one post-weight-loss patient to the next can vary considerably. Some have a good deal of sagging skin in areas like their abdomen and thighs. Others still have a few residual pockets of unwanted fat.
The good news is that several different body contouring options can be used to customize your results and help you achieve the body shape you envisioned when you first started your weight loss journey. Let’s take a quick look at each one so you have a better idea of which procedures could help you the most.
Also known as a total body lift or belt lipectomy, this procedure focuses on reshaping the midsection. It differs from a tummy tuck in that the incision extends from the abdomen all the way around the body (roughly where a belt would sit, hence the name).
Through this 360 degree incision, your surgeon is able to do several things. First off, they can reach and repair loose muscle, usually in the abdominal area. This muscle can become extended due to fat accumulation or prior pregnancies. Second, they can remove excess residual fat and tissue in the midsection. Lastly, they can trim the skin so that it can be pulled tight and lifted. The buttock is lifted as well to help with pinching skin when sitting down.
The net effect of this surgery is a remarkably more toned and tightened midsection with an improved look and increased patient comfort.
Weight loss can dramatically affect the breasts. It may be a relief to feel your breasts shrink in size as the weight comes off, but in many cases, women are unhappy with the drooping, deflated appearance of their breasts once they reach their weight loss goal.
A breast lift is one of the more common procedures performed for women who have lost a lot of weight. If your breasts are still larger than you would prefer after weight loss, a breast reduction can be performed to both reduce the size and improve the position of the breasts. On the flip side, if you would like to add back a little volume, breast implants can be placed during the breast lift – a procedure known as mastopexy augmentation.
Unless you plan to wear long-sleeve shirts all year long, your arms are one area that will be on display to others. Loose skin on the arms after weight loss can be a major source of self-consciousness. That’s where an arm lift can help. Through an incision hidden on the inside of the upper arm, your surgeon removes tissue and tightens the skin to create a more toned contour. Imagine how good it would feel to show off your arms with confidence while at the pool, the beach, or just out and about on a warm summer day!
When you lose weight in your hips and thighs, it can lead to sagging skin that is particularly uncomfortable as you walk and exercise. A thigh lift can tighten the skin on the inner and outer thighs for an improved shape, but more importantly it can give you back the freedom to move easily and comfortably. This procedure doesn’t get as much press as some other body contouring options, but it can have a very positive impact on your look and your lifestyle.
You may be thinking, “I already lost weight, why would I need liposuction?” The reality for many post-weight-loss patients is that some stubborn pockets of fat will remain even when you’ve hit your goal weight. Love handles, bra rolls and abdominal fat are often still a problem for the patients we see. Thankfully, it is easy to remove these unwanted lumps and bumps with liposuction while performing other body contouring procedures.
With so many options for the post-weight-loss patient, it might feel like it’s hard to know exactly what you need. But don’t stress. During your consultation, your cosmetic surgeon can walk you through each option and provide an expert opinion on the combination of procedures that will work best.
Swetnam Cosmetic Surgery is conveniently located in Springdale and he serves all of Northwest Arkansas. Dr. Jeffrey Swetnam and Dr. Jason Stubbs offer a full range of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.