If you’ve had weight loss surgery, your doctor may suggest you consider body contouring as a next step. Body contouring removes excess skin that remains after losing a lot of weight, further helping to shape your “new” body.
Body contouring after weight loss surgery can be done on your lower body (abdominoplasty or tummy tuck, lower body lift), upper body (breast lift, back lift) or extremities (arm, thigh and buttocks). Depending on the extent of body contouring you need, you may need one or several procedures.
As someone who just went through one surgery, you may be hesitant to do yet another round. Maybe you’re not sure whether the hassles of another surgery worth your while. Or perhaps you’re wondering if body contouring has other benefits beyond improving your appearance.
Short-Term Benefits of Body Contouring
As you can imagine, the immediate benefits of body contouring after weight loss surgery are better appearance and further weight loss from shedding the excess skin. But did you know that excess skin can cause medical problems that extend far beyond physical appearance?
Excess skin folds on your body can cause discomfort and hygiene concerns, especially in the groin area. It’s difficult to keep these areas clean. Sweating in these skin folds may lead to skin irritation such as rash, swelling or ulcers. If this continues, the area may develop an infection.
Excess skin in various areas of your body can negatively impact your life even during routine daily activities like walking and during sexual activity. Removing excess skin can help improve your quality of life.
Long-Term Benefits of Body Contouring
Several studies found that body contouring may have physical and psychological benefits in the long run:
- Possibility to continue losing more weight. One study shows that five years after post-weight loss body contouring, patients lost more weight than those who only did weight loss surgery. They also had lower body mass index.
- Reduce weight regain. Another study shows that patients who went through body contouring gained around one pound per year in the first two years. Those who only did weight loss surgery gained more than three pounds. At seven years, the body contouring patients gained 12 pounds, while the other group gained more than 40 pounds.
- Remain satisfied with your appearance. One study shows that satisfaction with new appearance continued to improve one year after body contouring. In this study, patients who had body contouring also had better body image at 6 and 12 months after their procedures.
Over to You
Body contouring after weight loss surgery may help you avoid health problems in the short-term, and may also help maintain your weight loss and improve your body image in the long run.
Like any other plastic surgery procedure, body contouring carries some risks. Discuss with your surgeon if you should have body contouring after weight loss surgery to make sure you get the optimal results.
Ida Darmawan is a freelance health and science writer for hire, specializing in immune-related diseases, cancer and surgery. She helps healthcare professionals grow their practice through customized contents that educate, engage and convert. When she is not writing, she likes to play with her two dogs and eat chocolate and ice cream.