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Surgery After Massive Weight Loss

If you have lost a significant amount of weight — 100 pounds or more — you may have loose, sagging skin on various parts of your body. This is common in those who have undergone bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, or gastric banding surgery, but it also happens when weight loss is achieved through diet and exercise. If you are considering surgery after massive weight loss and live in South Jersey or along the shore, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Bidic and Dr. Vinay Gundlapalli of American Surgical Arts can greatly improve the appearance of your skin and the shape of your body.

If you are considering body contouring surgery such as liposuction or a tummy tuck after weight loss in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, choose a surgeon with experience and results that exceed your expectations. Request your consultation online, or call (856) 362-8898 to schedule your appointment.

A Consultation That's All About You

One Patient's Experience With Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Surgery after massive weight loss involves a number of body contouring procedures. At American Surgical Arts in New Jersey, these include tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), face and neck liftbreast lift (sometimes combined with breast augmentation), arm lift (brachioplasty), buttock lift, and lower body lift (buttocks, hips, and thighs). The lower body lift after weight loss is a signature procedure of our surgeons.

The surgeon will listen to your concerns and goals, assess your aesthetic and physical needs, and develop a thorough plan with the procedures that will give you the appearance you desire. To gain a clearer understanding of the procedure and results, patients can view many pre- and post-operative photos of satisfied patients and speak with other patients who have had these procedures.

Your Body Contouring Procedure

Body contouring after massive weight loss often involves several stages, depending on the procedure or procedures you and the surgeon determine are best for you. In general, these surgeries involve removing excess skin and lifting and tightening remaining tissues. Incisions are usually made in natural folds or creases so that they are well-concealed. Most post-bariatric cosmetic surgery procedures require general anesthesia, and they often require an overnight stay.

What Is a Lower Body Lift?

Dr. Bidic specializes in lower body lifts for men and women who have excess skin after losing a significant amount of weight. It is a complicated procedure that requires a plastic surgeon with Dr. Bidic's experience to get the desired results. Candidates for this procedure should be at a stable weight for several months before undergoing surgery.

The benefits of a lower body lift include that it addresses the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Dr. Bidic customizes each lower body lift to meet the individual patient's needs, but the procedure generally includes the steps listed below:

  • The surgeon makes a circumferential incision. Essentially, this is a tummy tuck incision that extends around the lower torso. The apron of excess skin and fat below the incision is removed.
  • Tissue is repositioned and tightened, followed by pulling up the skin of the buttocks and thighs. Patients are lying on their side or face-down during this portion of the procedure.
  • To address the abdominal area and front of the thighs, the surgeon performs a tummy tuck if needed. The other option is an inner thigh lift, which includes a vertical incision. These decisions are made during the consultation. The surgeon closes incisions in multiple layers to support the lifted skin and tissue.

Dr. Bidic may use liposuction during the lower body lift to improve the contours and remove excess fat. Incisions are made as inconspicuous as possible and are usually below the bikini line. Surgical drains remove fluid from within the incisions during the early stages of the recovery and compression garments help control swelling and support the repositioned tissue and skin.

What Is an Upper Arm Lift?

Another area that is often left with loose skin after losing a significant amount of weight is the upper arms. The excess skin can resemble "bat wings" when holding your arms straight out, earning this condition that unappealing nickname. Men and women who believed they would have more clothing choices after losing weight are often self-conscious about the appearance of their upper arms and avoid sleeveless clothing and swimwear.

An upper arm lift, also called brachioplasty, results in toned arms by surgically removing excess skin. The plastic surgeon makes incisions that extend down the inside of the arm from the area of the armpit to the elbow. The surgeon makes incisions as short and inconspicuous as possible, depending on your needs.

Advanced 3D imaging lets you see the possibilities.

We use VECTRA to help evaluate your needs and better assess the expectations that are possible with surgery. You and Dr. Bidic or Dr. Gundlapalli will be able to review the 3D outcomes for the same procedure you seek.

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What to Expect After Surgery

Recovering from body contouring surgery requires preparation prior to the surgery and diligently following the postoperative instructions the doctor provides. The duration of the healing process depends on the extent of surgery involved. For example, a patient who undergoes multiple body contouring procedures, such as a tummy tuck with upper arm and breast lifts, may need to remain in the hospital for a couple of days after the procedure.

In all cases of extensive body contouring, patients require rest and should avoid any strenuous activity for several weeks. That doesn't mean patients should remain completely bed-ridden throughout the day, though. Getting up occasionally and gently moving around is a good idea to decrease the chances of complications such as blood clots.

After body contouring to remove loose skin, patients typically experience significant improvements in the way they look and the way they feel, although everyone is different. With your newly streamlined appearance, you may enjoy more confidence and feel more comfortable in and out of clothing.

The Cost of Surgery After Weight Loss

Surgery after weight loss costs vary depending on the type and extent of the procedures performed. If a number of procedures are performed at the same time, rather than separately, the costs will be lower because many of the fees related to surgery are paid only once. That includes:

  • Anesthesiologist fee
  • Operating room fee
  • Medications

Safety is the primary concern, however, when scheduling your body contouring procedure. In many cases, the surgeon recommends staging the body contouring procedures associated with surgery after weight loss because it's a safer treatment plan.

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