Post Weight Loss Procedures Washington DC
Post Weight Loss – Overview
A subspecialty of our practice is body contouring following massive weight loss. Both women and men experience an overall improvement in health as a benefit of losing more than 100 pounds of excess weight either from bariatric surgery (gastric bypass and lap banding procedures) or from diet and exercise alone. However, these patients are left with significant amounts of excess skin that hangs in a dependent fashion and can affect the entire body beginning with the face and neck region and extending all the way down to the knees.
While these patients may be healthier and on less or no medications, they still feel as if they are dealing with the stigma of being morbidly obese because of the redundant skin that persists. Many believe they are caught between who they were when they were overweight and who they envisioned they would be following their massive weight loss. This is where plastic surgery can play a dramatic role in the lives of these women and men.
For patients who have undergone massive weight loss, the excess skin needs to be removed and the underlying tissues tightened in order to provide for a significant result. The trade off are scars, but as long as the contouring is improved, this is an acceptable substitution. However, it is important to understand is that no matter how tight the skin is made initially, some skin relaxation will occur. This is because the skin has lost its normal elasticity due to the previous morbid obesity.
It is common for patients to want to have several areas addressed when they undergo body contouring procedures. Typically, several procedures can be combined at a single surgery. During the initial consultation, it is important for the patient and the surgeon to develop an individualized game plan to achieve the desired end result. Creating realistic expectations is an important additional goal of this first consultation as well as subsequent meetings.
For patients who are considering body contouring procedures, it is recommended to wait until their weight loss has stabilized. Occasionally, patients have an initial consultation before they reach their target weight in order to gain an understanding of the types of procedures available, the costs involved, and the typical recovery periods, so they can plan well in advance of their actual body contouring surgery.