How Long After Bariatric Surgery Should Someone Wait Until Having Body Contouring Surgery?
The extreme weight loss achieved with bariatric surgery may leave a quantity of excess hanging skin that would benefit from removal. The question is: When is the best time to undergo surgery to remove excess skin and tissue?
Following a gastric sleeve, bypass or band procedure there may be an initial dramatic drop in your weight. In time, the weight loss slows down and will eventually plateau. It is recommended that patients wait a full year following the gastric bypass or any other bariatric procedure before undergoing body contouring.
After the plateau: Body contouring.
It typically takes about one year (although this varies slightly, person to person) for the weight loss to plateau. Some patients may even experience a slight increase in weight at one year, which will stabilize two or three months later.
When exercise is limited due to excess skin
In some instances, the weight loss may plateau prematurely because of a hanging skin and tissue on the lower abdomen (pannus) that interferes with exercise or other activities that trigger increased weight loss. In these cases, a panniculectomy may be performed. Once the target weight is achieved, you can undergo a more comprehensive aesthetic body contouring procedure.
Body contouring is a customized procedure, geared to remove excess hanging skin left after a dramatic loss of weight. The excess skin can be present on many areas of your body, including:
• Abdomen (an apron-like quantity of skin and tissue)
• Upper arms (“bat wings”)
• Love handles
If you are tired of living with the excess skin, we understand! We advise you to meet with us about ten months after your bariatric surgery so we can evaluate your condition and advise you of what procedures would be beneficial.
How does it work?
You may have a single body contouring procedure or require a staged approach for addressing multiple areas. The treatment is performed while you are under general anesthesia. The excess skin and fat will be surgically removed to create a more attractive body shape. The procedures range from some patients requiring an extended tummy tuck with tightening of the loosened abdominal muscle structure, to others having a circumferential body lift to address the excess posterior trunk skin. Other options typically performed are a breast lift to reshape and lift the breasts so they appear youthful and natural and arm or thigh lifts to address the significant skin excess of the extremities.
All surgeries have risks, but at the Plastic Surgery Institute of Washington, your body contouring procedure will be performed by arguably one of the best surgeons in the region, and with the most stringent health and safety protocols. We carefully monitor our patients with advanced, high-tech equipment during surgery, and monitor their healing in the days, weeks and months following surgery.