Dramatic weight loss can be an incredible experience that boosts confidence and truly empowers a person. Unfortunately, large amounts of weight loss won’t always achieve the ideal body a person has in mind. Years of stretching the skin, combined with stubborn fat deposits that won’t budge, and even lax muscles can leave the post-weight loss body less toned and shapely than desired. Luckily, getting the pounds off is the hard part. The rest of the work is easy with the right body contouring procedure, or procedures, as determined by you and your plastic surgeon.
What Is Body Contouring?
The term body contouring is a general category that refers to procedures designed to add contour to various parts of the body. It’s basically an umbrella term that catches all of the surgeries that deal with techniques like fat removal, muscle tightening, and excess skin removal. These ideas are present in every type of body contouring surgery, making these procedures ideal for those who have just lost a large amount of weight and need help tightening up what’s left.
It may be a bit overwhelming to read about each type of procedure and decide which ones are the best for you, but that does not have to be your job. Through a consultation with a plastic surgeon, you can learn about each procedure and jointly create a customized approach to your body surgery. Whether you decide on one procedure on a specific trouble spot or you choose a shoulder to thigh overhaul, your surgeon can plan every detail with you so your desired results are realized.
Are You a Candidate for Body Contouring?
Many patients who come to body contouring for solutions have recently undergone a significant body change that has impacted certain areas. Weight loss is a large cause for body contouring, because weight is often lost from every part of the body, leaving that extra skin behind. Other reasons for body contouring surgeries include one or more pregnancies, general aging concerns, and even just dissatisfaction with one part of the body, like wings on the upper arm. In order to be a good candidate for any of the body contouring surgeries, you should be in good overall physical health, not smoke, have realistic goals for your surgery, and be informed of the procedure’s risks and benefits. Whether you choose to have just one surgery or many in one visit, it’s important that you meet these criteria in order to have a smooth surgery and successful recovery.
What Procedures Are Considered Body Contouring?
As mentioned already, body contouring includes many different surgeries, each tailored to a certain part of the body and designed for a specific goal. Your body contouring experience may include one or more of the following surgeries:
- A body lift is a surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the torso and upper legs. This complicated procedure takes 3-7 hours and involves up to 6 weeks of recovery time. Still, it is an ideal choice for those who have lost a significant amount of weight as it helps patients with loose, inelastic skin and stubborn fat in these areas.
- An arm lift surgery is designed to help with fat and excess skin collected on the upper part of the arm, which weight loss and lifting weights cannot help. Sometimes called ‘bat wings,’ this condition can easily be corrected with surgery to remove the excess skin and stubborn fat. The surgery takes 1-3 hours with a recovery of about two weeks, but the result is a pair of smooth, better toned arms without that shaky flab that no one likes.
- A tummy tuck specifically addresses the stretched skin, loose muscles, and excess fat deposits concentrated in the abdomen. These are very common following pregnancy, often included as part of the Mommy Makeover procedure. A tummy tuck creates a flatter abdomen and more pleasing shape. The procedure takes about 2-5 hours and recovery times will vary based on the extent of the surgery.
- Liposuction is a little bit different from the other body contouring procedures because it can be used anywhere to achieve a sleeker contour, often in conjunction with other surgeries. This procedure treats excess fat deposits that diet and exercise leave behind, often in places like the abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, upper arms, buttocks, knees, cheeks, chin , and neck. The duration of the surgery and your recovery time will depend greatly on how much liposuction is required and where.
Where Can I Plan a Body Contouring Surgery?
Body contouring procedures can offer many wonderful benefits following a gastric bypass surgery or other dramatic weight loss experience. If you have been frustrated with your post-weight loss body, it’s time to find the right plastic surgeon to answer any questions you may have about finding the tone and contour you desire. Contact the office of Dr. Douglass S. Steinbrech, a fully trained plastic surgeon Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, to book your consultation today. He will be happy to walk you through what you should expect from a body lift procedure or any other surgery that might address your areas of concern. A specialist in Minimally Invasive Aesthetics, he incorporates this philosophy into all of his surgical and nonsurgical procedures, while aiming to get you the best results possible. Dr. Steinbrech has been selected by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. Contact his office, located at 60 East 56th Street, Suite 3A, in New York City, by calling (212) 750-0070.