After Weight Loss Surgery
Post Bariatric Procedures Overview
After massive weight loss, exercise cannot always achieve results for individuals who have loose, sagging skin and uneven contours. After weight loss surgery, significant and rapid fluctuations in weight contribute to poor tissue elasticity and can result in sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, thighs and loose upper arms. We invite you to come into our Carmel practice located just north of Indianapolis to discuss your surgical options.
There are a variety of surgical options after weight loss in Indianapolis and Carmel that can provide you with a firmer, more youthful-looking body contour including, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), brachioplasty (arm lift), thigh lift, mastopexy (breast lift), breast reduction and liposuction. These procedures reduce excess fat and skin resulting in smoother skin and contours. These physical changes to the body can improve your body image and enhance self-confidence. Yet another surgical option to provide a firmer more youthful body contour is a body lift.
Which procedure after weight loss surgery is right for me?
Abdominoplasty -If you are experiencing a loose, weak, or protruding abdomen that diet and exercise alone cannot address and are ready for an abdomen that better aligns with your body weight and type after weight loss surgery, consider a tummy tuck to help you achieve your goals. An abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck, removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen to help you achieve the flat and toned stomach you desire. The procedure can correct one or more of the following conditions:
- Localized fat
- Loose skin and tissue
- Laxity of abdominal muscles
It should be noted that an abdominoplasty is entirely cosmetic and not covered by insurance. However, for patients following bariatric surgery and massive weight loss, a panniculectomy may be covered by insurance if deemed medically necessary and covered by your policy. A pannniculectomy is just the removal an abdominal pannus or lower apron of abdominal skin beneath the belly button. There is no muscle tightening involved with a panniculectomy and the procedure does not extend above the umbilicus.
Brachioplasty- Many individuals are unhappy when the underside of their upper arms develops sagging, droopy skin as a result of massive or rapid weight loss. Brachioplasty or arm lift can help. An arm lift reduces excess skin and underlying fat that occurs between the underarm region and the elbow, reshaping the arm to result in smoother skin with more normal contours. The incision may extend from the underarm to the elbow or be more limited in length. Excess skin and fat are removed. Liposuction may also be utilized to give the upper arm a better contour. Again, this procedure is entirely cosmetic and not covered by insurance.
Thigh lift- Massive, rapid weight loss can lead to saggy thighs or irregular contours of the thighs and lower body. A surgical thigh lift can help your legs attain a firmer, more youthful appearance. A thigh lift is a surgical procedure that treats the inner (medial) thighs, the outer (lateral) thighs, or both. A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by repositioning underlying supportive structures and by removing excess skin. Liposuction is commonly performed in combination with a thigh lift to reduce fat that contributes to disproportionate body contours. This procedure is entirely cosmetic and not covered by insurance.
Mastopexy- Breasts that have lost their firm, uplifted contours after bariatric surgery can affect a woman's self-image and confidence. A breast lift raises the breast and improves breast shape without significantly altering the breast volume. The surgical procedure is approached through a variety of incision patterns and techniques. The appropriate technique for you is based on your breast size and shape, the size and position of the areola, the degree of sagging present, and your skin quality and elasticity. This procedure is entirely cosmetic.
Breast Reduction- The goal of a breast reduction is to reduce the size of large, pendulous breasts that are disproportionate to a woman's body and can cause physical pain. The surgery improves size, shape and the associated conditions of large breasts that include:
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Shoulder grooving from bra straps
- Restricted physical activity due to breast size
- Skin irritations beneath the breasts
This procedure, if deemed medically necessary, may be covered by your health insurance. The pre-determination process may require proof of the above conditions and evidence conservative therapy has failed. Photos may be required as well.
Liposuction- After weight loss surgery in Indianapolis and elsewhere, some individuals still have a body with disproportionate contours due to localized fat deposits. Liposuction can slim or reshape specific areas of the body by removing localized or regional excess fat deposits. Our surgeons perform tumescent liposuction which is injecting the area with a saline solution before removing the fat and UAL, or ultrasound assisted liposuction, which consists of liquefying the fat with energy from sound waves before suctioning the area. Liposuction can be performed on multiple areas at the same time or in combination with another procedure.
Body Lift- A body lift is surgery performed to correct excess loose and sagging skin and irregular contours of the:
- Abdominal area, locally or extending around the sides and into the lower back area
- Buttocks, that may be low, flat or shaped unevenly
- Groin that may sag into the inner thigh
- Thigh, including the inner, outer, or posterior thigh, or circumferentially
Excess sagging fat and skin is removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. Body lifts are not intended strictly for the removal of excess fat. Liposuction alone can remove excess fat deposits where skin has good elasticity and is able to naturally conform to new body contours. In cases where skin elasticity is poor, a combination of liposuction and body lift techniques may be recommended. Good candidates for a body lift are:
- Individuals with significant soft tissue looseness in multiple body areas
- Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for body contouring
There is no other method of body contouring that can restore global body shape, skin appearance, and skin tone as effectively as a body lift. Body lifts are cosmetic surgical procedures and they require incisions; in some cases, incisions may be extensive.
For patients after weight loss surgery in Indianapolis and elsewhere, other body contouring procedures may be performed separately or in the same surgical session as a body lift, including liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), mastopexy (breast lift), or breast reduction. However, not all patients are good candidates for combined procedures.
Learn More about After Weight Loss Surgery
Contact us to schedule a consultation after weight loss surgery. Carmel Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons provides a supportive environment in which you can feel at ease to discuss your goals. Our physicians, Dr. Elizabeth Grasee and Dr. Debra Bergman, will educate you further on the procedure, evaluate your case, and help you decide the best course of action to achieve your desired outcome. We are committed to guiding you towards a solution that aligns with your personal preferences and maintains your health.