Bariatric and Body Contouring Surgery
Obesity has become a major health issue and affects millions of people putting them at risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stokes, and degenerative joint diseases and a contributing risk factor for a slew of other disease states. Ultimately to win the battle of obesity life style changes must take place and there is no easy fix. For many people weight loss surgery has provided new opportunities to achieve success. Bariatric procedures include gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, lap-band, or Orbera Intragastric Balloon System or other non-surgical means. No matter which treatment modality incorporated to encourage significant weight loss (one hundred pounds or more) this can be a game changer greatly improving your health with a whole new outlook on life. However despite feeling better your results are tempered by the fact that you have a new set of body deformities as a result of deflation of your previously overweight skin resulting in hanging tissue of the arms, breast, back, abdomen, flanks and legs as well as the face. Put it another way you won the war of obesity but you become a prisoner of your own skin excess which is cumbersome making it difficult to wear clothing easily and leads to poor self- esteem. Many patients feel they were ill prepared for this resultant body deformities.
The Lucas Center, Plastic Surgery, is well versed and very experienced in treating the massive weight loss patient. Our goal is to provide transformational surgeries to sculpt your body and enhance self- esteem giving patients an opportunity to reward themselves for all their hard work in achieving their weight loss goals.
With the growing popularity of bariatric, or bypass, surgery as a treatment for obesity, body contouring after significant weight loss has become a focus of Dr. Lucas’ practice. Dr. Lucas continues to develop an increased interest in this highly specialized field of plastic surgery, he now dedicates a significant portion of his practice to this complex, challenging, and extremely rewarding group of patients.
Support from others going through the same thing is extremely important. Our goal is to assist you as you complete and maintain your weight loss and the new challenges you will encounter. Our focus is to utilize aesthetic surgical principles to correct each anatomic deformity to maximize your new post weight loss appearance. Aesthetic surgery is not just for the rich and famous. It’s available to almost everyone who desires to enhance the body image in the United States. Over 14 million cosmetic surgical procedures are done per year in the U.S with an average of a 5% increase per year.
Insurance will not cover the types of extensive procedures used to transform your body. There simply does not exist codes that accurately reflect the complexity of the procedures we provide therefore we do not even attempt to utilize insurance on these cases. We want to provide you the best outcomes and not be saddled by insurance company’s narrowly defined procedures limiting your results. Also I am a strong believer in patients being responsible for the cost of their procedures because it continues to motivate patient’s compliance with their new lifestyle changes and if someone has invested a great deal in their future they will be less likely to backslide on their results.
Body Contouring: We believe body contouring should be considered an essential part of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery procedures create a tool for fast massive weight loss in morbid obese patients. Unfortunately many patients regain much of their body weight in the years after gastric procedures, putting them back at increased risk of obesity-related health problems.
A recent study in Plastic and reconstructive Surgery reported significant improvements in quality of life for patients who underwent body contouring after gastric procedures. The new study shows that patients who have body contouring surgery are more likely to keep the weight off. This provides long term weight control and bariatric surgery is considered more effective from the stand point of reducing obesity-related health risks if followed by body contouring.
Either you accept the reality of loose, hanging, excess skin or you look for a plastic surgeon to fix it. These face and body contouring procedures can be more complicated that even the initial bariatric surgery, and require a thoroughly trained and board certified plastic surgeon. The surgeon must not only be familiar with these procedures but qualified to perform them, and whose practice is geared to your special needs.
Dr. Lucas, a plastic surgeon in Knoxville, TN is committed to helping people feel good “about the skin they are in”. He offers an extensive educational consultation for all bariatric patients seeking body contouring. It is our goal to ensure that you have an adequate understanding of the issues involved so that you are able to make a fully informed decision. The consult time will provide you with individualized guidance to help you achieve the appearance you want. If you would like detailed information about any of these procedures please visit our website or schedule a consult appointment today.
Dr. Lucas can help you realize the new shape that is hidden beneath the excess skin that remains after your goal weight is achieved. He can discuss how he will customize the latest techniques in body contouring to maximize your results.
Dr. Lucas is uniquely qualified to help bariatric patients. He has found new techniques for bariatric patients and therefore he treats them differently when performing body contouring. With significant weight loss over a relatively short period of time, the remaining skin often does not retain the elastic qualities necessary to “shrink” to your underlying shape.
Where to begin????
Circumferential Lower Body lift with gluteal enhancement.
This is first procedure I routinely begin with is the Circumferential lower body lift with gluteal augmentation from vascularized flaps from the flank region. This is the Key stone area of the body and it allows me, once this is corrected to make better aesthetic judgements about the breasts and legs. This procedure is actually three distinct operations performed at the same time; a full tummy tuck with pelvic restoration, flank-plasty with lateral thigh repositioning, and gluteal augmentation utilizing the skin of the muffin top and positioning the tissue into the gluteal region to enhance the buttock. Despite the long surgical time and the complex number of procedures performed I almost always send the patient home that night and they actually do much better than staying in the hospital. All incisions are closed deeply so no sutures need to be removed, there are four drains which stay around a week, we utilize a pain pump with a long acting local anesthetic to block pain response and everyone get a blood thinner for five days to prevent blood clots. I generally inform patients it takes around two weeks to feeling better. This operation is a life changing event and everyone is universally very happy.
Compare this to a Panniculectomy which sometimes insurance will cover and may even be performed by a bariatric surgeon. This procedure only removes excess tissue of the lower abdomen it does not restore the pelvis with its loose hanging excess skin, it will not correct the abdominal wall laxity which will allow the abdomen to bulge, and there is no attempt to correct the muffin top flanks, the flat hanging buttock or the lateral thigh laxity. To sum it up it’s a two dimensional treatment of a three dimensional problem.
Upper body lift (bilateral brachioplasties with lateral chest wall reshaping, and breast rejuvenation)
The second stage is usually a combined upper arm and lateral chest wall contouring procedure (otherwise known as an extended brachioplasty) and is often blended with a breast lift with or without an implant. The brachioplasty is a one stage procedure with very few complication and patients love the results despite the long scar from the elbow to the armpit and extending down the posterior lateral chest. However, the breast is almost always a two stage procedure because the tissues after weight loss are very complicated with lots of unsupported hanging tissue that cannot be corrected in a one stage manner. Many times if the residual breast tissue is very thin it may require an implant to help create shape and volume during the second stage.
Medial thigh lift
The last stage of body contouring is typically the medial thigh lift. In most cases we perform aggressive liposuction in the area of the medial thigh, then resect the lose tissue left after the liposuction and the incision spans from the knee to the groin crease on the inner aspect of the leg. This allows us to transversely tighten the skin in this distribution giving a much smoother firmer leg. Just as in the arms the operation is not nearly is difficult to recover from and patients can be resuming fairly normal activities in a week. This can allow patients to feel comfortable in shorts, dresses and pants by unburdening them of their excess hanging skin.
With loss of weight in the face can lead to accentuation of the hanging neck and deflation of the central face giving an aged appearance. Even adults without massive weight loss will lose volume in their face contributing to increases in nasolabial folds and jowling. Techniques to restore the facial volume are available and neck and face lifts offer a wonderful means of correcting the massive weight loss facial deformity.
Obviously all of these concerns cannot be addressed simultaneously during one surgery. Dr. Lucas during your initial consultation will provide you the information of how he will proceed to provide the safest and most excellent opportunities for success.
As you consider plastic surgery, the most important decision you will make is selecting your surgeon. Our pledge to you is to provide the latest, state of the art cosmetic plastic surgery in a safe, compassionate and professional manner. Dr. Lucas is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specializing in Three-Dimensional Rejuvenation of the face and Body Contouring. Our goal is to provide you with the ultimate patient experience. Our well-trained staff will help you understand your procedure, our financial policies, the scheduling of your surgery, and your post-operative care.