After undergoing bariatric surgery, many people find initial success in losing weight before eventually plateauing in their weight loss and noticing an increased amount of excess, stretched skin. This typically happens around 12-15 months after starting your weight loss journey and can feel like a terrible punishment after making the very personal decision to better your body with bariatric surgery.
Luckily, step 2 in your journey to a healthier life can help with this feeling, and that is… consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon on your body goals.
Deciding if Post-Bariatric Plastic Surgery is Right for You
Many people turn to post-bariatric plastic surgery because it helps them feel even more comfortable in their bodies and enjoy the long-lasting confidence they deserve.
The goal of post-bariatric plastic surgery is to reshape and remove excess skin. The location and amount of excess skin following weight loss varies from patient to patient. For instance, patients who lose more weight will likely have more loose skin.
For any post-weight-loss procedure to be successful, Dr. Lucas recommends being as close as possible to your ideal weight. Once reached, stability in your weight will also be an important factor in achieving and maintaining the best results possible. Significant weight fluctuations after post-bariatric plastic surgery can significantly reduce the effectiveness of any cosmetic or surgical procedure and is something that Dr. Lucas will discuss with you prior to any procedure.
Knowing Your Options
There are many different plastic surgery procedures that can remove and/or reshape excess skin following weight loss. Some of the most commonly sought out procedures are:
Lower Body Lift
Body lifts can positively enhance several different areas on the body. During the procedure, Dr. Lucas removes excess skin from the abdomen before precisely and artistically adjusting the skin around your waist, hips, buttock, and thighs to create the appearance you’re looking for.
For bariatric surgery patients, a lower body lift can be one of the best options for improving the amount of excess skin around common “trouble spots,” such as the thighs and buttock. This procedure is a combination of an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), a mons lift (vaginal rejuvenation), and thigh and buttock lift. Combined, these procedures are done to tighten the muscles in your abdominal walls, reduce your amount of excess skin post-bariatric surgery, and transform your body into your desired figure.
Another great option for post-bariatric plastic surgery is an abdominoplasty (otherwise known as a tummy tuck). This can occur during a body lift or as a stand-alone procedure, and is extremely effective in removing or improving loose skin, excessive fat, and stretch marks. During a tummy tuck, Dr. Lucas also tightens the abdominal wall, in addition to removing excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen (a procedure called a panniculectomy). Many surgeons choose to only perform a panniculectomy and opt not to tighten the abdominal wall. However, Dr. Lucas believes the most aesthetically-pleasing and natural-looking results come from extra support to your mid-section and that going the extra mile is what separates satisfied patients from truly delighted, confident patients.
To rejuvenate the chest region and minimize excess weight or skin left post-bariatric surgery, a breast augmentation or upper body lift (which includes a breast lift) are great options. These procedures involve removing extra skin and tissue, repositioning the breasts, lifting the upper arms, and tightening the chest wall. The goal of these two procedures is to create an all-around improved appearance of the chest region.
With a breast augmentation or lift, it’s important to take time to consult with your plastic surgeon about what’s best for your body. Dr. Lucas may recommend the use of implants during your procedure to enhance the shape and size of the breasts, or he may recommend not to use implants at all.
At The Lucas Center, Dr. Lucas and his team utilize an advanced, precise technique called Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL) to perfect their patients bodies. This unique technique produces much smoother results than traditional liposuction by using rapid, consistent movements to target and remove excess fat under the skin.
However, it’s important for bariatric surgery patients to know that Dr. Lucas doesn’t recommend liposuction as a stand-alone procedure post-massive weight loss. Because liposuction is used to remove excess fat and not to establish tighter skin, he instead uses it as a tool for precise shaping and added toning of trouble areas on the body. This little bit of extra effort goes a long way by targeting exact areas patients want to improve and providing an all-around proportional look.
Choosing The Lucas Center
At The Lucas Center, we understand that post-bariatric surgery patients can feel like a prisoner in their own skin. If you’ve successfully lost weight but still feel hampered down by excess skin, a post-bariatric plastic surgery procedure may be right for you.
If you’re spending even a minute of your day feeling ashamed or embarrassed of your body post-bariatric surgery, it’s too much time! We want you to be PROUD of your body, and we have the expertise and technology needed to help you get there.
In order to create the results you want, Dr. Lucas only recommends procedures based on the techniques that are best for your unique body goals. He may suggest one of the above procedures, or he may recommend pairing one with an additional service, such as fat grafting or a touch of liposuction. He may even steer you away from a procedure if he truly feels it isn’t best for you!
At the end of the day, it’s all about how you feel— about your results and about yourself. Dr. Lucas understands that, and he’s ready to help bring your dream body to life when you are.