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Plastic Surgery After Major Weight Loss
UT Southwestern Medical Center’s board-certified plastic surgeons are experts in caring for patients who have lost significant weight as a result of bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass, laparoscopic band, and gastric sleeve, as well as diet and exercise.
As an academic medical center, we are at the forefront of the latest findings and surgical techniques involved with post-weight loss issues. Our plastic surgeons have pioneered techniques and safety measures to reshape the body and remove excessive amounts of tissue and skin that can occur following massive weight loss.
Contouring the Body After Weight Loss
Losing a tremendous amount of weight is a life-changing achievement. Some patients require body-contouring procedures to address the excess skin and fatty tissue that can remain after weight loss.
Our plastic surgery team is internationally recognized for delivering outstanding clinical care and conducting groundbreaking research in this area.
The types of plastic surgery procedures needed after losing a significant amount of weight depend on the patient and can include an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) to remove excessive skin and tissue, breast surgery to eliminate sagging or volume loss, facial rejuvenation, arm-lifts or thigh-lifts to remove excess or sagging skin, and other procedures.
What to Expect
It’s important for patients to be close to their goal weight before surgery. Maintaining a steady weight for at least three to six months before having this type of surgery is a major consideration. We can also perform specialized nutrition lab testing to select and optimize candidates to decrease postoperative risks.
Our first step in working with patients is to discuss their expectations and provide information about what can be offered through surgery. We then tailor procedures based on their objectives, anatomical needs, and overall health. Recommendations can include options to target one or more problem areas on the body such as the face, neck, arms, abdomen, back, buttocks, or thighs.
Patients who have lost massive amounts of weight will need adequate nutritional support prior to any surgery because key wound-healing nutrients can be low in this population. We have specialists who can provide this support and help our patients optimize their weight prior to surgery.
General anesthesia is required for these surgical procedures, and they sometimes require observation overnight in the hospital. Recovery time varies, depending on which procedure or procedures are performed. Our team guides the patient through the expectations and is there to assist during the postoperative period.
With proper diet and exercise, results from body-contouring and cosmetic surgery procedures after massive weight loss can be life changing for our patients. Patients can gain the freedom to wear better-fitting clothing, participate in activities they were previously unable to, and increase their self-confidence so they can reach their full potential in life.
“Body contouring after a large weight loss can involve a number of procedures – from correcting abdominal sagging to addressing excess skin on the thighs. We determine which procedures are safe and effective for each patient.”