Losing a significant amount of weight is a big accomplishment! However, one concern that may prevent you from appreciating your weight loss is loose, sagging skin. Skin tightening surgery after weight loss can help you shed stubborn excess skin and achieve your dream physique. Let’s explore the steps you can take to help tighten loose skin with body contouring options such as body lift surgery.
Step 1: Consult With a Qualified Plastic Surgeon
An essential first step is to consult with a credentialed plastic surgeon. Ideally, they should be board-certified and fellowship-trained with experience performing skin tightening and body contouring procedures. You should discuss your concerns, goals, and medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for body lift surgery. Ask the surgeon to show you before and after photos of patients who have previously had post-weight loss procedures.
Step 2: Develop a Customized Treatment Plan
After a thorough consultation and physical exam, your surgeon will develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Many post-weight loss surgery patients require a comprehensive body lift to address loose skin on the abdomen, butt, thighs, and arms. Therefore, we may perform a combination of procedures such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, and breast lift. We may perform these procedures in a single operation or in stages to ensure the patient’s safety. Other patients may only need to target specific “problem” areas with a single procedure, such as a facelift. As we explained in a previous blog post, we usually include liposuction in your skin-tightening procedure to smooth and sculpt the treated areas. Depending on your needs, the treatments may be performed simultaneously or in stages for optimal safety and results.
Step 3: Preparing for Body Lift Surgery
Following your preoperative instructions is essential to set yourself up for a successful surgery. Your weight should be stable for at least 6 months before your procedure. This helps us accurately determine how much skin needs to be removed. We may also suggest making specific diet and lifestyle changes, such as limiting certain medications and beginning an exercise routine. If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to quit. We recommend these changes to maximize your safety and results.
Step 4: Your Surgery After Weight Loss Procedure
Before beginning the body lift procedure, we place you under general anesthesia. The surgery involves removing excess fat and skin before lifting and tightening the remaining skin to give your body a more sleek, sculpted shape. Deep sutures are often necessary, but we make every effort to make your incisions as inconspicuous as possible. Again, we may recommend that your procedures occur in stages spaced several months apart so you can heal completely before the next operation.
Step 5: Recovering from Body Lift Surgery
Follow your post-op instructions diligently to ensure proper healing and a smooth recovery. You can expect to take 2 to 4 weeks off work, depending on the extent of your procedure. You will need to refrain from strenuous activities for roughly 3 months. Some discomfort and swelling are normal and will gradually subside. You will be given medications and instructions to help minimize any discomfort and facilitate the healing process.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Body Transformation
While you will begin to notice your sleek new shape emerge right after surgery, your final results will be visible in 3 to 6 months once the swelling fully subsides. During this period, your scars will also gradually fade. Continue to lead a healthy lifestyle to preserve the transformative results of your weight loss and plastic surgery.