Have you worked hard to lose weight, and succeeded, only to be left with an excess of unsightly, sagging skin where the excess weight once was? This is a common phenomenon among those who have lost a lot of weight or previously been pregnant. The good news is that modern-day excess skin removal surgery includes a range of advanced and effective body contouring procedures to help patients achieve a tighter, smoother, more natural look than ever before.
Cosmetic surgeries for excess skin removal: procedure types
The specifics of post-weight loss skin removal surgery vary widely depending on a patient’s unique needs and goals. Typically, however, it involves a combination of different body lifting procedures. After your consultation, Dr. Egozi may decide to perform one or more of the following procedures:
1) Lower body lift
The purpose of the popular lower body lift is to tighten the tissues of the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks. Surgery is extensive and involves placing a long incision around the circumference of the body just above the hip. Through this incision, Dr. Egozi will tighten stretched abdominal muscles, remove excess skin from the torso, and lift remaining tissue to create a firmer, more defined lower body.
2) Upper body lift
Upper body lift surgery addresses “bra rolls,” sagging breasts, or hanging skin on the upper arms, creating a firmer, more streamlined look. Procedures may include an arm lift, which removes loose skin and excess fat of the upper arm; a back lift (aka a bra line lift), which combines liposuction and skin removal to create a shapelier back; or a breast lift, which aims to treat sagging, deflated, or asymmetrical breasts post weight loss. Breast implants can additionally be inserted during a breast lift to restore volume loss or increase breast size.
Many people who’ve undergone significant weight loss are left with an “apron” of skin hanging below the belly button known as a pannus. During a panniculectomy, an incision is placed just above the pubic bone, and the “apron” of skin is removed, restoring a smoother, firmer-looking torso. While this surgery can significantly improve comfort and self-confidence, it does not do much to tighten abdominal contours when performed as a standalone surgery.
4) Thigh & buttock lift
A thigh and buttock lift removes the excess of skin and fat around the thighs and buttocks typically left over after major weight loss. The result? A firmer, slimmer appearance. The incisions for a thigh and buttock lift depend on variables like the amount of skin that needs to be removed. Dr. Egozi is always sure to place incisions in the least noticeable areas possible, such as the groin, creases underneath the buttocks, or low down on the hips where any scarring can easily be hidden by underwear or a swimsuit. People who opt to undergo this surgery often find that pants and shorts fit much better.
How to prepare for excess skin removal surgery
In order to properly prepare for excess skin removal surgery, it is best to be finished with the weight loss and to have attained a stable body weight. If small problem areas remain, liposuction can be performed before or during your excess skin removal cosmetic surgeries, however, this route may pose risks that will be thoroughly discussed during your consultation. Additionally, the usual pre-surgery full physical, blood work, and avoidance of blood thinners like aspirin and ibuprofen are all strongly recommended in order to avoid complications and achieve the best possible outcome. As well, deficiencies of folate, vitamin B12 and iron must all be rectified before undergoing surgery.
What happens during excess skin removal?
Although the specifics of your procedure will depend on which procedures we deem necessary in your case, your surgery will typically be performed under general anesthesia. While some procedures involving the abdomen, arms, and thighs may be performed in a day surgical setting on an outpatient basis, others will require an overnight stay.
Are you a candidate for excess skin removal?
If you have reached your “goal weight” and it has remained stable for a minimum of 6 months, you may be an ideal candidate for excess skin cosmetic surgeries. It is also important that candidates be in good overall health, as certain medical conditions can increase the risks of surgery. Having realistic expectations about the outcomes of your surgery is also integral to success: while skin removal can vastly improve your appearance, you may have visible incisions when wearing certain pieces of clothing Finally, it’s also important that candidates are able to schedule several weeks off to recover post-op.
Recovering from excess skin removal
Your recovery from excess skin removal surgeries will, of course, depend on the procedure(s) you have undergone. Those only having an upper arm lift or breast lift, for instance, may be able to return to work within a week and start exercising again within a month.
Other more extensive surgeries, however, like the lower body lift, may require a brief inpatient stay as well as a lengthier recovery period. For the first few days post-op, discomfort can be significant. For the first 1 or 2 weeks, temporary drains may be placed in order to relieve swelling. Typically, heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and physical work are off-limits for at least 6 weeks. It’s important to remember, however, that more involved surgeries do ultimately result in a more youthful, contoured appearance and a boost in self-confidence that can last for many years to come.
If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and considering excess skin removal, look no further. Dr. Egozi is a highly qualified, board-certified surgeon with years of experience performing successful excess skin removal surgery. Get in touch today to learn more!