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Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss

Body contouring can remove hanging skin left after extreme weight loss.

Should You Consider Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss?

You’ve done the hard work of losing 50, 80, 100, or even 150 pounds with the help of bariatric surgery or a major lifestyle change. You feel like a million bucks, but when you look in the mirror or put on a pair of pants, you see excessive amounts of hanging skin.

Body contouring procedures can remove this hanging skin and help you achieve your optimal shape after weight loss.

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Are You A Candidate?

Our Body Contouring Cosmetic Self Evaluation can help you decide if body contouring after weight loss is right for you.

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Overview

Obesity rates have risen up to 25% in California. Unfortunately, this is not good news. However, many people are fighting back. Some patients have had great success with massive weight loss through lifestyle change or bariatric surgery. Some people lose anywhere from 40 or 50 pounds up to 100 or even 150 pounds! These patients have noticed tremendous improvements in how they feel, what they can do, and in how they look. This type of weight loss is quite literally life-changing.


However, as the pounds come off, there can be a large amount of loose, excess skin left behind. Unlike smaller amounts of weight loss, massive weight loss will leave behind skin in both the front and back of the torso, as well as other places such as the chest, arms, legs, and neck. So, whereas a tummy tuck might be sufficient for modest weight changes, more involved procedures are needed for the massive weight loss patient who has excess skin in the front, on the sides, and in the back. This is where body contouring procedures such as the body lift comes in.

 
 

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Candidates

You may be a good candidate for body contouring after massive weight loss if you are bothered by the appearance or presence of loose hanging skin.

Patients who have lost significant amounts of weight usually have numerous but similar areas of concern. These areas usually include:

  • Excess skin around the front, the sides, and the back of the lower torso including the abdomen: Loose skin isolated to the front of the lower torso can be addressed with abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), but loose skin around the sides and back are better addressed with a lower body lift procedure that can contour the abdomen, hips, outer and posterior thighs and buttocks.

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Lower Body Lift

  • Breast sagging and loss of volume: For women, a breast lift is a procedure to lift the breasts and may be performed with or without the addition of breast implants to improve shape, fullness, and cleavage. For men, several breast reduction techniques are available, depending on the degree of correction required.
  • Hanging skin under the arm: Brachioplasty (arm lift surgery) can lift and tighten the skin of the arm.
  • Wrinkling and excessive bagginess of the thighs: A medial thigh lift can lift the inner thighs, whereas a lower body lift addresses the outer and posterior portions of the thighs and buttocks.

Obviously, all of these concerns cannot be addressed simultaneously during one operation. However, two procedures can usually be safely combined. During your consultation. Dr. Fan will assess your anatomy as well as your own priorities to help you develop a comprehensive plan for your body contouring. It is not uncommon to start with a lower body lift.

You should be in good overall health, at a stable body weight within 10-20 pounds of your goal weight and a BMI under 34, be a non-smoker, and have realistic expectations.

Procedure Steps

Dr. Fan has developed a comprehensive approach to body contouring for the massive weight loss patient that includes:

  • Careful preoperative planning that includes a full medical and nutritional evaluation (safety first!) as well as developing a clear overall strategy . This plan will be reviewed thoroughly so that you can have a full understanding of the procedures, incisions, and results you can expect.
  • Precise preoperative skin marking prior to surgery. While you are standing, Dr. Fan will make marks on your skin identifying specific landmarks as well as the intended incisions. Not only does this provide him with information necessary during the operation, but it allows you to review the operative plan one more time before undergoing the procedure.
  • Precise cutting, redraping, and sculpting techniques. Dr. Fan uses his artistic skills to provide smooth, natural contouring.
  • Careful but considerable suture techniques to provide support to the incisions during the healing process.

Depending on the combination of procedures you choose, your surgery will probably require four to eight hours to complete.

After you are properly anesthetized, a urinary catheter will be placed to drain the bladder during the operation. This will be used to monitor your fluid status during the operation.

Once the skin has been prepared with a sterile cleanser, Dr. Fan will make the incisions necessary for the removal of excess skin and fat. If liposuction is required for contouring, it may be performed at the beginning or end of the procedure.

After the incisions have been made, Dr. Fan gently elevates the skin and fat off underlying structures. The excess skin and fat are removed, and the skin is redraped over the underlying structures. One or more drains may be placed beneath the incision to assist in healing.

At the completion of the procedure, a dressing is applied to the incisions, and a compression garment is often applied to the body region being treated to help support the incisions in healing and decrease postoperative swelling.

Some procedures may be performed on an outpatient basis, while other patients may stay overnight in the hospital.

Recovery

The Results Are Worth The Recovery

You should expect to be sore and somewhat uncomfortable during the first one to three weeks after surgery, depending on the procedures chosen. You should spend the first few days resting quietly at home, although you will be instructed to get up and walk around the house every few hours to maintain healthy circulation. If you undergo a tummy tuck or body lift procedure, your abdomen will feel tight and sore and you will initially walk in a bent-over “little old lady” position.

Temporary swelling, bruising, numbness, tingling, and tightness are also expected after surgery. Small drainage tubes, if used, are removed in about 1-2 weeks. A compression garment must be worn over the surgical site for about six weeks.

Getting Back To Normal

You will need to refrain from strenuous activity including lifting more than 20 pounds for about six weeks. Most patients return to work in 2-4 weeks, although recovery time may vary depending on your age, genetics, skin quality, procedures performed, and occupation. You will feel “back to normal” in about 3-9 months.

Choosing A Surgeon

Treating Bariatric Patients Requires Specialized Knowledge and Skill

It is important to choose a plastic surgeon that specializes in body contouring after massive weight loss. Bariatric patients must be treated differently from non-bariatric body contouring patients. What works well on other patients simply does not provide adequate shaping and contouring for the bariatric patient.

Dr. Fan has developed a comprehensive approach to bariatric patients who wish to achieve their optimal shape after weight loss.

 

Cost

Costs Vary Depending On Your Specific Needs and Desired Results

The cost of body contouring after weight loss varies from person to person and depends on a number of factors including your specific needs, desired results, and number of procedures and stages.

Factors that contribute to the cost of treatment include:

  • Your particular needs and goals
  • The extent, specific type, and number of body contouring procedures chosen
  • The experience and reputation of the plastic surgeon
  • Any advanced technology or surgical techniques that may be used
  • The geographic location where the procedure takes place
  • The surgical facility used
  • The type of anesthesia a patient selects

Costs of surgery may include fees for the surgeon, anesthesia, operating room, facility, equipment, implants, garments, aftercare, lab tests, and medications.

The cost for body contouring after weight loss ranges from $12,000 to $100,000.

We offer a range of patient financing plans including low monthly payment plans and plans for those with suboptimal credit histories.

Financing Plans Here

See Your Results

Body contouring after weight loss can produce an extreme makeover.

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See Your Results

Body contouring after weight loss can produce an extreme makeover.

 

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Body Contouring After Weight Loss

What Procedures Should I Choose?

Patients who have lost significant amounts of weight usually have numerous but similar areas of concern. These areas usually include:

  • Excess skin around the front, the sides, and the back of the lower torso including the abdomen: Lower body lift, extended tummy tuck, or tummy tuck [Link to Tummy Tuck Page]
  • Breast sagging and loss of volume: Breast lift with possible implant [Link to Breast Lift page]
  • Sagging of the facial skin and neck: Facelift, Neck Contouring [Link to Facelift, Neck Contouring Pages]
  • Hanging skin under the arm: Brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • Wrinkling and excessive bagginess of the thighs: Medial thigh lift, lower body lift.

Obviously, all of these concerns cannot be addressed simultaneously during one operation. However, two procedures can usually be safely combined. During your consultation. Dr. Fan will assess your anatomy as well as your own priorities to help you develop a comprehensive plan for your body contouring. It is not uncommon to start with a lower body lift.

What is the scarring like?

Body contouring after weight loss requires a tradeoff of losing the extra skin in exchange for gaining scars. The scars are required in order to be able to remove the excess skin. The scars often fade after 2-3 years, but they seldom disappear completely. Dr. Fan uses extremely meticulous wound closure and postoperative scar management techniques to minimize scar formation. During your consultation, Dr. Fan will review the expected location of your scars.

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Related Procedures

Liposuction

Liposuction is a procedure that removes unwanted fat through tiny openings in the skin. Liposuction does not remove or tighten sagging skin. Liposuction is often performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck.

Learn More About Liposuction

Breast Lift

A breast lift restores a youthful shape and lift to the breasts.

Learn More About Breast Lift

VIEW ALL PROCEDURES
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I lost 120 pounds after gastric bypass surgery and was left with hanging skin…everywhere. Dr. Fan gave me an extreme makeover with a body lift, breast lift, thigh lift, arm lift, and necklift. I’ve never been happier with my appearance in and out of clothes. If you’re wondering whether the recovery is worth it, it is!"*

— Ms. S

Why Dr. Larry Fan & 77 Plastic Surgery

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Larry Fan, MD

 

Dr. Larry Fan is an award winning, Harvard educated, and nationally recognized plastic surgeon. He is a progressive, compassionate thinker who is committed to achieving the highest levels of excellence and the very best aesthetic results. Dr. Fan is an expert facelift surgeon who is known for achieving natural beauty, never “overdone.”

 
 
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Harvard Trained & One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons

Dr. Fan is known for his elegant sense of artistry and refined surgical skills. He will perform your surgery with expert, world-class execution and has the results to prov

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Exceptional Results & Award Winning Care

Dr. Fan and his team are committed to providing you with exceptional care, counseling, and support before, during, and after surgery. We take pride and joy in caring for you and have received numerous awards for our compassionate care.

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Come relax in our beautiful office and enjoy the comfort, safety, and privacy of our fully accredited onsite private surgery center.

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In this feature length book, you will learn:

  • How to look great at any age
  • How to find a beauty team that you can trust
  • How to choose the right skin care products for your skin type
  • How to choose between The Needle and The Knife

This book was written by top plastic surgeon, Dr. Larry Fan.

 

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Ready To Eliminate That Sagging Skin?

Schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Fan here.

During your consultation, Dr. Fan will take the time to address your specific goals and to discuss your treatment options. He will determine if you are a good candidate for body contouring after weight loss and review the results that can be realistically achieved. He will also help you determine which complementary procedures may benefit you the most.

 

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