Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring in Grand Rapids, MI
Weight loss, whether medically assisted or through your own efforts, can be a challenging experience. Often, although the weight is lost, you may be unhappy with your resulting appearance – loose sagging skin, isolated pockets of fat and uneven or undefined curves. At the Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, we understand that restoration following weight loss is a very important step in achieving the body and the self-confidence you desire.
An individual evaluation, a customized treatment plan based on your goals and trust in Grand Rapids plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Ringler’s specialized techniques and extensive experience are an important step in your journey. Your individualized plan may include surgical procedures such as; tummy tuck, arm or thigh-lift, liposuction, or a combination of procedures designed to treat your specific needs and goals.
What is post-weight loss body contouring?
Surgically reshaping the skin and soft tissue of the body after dramatic weight loss corrects problems like loose sagging skin, isolated pockets of fat and uneven or undefined curves. Areas treated may include:
- The face and neck.
- The upper arm, from the axilla (underarm) to the elbow.
- The upper and lower abdomen, including love handles and flanks.
- The hips and buttocks.
- Inner and outer thighs, extending to the knee in some cases.
- Why might I consider post-weight loss contouring?
Weight loss, whether medically assisted or through your own efforts, can be a challenging experience. Often, although the weight is lost, you may be unhappy with your resulting appearance, as your skin may not conform to body contours and pockets of fat which are resistant to diet and fitness remain.
Who is a candidate for post-weight loss contouring?
Women and men of various ages and from many circumstances choose post-weight loss contouring. Whether you have had medically assisted weight loss, or lost weight after multiple pregnancies, these factors generally define good candidates for post-weight loss contouring procedures:
The proper timing of surgery is approximately 18 months following your bariatric procedure or when you have obtained a stable weight or are close to your ideal weight goal.
- Your weight has been stable for at least six months with no further weight loss expected. For optimal results, body contouring should not be done for approximately two years after the start of any dramatic weight-loss program. This time allows your skin to shrink as much as possible and your nutrition to be stabilized and optimized, factors that will aid in your recovery.
- You are in overall good health without chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. People in poor health are not good candidates for body-contouring procedures. Get clearance for plastic surgery from your primary care physician or from doctors treating you for medical conditions.
- You have a healthy diet; problems such as protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.
- You do not smoke; smoking slows down the healing process and increases the risk of serious complications during and after surgery. If you smoke, you must quit at least six weeks before surgery.
- You have mental stamina; surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.
- You have realistic expectations; surgery will lead to marked improvements in your shape, but it is impossible to restore the skin or body to what it would have been without the weight gain or to what it was in your teens or twenties. Even after body-contouring surgery, skin continues to sag over time as part of normal aging.
- You understand what post-weight loss contouring can and cannot accomplish.
- You accept the potential risks of post-weight loss contouring and your responsibilities as a patient.
- You are healthy, emotionally stable and secure.
- You accept that you will need to make healthy lifestyle choices to maintain the results achieved by post-weight loss contouring.
- You accept that scarring may be significant, although it is often well hidden in the normal creases of the body.
What should I know about post-weight loss contouring?
- Post-weight loss contouring is generally performed in stages. Some procedures may require an overnight stay in the surgery center, however, most procedures may be performed on an outpatient basis.
- Scars are a normal outcome of surgery and can generally be concealed by modest clothing. The location and pattern of your incisions and the resulting scars will be discussed during your consultation.
- Post-weight loss contouring is performed under general anesthesia.
- Recovery ranges from several days to several weeks depending on what kind of procedure you have.
- Results may be permanent, but weight loss/gain or pregnancy can change your results. Normal aging and gravity may affect your outcomes.
- You will need a capable adult with you for 24 hours after your release from the surgery center or recovery center.
- All surgeries carry the potential for risks which will be fully discussed with you during your consultation.