Those who have achieved significant weight loss, either through diet and exercise or through a surgical procedure such as lap-band or gastric bypass, have taken the first step on their way to achieving a revitalized self. The second step, however, often entails dealing with the sagging skin that results from such a massive transformation. Excessive sagging skin all over the body can be uncomfortable and can make the individual feel as if their dream of a new body has not yet been fully realized. For those seeking to address sagging skin and tissue, Dr. Wang performs several procedures tailored to individuals who have experienced a dramatic drop in body weight. It is important that those contemplating such post-weight loss procedures have attained their goal weight and have stabilized at this weight for some time prior to undergoing surgery.
If you're ready to discuss how to tighten skin after weight loss, now is a great time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wang at our plastic surgery offices, serving Southern California including Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendora, Chino Hills, Arcadia and Upland. Simply request a consultation online or call Wang Plastic Surgery at (888) 360-6688 today to schedule your appointment.
What kinds of procedures may be recommended after dramatic weight loss?
Depending on the patient’s anatomy and goals, Dr. Wang will formulate a specific plan to target problem areas. He may recommend multiple procedures to deal with extra skin and tissue, including a body lift, thigh lift, tummy tuck, breast lift, and/or a face and neck lift. Dr. Wang and the patient will discuss which procedures are necessary to provide natural, healthy-looking results. These procedures are usually performed over a period of time to allow for proper healing and the attainment of the best possible results. The above-mentioned procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia and depending on the invasiveness of the surgery, they may require an overnight stay. As with most surgical procedures, possible complications include infection and blood clotting. Due to the extensive amount of skin and tissue to be addressed, scarring is inevitable, but Dr. Wang makes every attempt to make incisions in the areas most easily concealed either by the natural folds of the skin or by clothing and undergarments.
What does a tummy tuck involve?
A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, may be performed as part of post-weight loss body contouring to target the abdominal region. During a tummy tuck, Dr. Wang makes a horizontal incision above the pubic area. Depending on the amount of loose skin, he may also choose to make an incision near the navel. He then pulls underlying tissue and muscle tightly together and sutures them in place. Dr. Wang may also use liposuction to remove excess fat, if necessary. He then removes excess skin and sutures remaining skin back together. Drains may be inserted underneath the abdominal skin to remove excess fluid, and if so, they are usually removed after about a week. Some bruising and swelling is likely to occur post surgery. Patients are required to wear a supportive garment for several weeks and may have to refrain from working for a month or so. Healing continues to occur over the course of several months following surgery.
What is a thigh lift?
Some individuals may choose to undergo a thigh lift to target sagging skin in the inner thigh region. Dr. Wang generally makes an incision where the thigh meets the groin and may sometimes opt for a secondary incision from the groin to the knee. This allows for removal of excess tissue and/or fat (using liposuction) and subsequent trimming of loose skin. Remaining skin is then sutured in place, and the patient is required to wear a compression bandage for several weeks following surgery.
What does a breast lift involve?
Extreme weight loss can cause breasts to loose shape and projection. A breast lift, or mastoplexy, can help uplift the breasts into an attractive position and allows for removal of excess skin in this area. A variety of incision techniques can be used during a breast lift; however, those patients with significant sagging will most likely require an incision that extends around the perimeter of the areola, down to the breast crease and then horizontally across the crease. Once Dr. Wang makes the incision, he will reposition and reshape the underlying tissue, allowing for the repositioning of the areola, which remains attached to the tissue to preserve sensation. For those patients who are seeking a reduction in areola size, excess skin around the perimeter of the areola may also be removed. After Dr. Wang removes excess skin, he sutures the remaining skin in place. Patients are required to wear compression bandages for a few weeks following surgery, and then a special bra must be worn for several months thereafter. Patients generally experience swelling and bruising for several weeks, but are able to return to work after about a week.
Individuals who have achieved marked weight loss may notice droopy skin around the face and neck. Sagging skin in the face often affects the neck and creates a floppy appearance along the neckline. A face and neck lift, therefore, is an efficient way of targeting such problem areas. As with a traditional face and neck lift, Dr. Wang inconspicuously makes incisions along the hairline and below the chin. He then removes excess tissue and skin and then smoothes remaining skin in to place. For more information on incision techniques and recovery see “Neck Lift” and “Facelift” sections.