One of the fastest growing areas of elective surgery has been bariatric surgery. Especially in the United States where morbid obesity is widespread, it has been more and more mainstream to consider surgical intervention to attain a healthier and more manageable weight – this results in overall improve of health in the general population with lower incidents of Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension and heart problems. It is a positive movement for a healthier lifestyle, but there is a definitive downside to massive weight loss. Individuals who lose 100 pounds or more still have enough skin to house their previous proportions. Many patients who have done well and lost their weight have the complaint that they still look and feel fat. The extra skin is a constant reminder of their previous life. This has prodded more and more patients to seek skin excision. Tummy tucks, brachioplasty, thigh lifts, breast lifts, and body lifts are all helpful to trim down the “envelope” of skin and excess fat. This allows the slimmer post-weight loss body to reveal its true new proportions. Unveiling this inner trimmer body gives patients the satisfaction of actually seeing the results of all the hard work they put into losing their excess weight. It puts closure to the long journey of weight loss (both mentally and physically) and can give people a new lease on life!
One of the most effective surgeries to address the core issues is body lifting. Skin is not just excessive on the front or sides, but all of the way around, and the Body Lift removes both skin and fat all of the way around! This makes a dramatic difference in proportions – it gives back a waist line where there wasn’t one for years! The actual weight of tissue removal is never as high as you would expect, but the volume or bulk of tissue and the sites it comes from makes all of the difference. It is a very big surgery and needs to be taken seriously, but the results are well worth the pain.
All of these “tailoring” surgeries do leave long and extensive scars… there is no way around it. In order to remove a significant amount of skin there has to be an incision of proportional length and that leaves the scar. In many of our non-weight loss patients that amount of scarring simply would not be worth the trade-off. With weight loss patients however, the scars are more accepted. They have been through the whole process of becoming obese, making the decision to change their lives and lose the weight, and now are facing the aftermath of the excess skin and what it takes to get rid of it. This particular group of patients tends to be much more accepting of extensive scars because the surgery so vastly improves their quality of life! Although the ultimate answer is “never gain the weight,” the reality is many of us Americans will make this journey. It is just good to know that there are ways available to help you achieve your contour goals and regain the confidence and self-esteem that the “battle of the buldge” can take away.