Due to the significant amount of weight loss that usually follows gastric bypass surgery and the speed at which the weight is lost, most patients are left with loose skin and excess fat deposits that cause their bodies to look misshapen and irregular. The body looks deflated with extra skin hanging on stomach, breasts, arms, thighs, and other areas. This skin is stretched like an overinflated balloon and will not tighten by itself. Post-gastric bypass body sculpting includes several procedures that can help patients address the unsightly side effects of gastric bypass surgery. Procedures such as abdominoplasty, arm lift, thigh lift, breast lift, can help to reshape the body. These procedures can be performed together or in stages according to your needs and preferences.
What are the options for body countering?
Arm lift: It is common for post-gastric bypass patients to have poor skin tone in their upper arms. Upper arm lift surgery, also called brachioplasty, eliminates sagging skin and localized fat from the upper arms so that they look toned, firm, and natural.
Breast lift: The substantial amount of fat lost after gastric bypass surgery can diminish breast volume, causing the breasts to appear saggy and deflated. Breast lift surgery reshapes and repositions the breasts to improve their appearance, firmness, shape, and position on the chest wall.
Tummy tuck: Major weight gain contributes to the accumulation of visceral stomach fat and can cause the abdominal muscles to become loose. After massive weight loss, these muscles do not necessarily contract as they should and may cause the stomach to look distended. Many patients are also left with hanging skin and stubborn abdominal fat. Tummy tuck surgery tightens the abdominal wall, removes excess skin, and eliminates stubborn fat deposits to restore a firmer and flatter abdomen.
Thigh lift: Sometimes, major weight loss leaves patients with hanging skin or excess fat along the thighs. A thigh lift improves the appearance and tone of the outer and inner thighs by removing excess skin and fat to give the thighs a firmer and tighter shape.
Buttock lift: When excess skin and fat are present in the buttocks, it is appropriate to consider a buttock lift. The buttock lift raises, reshapes, and smooths out the buttocks by removing unwanted fat and skin and tightening the tissues.
Lower body lift: A lower body lift, also called a belt lipectomy, is a procedure that can help patients who have loose aprons of hanging skin that surround the waist, hips, buttocks, and thighs. The procedure includes a lengthy circumferential incision around the waist and can remove excess tissue and reposition and tighten the remaining tissues. A lower body lift can significantly improve the shape and appearance of the lower body after gastric bypass surgery.
Liposuction: Stubborn fat is common among post-gastric bypass patients and can persist nearly anywhere on the body. Liposuction is often paired with other procedures to remove unwanted fat. This procedure can be incorporated into other body sculpting procedures to ensure that excess fatty deposits are properly eliminated.
Benefits of body sculpting after weight loss
- Removal of hanging skin.
- Elimination of stubborn fat deposits
- Enhancement of body shape and smoother siloutte
- Improved body image and self confidence
Recovery After Body Countoring
Immediately after: You will most likely have compression garments or elastic bandages on your treated areas to control swelling. Temporary drains or absorptive pads will help drain excess fluids. Avoid exposing your surgical incisions to motion or excessive force or abrasion. You may also experience pain, bruising, and swelling. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the treated areas, how to take prescribed medications for pain management and recovery, and how to manage physical activity to encourage circulation.
7 days: Depending on the procedures you have undergone, your tissue composition, and your age, you may either be ready to return to work or will still need to rest at home. Pain, bruising, and swelling may begin to subside.
3 weeks: Most typical patients will be feeling better and will gradually be able to return to work and normal activities. Continue to follow instructions to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly, and continue to avoid strenuous physical activities.
1 month: You should be feeling more and more back to normal and may be able to gradually reintroduce more strenuous physical activities. Your incisions would be healed but the scars and the swelling on the body gradually will decrease further over the next months to come. Your result will continue to improve. Final result will be in 6 months to a year.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon after weight loss can I undergo a body countering procedure?
It usually takes a few years after undergoing weight loss for your weight to stabilize. You should be at about the same weight for six months. You should not smoke and be in good health.
Which areas should I treat first?
The areas that concern you the most can be treated first. I usually come up with a treatment plan with my patients to do the procedure in stages. For example, during the first surgery, you can undergo a tummy tuck and arm lift. During the second, breast lift, and thigh lift. It depends on what areas concern you the most. You do not have to do all the areas, just the ones that bother you.
How long will my results last?
The results of body sculpting after gastric bypass surgery can be long lasting. Patients who remain committed to a healthy lifestyle and who avoid future weight fluctuations will experience the best long-term results.