Wow. You did it. You got motivated and had a gastric sleeve, band or bypass. You saw dieticians and psychologists and personal trainers. You blogged about your journey. The receptionist at the doctor’s rooms knows your entire family history because you see her more than you see your friends. You dragged your family through the surgery, the fasting, the exercising. And you’re finally done.
You constantly flick through your phone. Staring. Amazed. Was that really me? Your photos and old clothes are the only evidence you have of being large. Huge. Morbidly obese. You’re not morbid anymore. You’re full of life and energy. It makes you smile when people don’t recognize you.
But then they say something that takes all the joy away. You look gaunt. You look too thin. You pack your folds of skin into your spanks and underpants. You strap your skin up so it doesn’t bounce when you exercise. Your arms are a size 16, but your waist is a size 10. You go online to hear reassurance from your Facebook friends that it was still worth it. You are healthy but unhappy.
This is an incredibly common experience that people have once they’ve undergone extreme weight loss. It’s often an emotional and confusing time, as you may have many unexpected consequences that you find yourself facing.
One solution that many of my patients opt for is body contouring surgery.
Body contouring surgery is the final step in the massive weight loss journey. I really enjoy these consultations as my patients are filled with dread and concern about their body, and I provide them with information and reassurance about the predictable results we can achieve.
What is body contouring surgery?
Body contouring surgery encompasses plastic surgery procedures on the arms, chest, breasts, tummy and thighs to remove excess skin and artfully mould the remaining skin and fat into a feminine shape. The goal of the surgery is to achieve a fit and healthy appearance.
How do patients feel after their body contouring surgery?
Our patients describe that after their body contouring surgery, they feel confident for the first time in their lives. They are able to buy clothing that fits comfortably and beautifully. I receive photos every week from my patients in slinky dresses and revealing bikinis showing how transformed they are by their surgery.
There are many physical benefits to body contouring as well. Heavy residual skin folds gather a lot of bacteria and can lead to “panniculitis” or skin and fat infections. Over time, the skin fold can also chronically gather fluid and become very heavy.
What kind of body contouring procedures do I need?
Most patients that lose around 30kgs often only require an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck. Patients that lose over 45kgs, usually require multiple operations. These are staged into 4 to 6 hour segments to minimize the patient’s complications from the anaesthetic and from lying still for too long.
The usual sequence of procedures are a tummy tuck and augmentation, mastopexy (breast implant and breast lift), followed by arm lift and thigh lift. Many patients forget that their face has also aged a lot after their weight loss. A face and neck lift is the best method to deal with facial hollowing and neck skin excess.
What if I’m not sure about body contouring?
Making an appointment to talk about surgical and non-surgical alternatives to help improve your body does not necessarily commit you to going ahead with these procedures. An appointment is a great first step to get a proper body assessment to help determine if plastic surgery is a good option, and also to find out more about the expectations, risks and alternatives of body contouring procedures.