Florence Mussat, M.D.
680 N Lake Shore Dr. #1030 Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 751-9000

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Body Contouring After Extreme Weight Loss

Submitted by Florence Mussat M.D, S.C. on July 16, 2019 - 8:49 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Body Contouring After Extreme Weight Loss

Achieving massive weight loss is physically and emotionally freeing, but it also presents new challenges for patients. Foremost among these is loose, hanging skin: Most people who have lost more than 50 pounds notice folds of excess skin around their abdomen, thighs, and arms. Women also typically experience a reduction in breast volume, which can make the breasts look droopy or flat.

Unfortunately, loose skin doesn’t usually firm up on its own over time, even if the patient is young. Most massive weight loss patients require one or more body contouring procedures to achieve full comfort and confidence.

What are the Benefits of Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss?

Body contouring after extreme weight loss is usually recommended for medical reasons. Left untreated, folds of loose skin tend to cause chafing and irritation, and they frequently limit a person’s ability to exercise. Over time, they may even become infected. By removing excess skin, body contouring procedures eliminate these risks.

Research has also shown that having body contouring is an important part of long-term weight maintenance. Patients who have one or more cosmetic procedures after massive weight less are less likely to regain weight than patients who have no cosmetic surgery. Not only does body contouring make it easier for patients to stay active, it confers important emotional benefits. When weight loss patients achieve a physique that they’re truly proud of, they become much more motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Which Procedures Should You Consider?

Some people who have lost a significant amount of weight only require tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery. This is more likely to be the case if you’ve lost less than 100 pounds or most of your excess weight was centralized around your abdomen. Usually, however, massive weight loss patients need to have what is known as a “body lift.” A body lift is a specialized series of operations designed to address skin laxity and remaining unwanted fat in multiple locations. It may include arm lift, thigh lift, buttock lift, tummy tuck, and breast lift surgery (for female patients).

These operations won’t be performed all at once. Instead, a body lift is performed in several stages, starting with the lower body and working upwards. Because body lift surgery is so comprehensive and complex, few plastic surgeons offer it. Dr. Florence Mussat is one of only a few plastic surgeons in Chicago who specialize in this procedure.

When to have Body Contouring after Weight Loss

Before you can have a body lift, you’ll need to show that you can maintain a healthy weight. Patients who are still overweight have a greater risk of experiencing complications during and after surgery, so it’s essential to reach a normal BMI before you proceed with treatment. You’ll also need to be in good overall health: If you experienced diabetes or cardiovascular disease due to your weight, you’ll need to have those conditions treated successfully before you tackle the challenges of surgery.

Forming realistic expectations is another important aspect of preparing for a body lift: Patients must understand that some scarring is to be expected after this type of procedure. Most people must also work hard during recovery to achieve and maintain the shape they want. Having cosmetic surgery is the first step, but you’ll also need to work out and take excellent care of your skin if you want truly stunning results.

Dr. Florence Mussat provides thorough, compassionate care to all of her post-bariatric and medical weight loss patients. It’s her goal to help patients stay safe, healthy, and motivated as they commit to leaving obesity in the past. If you would like to learn more about her personalized approach to body contouring, contact her Chicago plastic surgery clinic at 312-751-9000.