Weight loss surgery normally delivers what it promises. Those who have suffered the physical and psychological burdens of morbid obesity can certainly enjoy a celebratory period following gastric bypass surgery. The amount of weight that may be lost and the speed at which that weight is lost can be defined without exaggeration as dramatic. What may not be expected is the possible consequence of sagging skin due to this accelerated and profound loss of pounds.
The Loss of Elasticity
A significant amount of weight is lost in the first 12-18 months after bariatric surgery. The skin that remains may not retain the elastic quality that is needed to structure the desired body shape. This excess of loose skin can be problematic.
Obese people can damage the underlying support structures of the skin and stretch the connective tissue beyond functionality. When this happens, the structure of fascia and skin become diseased and no longer function properly. The integrity of the skin simply cannot maintain pace with the speed of weight loss.
Reconstructive surgery is motivated by aesthetics. Therefore, patients who are seeking a surgeon might wish find a doctor whose skills go beyond standard cosmetics.
Patients who have lost extreme amounts of weight require a great deal of alteration and soft tissue modeling to produce the desired aesthetic effect.
It is unlikely that one procedure will accomplish all that the patient hopes for. Health and safety factors are paramount, and studies support the premise that a series of small surgeries are less risky than a single surgery that attempts to address all things at once.
If the bariatric patient wishes to have the body of her aesthetic vision, weight loss surgery will not be sufficient.
Specific Reconstructive Surgeries
Bariatric patients normally desire improvements in specific areas.
Breast droopiness or loss of breast volume is a concern for both men and women. Women can have a procedure to lift the breasts that enhances shape and cleavage. Men have several breast reduction procedures to choose from depending on how much correction is needed.
Sagging facial skin will require facelift surgery or eyelid surgery.
A surplus of abdominal skin can be corrected with a tummy tuck. The lower body lift can shape the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks to achive the desired effect.
Hanging skin under the arms can be lifted and tightened.
Patient Expectations for Reconstructive Surgeries
Patient expectations for body contouring surgery are normally high. Patients anticipate improved appearance, improved self-confidence, and improved quality of life.
Bariatric patients must be given realistic expectations about what can be achieved through reconstructive surgery to keep their ambitions grounded.
While body contouring can yield great improvements, patients should be made aware that there will be some degree of scarring after the procedure is completed.
After Weight Loss http://www.kornstein.com/after-weight-loss/ - accessed 5/15/12
Body Contouring After gastric Bypass http://plasticsurgeryaftergastric-bypass.com/body-contouring-after-gastric-bypass/body-contouring-after-gastric-bypass - accessed 5/15/12
SGK Plastic Surgery http://www.drkimplasticsurgery.com/woodlands-plastic-surgery-procedures/body-contouring/body-contouring-after-massive-weight-loss/ - accessed 5/15/12
Will Surgical Arts http://www.willsurgicalarts.com/blog/2011/12/body-contouring-after-weight-loss/ - accessed 5/15/12
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: May 23, 2012