Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss – My Bariatric Life

My Bariatric Life Health Guide

    What is Body Contouring?


    Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, as well as removes excess sagging fat and skin. The most common body contouring procedures after major weight loss are listed below. Click on each procedure to view a gallery of before and after photos on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.


    Body Contouring Procedures with Before and After Photos

    Warning: Some photos show partial nudity.


    Arm Lift


    Sagging skin in the upper arms is often referred to as bat wings because of the way they drape the body when the arms are fully extended. The sagging skin and fat are removed by an incision from the under arm area extending alongside the inner or back of the arm to near the elbow. The results are quickly realized with a smoother, tighter contour. However this may be obscured initially by swelling and bruising.

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    Body Lift


    Excess sagging fat and skin are removed to treat conditions caused in part by poor tissue elasticity. A complete lower body lift treats sagging buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips, and outer thighs in one procedure, or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary but commonly a circumferential incision around the body is used to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat. The results of a body lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as much as one to two years, or more, for the final results of the body lift procedures to fully develop.


    Breast Lift


    This procedure raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. The incision patterns for lifting a woman’s sagging breasts will be determined based on the amount of excess skin to be removed. These may include one or a combination of incisions in a circular pattern around the areola (the pigmented skin around the nipple), in an incision extending from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally across the breast crease. A breast implant also may be recommended to increase breast fullness for “deflated” breasts. The final results of a breast lift will appear over a few months as breast shape and position settle.


    Thigh Lift


    A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. Reshaping of the inner thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that extend downward toward the knee along the inner portion of the thigh. Improving contours of the outer thiugh may require an incision extending from the groin and around the hip. Through these incisions, the plastic surgeon will tighten tissues and remove excess sagging skin and fat for a smoother and better-toned thigh. The results of a thigh lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take several months for the final results to fully develop.


  • Results from Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss

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    The results of a body contouring following major weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as many as one to two years or more for the final results of all the procedures to fully develop. Some visible scars will remain; these will be more prominent early on but continue to fade over time. The overall results of body contouring are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.


    If you are exploring body contouring after major weight loss, it may benefit you to read Surgery After Massive Weight Loss: The Essential Consumer Guide by Dr. Anire Okpaku. 


    Living life well-fed,




    American Society of Plastic Surgeons

    American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery


Published On: January 26, 2013