Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss - Vanity or Sanity?

My Bariatric Life Health Guide
  • This sharepost is part of a series about total body contouring plastic surgery that My Bariatric Life underwent following massive weight loss. 

    Read My Bariatric Life’s Total Body Lift – Part 1: Why Did I Do This? 


    my Bariatric Life, Catherine Winslow M.D.

    My Bariatric Life “before” and “after” facial rejuvenation. Catherine Winslow M.D. gave me a matured version of the face I had in high school. 

     

    My editor at HealthCentral asked if I wanted to write about the stigma associated with having a face lift. 

     

    I replied, “What is the stigma?” I had never heard of this. 

     

    She explained, “Many people judge those who underwent facelifts and view them as vain. This applies to all plastic surgery stigma in general.”

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    I considered this. Am I vain for having plastic surgery after weight loss? 

     

    Read Why I Had Total Body Contouring Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss 

     

    Vanity motivates many purchasing decisions, especially for luxury items. Few people bat an eye at a middle-aged man who buys a $45k sports car. Yet they will criticize a woman for spending this amount of money on plastic surgery. Its the proverbial double standard.

     

    What most people do not understand is that there is a marked psychological and functional benefit that only can be achieved through plastic surgery after massive weight loss. In my interview with Joseph F. Capella M.D., a plastic surgeon, we discussed in depth how after massive weight loss, patients are left with substantial folds of redundant skin that cause significant functional and aesthetic impairments on the trunk, buttocks, breast, upper arms, thighs and face. These disfigurements cannot be resolved by diet and exercise. Rather, through plastic surgery the face and body can be restored to their normal natural contours. 

     

    Read Dr. Joseph F. Capella Interview: Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss

     

    my bariatric life, joseph f. cappella m.d.

    My Bariatric Life “before” and “after” body contouring plastic surgery with Joseph F. Capella M.D. I’ve lost 50 inches and 40 pounds!

     

    I asked my fellow patients if they thought they were vain for having plastic surgery. Their replies underscore how profoundly the surgery has impacted their lives:

     

    “We are not doing "mommy makeovers" or esthetics or cosmetic surgery or celebrities but a plastics procedure for medical reasons (with risks and possible complications and consequences) to a continued and better health. Plastics in our case after weight loss surgery is not cosmetic but "to bring a body to a sense of normalcy… As I feel more in balance as a person and woman of value so is my confidence to stick up for myself and not feel only like the fat blob in the middle of the room that someone stares at and thinks OMG.”

     

    “I considered my plastics as "reconstructive" surgery (anchor cut TT and arm lift). My body in those places looks normal now.  I don't see that as vain.  I cannot think of any use of the money I spent that could possible give me greater satisfaction- dare I say, happiness!”


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    "Bariatric surgery saved my life, plastic surgery saved my soul.  Dramatic maybe, But here is why I say that.  Pretty much for 30 years of my life, I hated my body.  I always knew I was the fat person in the room. I never felt pretty, I had confidence in my brain but none in my body/looks,.. All in all, when I looked in the mirror, the best I could hope for was "not bad".  That eats at a woman, in so many ways that I don't have enough space on the whole internet to fully capture it. But after my lower body lift, things changed…  I CHANGED… I started to feel pretty… I have a confidence in my body that I have never, ever, EVER had… I am not doing this for my vanity. I am doing it for my sanity.”


    On the other hand, I and several of my fellow patients do admit to being vain. But vanity may have its upsides. The desire to look good and stay that way can be a powerful motivator for achieving health and fitness, reports the LA Times. In other words, if you're vain, say the experts, you're more likely to make the lifestyle choices that will benefit your health (even if health is sort of a side effect or added bonus of plastic surgery).

     

    my bariatric life, joseph f. cappella m.d.

    My Bariatric Life “before” and “after” body contouring plastic surgery with Joseph F. Capella M.D. I went from a size 14 jeans to size 2 jeans in less than a year.

     

    It took a long time for me to grow up and take on the challenge of my obesity. I have been free of obesity and my obesity-related illnesses for more than a decade. The plastic surgery was the completion of erasing the sins of my past, getting rid of the telltale skin that was a constant reminder that I was a failure with regard to respecting my body for so long. 

     

    Not only did it shame me to look at my naked body in the mirror, but also it kept me from fully being present to living a life I love. I am so stinking happy nowadays. And I take such good care of my body, working out several times a week and eating super healthy. I know that I can fall back into old patterns of behavior so easily and ruin all the wonderful things I have achieved. I never want to backslide.

     

    But I did backslide. And I landed right on the emotional rollercoaster once again. Read, "The High Emotional Cost of Plastic Surgery that No One Tells You About."


    Living life well-fed,

    My Bariatric Life

     

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    References -

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Published On: May 18, 2014