10 Bariatric Plastic Surgery Terms

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Excess skin

Hanging, sagging, or redundant skin that has lost its elasticity and cannot retract even through rigorous exercising. Getting rid of this excess skin can only be achieved through a body contouring procedure. Examples of procedures are abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), body lift, brachioplasty (arm lift) and mastopexy (breast lift).

Body contouring

Body contouring surgery is the general term used to describe various surgical procedures performed by a plastic surgeon on a patient for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. Body contouring after weight loss focuses on removing excess skin to improve function and appearance.

Weight reduction surgery

Bariatric surgeries such as gastric bypass, gastric banding, gastric sleeve, and duodenal switch are a few examples of weight reduction surgery. Plastic surgery is not a weight reduction surgery.


The planning and combining of multiple body contouring procedures over time by safely combining procedures into a larger surgery.


The volume loss in body areas such as the breast, arms, thighs, and buttocks due to the loss of fat and atrophy of glandular tissue or muscle.


Abdominoplasty is a body contouring procedure of the abdomen from the pubic area to the breastbone that removes loose skin and fat, and tightens a relaxed underlying abdominal wall. It is commonly referred to as a tummy tuck and popular with men and women after significant weight loss.


A large apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen due to obesity and often made worse by weight loss. The pannus is removed during an abdominoplasty and the abdominal wall is tightened. A procedure that removes the pannus but does not tighten the abdominal wall is a panniculectomy.

Body lift

A true body lift combines upper and lower body contouring procedures to achieve total body restoration. It typically affects the lower body (abdomen, thighs, lower back, and buttocks) and the upper body (upper back, sides, breast/chest, and arms).


An undesirable outcome of treatment that can change the outcome and may require additional treatment. Complications include seroma (fluid accumulation beneath the skin), dog ear (mound of skin at the end of an incision), dehiscence (separation of wound edges), necrosis (death of skin), and abscess (pus).

Board certified

It’s very important that your doctor be board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This means that the doctor has met specific standards of knowledge and clinical skills by way of vigorous written and oral exam.