Patients who have had significant weight loss either from bypass surgery or lifestyle changes often are left with folds of loose skin. The main areas involved tend to be: the abdomen, back, thighs and arms.
Body contouring can help smooth and reshape these troublesome areas.
Body contouring is often accompanied with liposuction to help smooth out and better contour the area. The location you need excess skin removed from will dictate the approach and incisions required. (Please see thigh lift, abdominoplasty, arm lift, and back lift for more detailed descriptions of these areas.) A back lift can be combined with abdominoplasty to eliminate skin folds circumferentially.
Dr MacDonald will discuss with you which option is best for you.
Are You a Good Candidate?
You might consider contouring if weight loss has been stable for 6-12 months and you have excessive loose skin due to significant weight loss.
Your first step will be to have a detailed consultation with Dr MacDonald where she will listen to your goals and concerns and complete a careful examination. Then, Dr. MacDonald will discuss the treatment options that best address your concerns and particular situation.
Dr. MacDonald and her staff will:
- Give you detail information about the surgery and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure
- Discuss any concerns or questions that you may have
- Discuss potential risks of the procedure
Body contouring surgery is a day surgery, meaning you go home the same day. It requires a general anesthetic, so we have you complete a pre-operative questionnaire to ensure you are ready for surgery. You will be given instructions on what time to arrive and reminded not to eat or drink anything the night before surgery. The surgery is approximately 2 hours and you will spend approximately 3 hours in the recovery room, so plan to spend the day at the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain medication before leaving the hospital.
You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first 24 hours. Dr MacDonald will see you 5-7 days after surgery examine the wounds and talk about wound care. You can shower 48 hours after surgery. All the stitches are dissolving and wound care is simply ointment and gauze. You will have a wrap or binder on from the day of surgery and this is worn full-time until the healing is complete: 2-4 weeks.
As in any surgery, risks include: infection, scarring, delayed wound healing, or bleeding. Issues specific to this surgery are asymmetry, and persistent skin irregularities and bruising. Complications in this procedure are relatively uncommon but will be discussed further at the time of consultation.
The surgery suited best for you will be discussed at the time of consultation and Dr MacDonald’s assistant will e-mail you a detailed cost breakdown.