Lost Substantial Weight? Consider Body Contouring

Posted on: 30 April 2020

You've been working diligently on losing weight for years, and you are finally near your goal weight. However, there's one problem: you have a lot of loose skin that is now preventing you from having the body you always imagined you'd have after weight loss. Luckily, there is a solution — a procedure called body contouring. Here's a look at the basics to help you determine if this is a good next step for you.

What is body contouring?

Body contouring is actually a set of plastic surgery procedures, not just one. Which specific procedures you'll need will depend on where you have extra skin and how much extra skin you have. Procedures often included in body contouring are breast lifts, tummy tucks, arm lifts, and thigh lifts. These procedures are all done similarly. Your plastic surgeon removes a section of skin and then sutures the remaining skin together, essentially tightening the skin in that area.

What is the recovery like?

Clearly these are pretty involved, intensive procedures, which leave many patients concerned about the recovery. Indeed, you will need to allow substantial time for recovery after body contouring. If you have a smaller procedure like an arm or breast lift, plan on taking a couple of weeks off from work and taking it easy for a few months. It may take closer to six months to fully recover from more extensive body contouring procedures like thigh lifts and major tummy tucks. Your surgeon may complete two or more procedures at the same time in order to reduce your recovery time. While you can expect some pain and discomfort during recovery, your doctor will prescribe pain relievers to keep you as comfortable as possible. You'll typically spend at least a couple of days in the hospital before coming home.

Who is a candidate for body contouring procedures?

Your doctor will likely want you to be close to your goal weight before you have these procedures done. If you have the procedure done too soon and you lose more weight, you might be left with more loose skin. You must also be generally healthy and a non-smoker to undergo body contouring. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible — you should be able to have the procedure within a few months.

Body contouring procedures are extensive, but they may be your best option for removing excess skin after weight loss. There are also non-surgical body contouring options; schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon to learn more.