body contouring surgery

3 Reasons WLS Post-Ops Consider Body Contouring After Weight Loss

September 1, 2022

Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery frequently have skin that looks "deflated" in a number of areas, including the face, arms, breasts, belly, and thighs, especially those who have lost more than 100 pounds. It is typical to have drooping extra skin when a patient loses an extreme amount of weight. Following a considerable weight loss, body contouring surgery is performed as a reconstructive procedure.

What exactly is body contouring surgery?

Body contouring is the term used for a series of operations carried out by a plastic surgeon to remove extra skin and reconstruct a body contour. Some of these procedures might include the following:


Arm Lift

Drooping to the elbow is treated by making an incision from the armpit to the elbow when there is extra skin in the arm region. In addition to sagging from the armpit to the bra line, extended arm lifts can also alleviate sagging under the armpit.


Breast Lift

The patient's aesthetic goals and concerns may also dictate whether the patient should undergo a breast lift with implants instead of a conventional breast lift, an implant-based breast lift, or an extended breast lift that removes extra skin above the bra line.


Belt Lipectomy (Tummy Tuck)

To treat excess skin in the abdomen and back, you may choose to combine a tummy tuck with a butt-lift. In addition to raising the butt, abdominal liposuction can improve the appearance of the lower back, abdomen, and waist. A surgical incision is made around the belly and lower back. The incision is made at or below the hip bones, which leaves a noticeable scar, but the results are well worth the effort.


Posterior Upper Body Lift

It is common for the superior section of the back's skin to decelerate following major weight loss, leaving the upper back region with an outstretched and stretched roll of extra skin. A horizontal incision can be made along the torso at the level of the bra line to remove the drooping skin. Frequently, the incision can extend to the breast crease, allowing the surgeon to do a breast lift simultaneously.


Thigh Lift

Individuals who have extra skin on their inner thighs rather than fat are the most likely candidates for a thigh lift. A thigh lift can consist of either a classic or extended type of surgery. A classic procedure addresses only a small amount of vertical excess skin and involves a horizontal incision on the inner part of the thigh. A modified procedure involves a vertical incision in addition to a horizontal incision on the outer part of the thigh.

Benefits of Body Contouring Surgery after WLS

Through body contouring, patients with post-bariatric conditions can improve their quality of life significantly. Most patients see dramatic results after surgery in the first couple of months. It is not only the physical aspects that change, but also the emotional well-being of the patient.



Physical discomfort is common after surgery for patients who have lost massive amounts of weight. Hanging skin can be heavy and can make even everyday activities like walking uncomfortable. The extra skin can rub against other body parts, causing chafing or irritation. As a part of body contouring procedures, these skins are also removed, alleviating discomfort. In many cases, patients feel motivated to maintain their slimmer, more attractive physiques after body contouring.


Reduction of Depression and Anxiety

Researchers have found improvements in body image and depressive symptoms following bariatric surgery in the first two years after the procedure when patients are at or near their maximum weight loss.


A More Positive Self-image

In addition to feeling better about themselves, a person who has had body-contouring surgery will also be more confident in wearing specific outfits or in social situations. A number of studies have reported a change in psychological wellbeing following bariatric contouring surgery.


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Shrivastava P, Aggarwal A, Khazanchi RK. Body contouring surgery in a massive weight loss patient: An overview. Indian J Plast Surg. 2008 Oct;41(Suppl):S114-29. PMID: 20174535; PMCID: PMC2825131.

Taylor J, Shermak M. Body contouring following massive weight loss. Obes Surg. 2004 Sep;14(8):1080-5. doi: 10.1381/0960892041975578. PMID: 15479597.

Toma T, Harling L, Athanasiou T, Darzi A, Ashrafian H. Does Body Contouring After Bariatric Weight Loss Enhance Quality of Life? A Systematic Review of QOL Studies. Obes Surg. 2018 Oct;28(10):3333-3341. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3323-8. PMID: 30069862; PMCID: PMC6153583.

body contouring surgery


Dr. Carlos Castaneda is a plastic surgeon at VIDA Wellness and Beauty. His surgical results have consistently gone above and beyond the expectations of thousands of men and women from United States and around the world. Dr. Castaneda prides himself on his high levels of patient satisfaction.