5 Things to Know Before Undergoing Plastic Surgery After Weight LossOctober 13, 2021
Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss: Weight loss, whether through bariatric surgery or strict diet and exercise, is something to celebrate. You look better, you feel healthier, and you are more active. This allows you to engage in and enjoy a range of experiences even more.
The lifestyle changes that come with weight loss are favorable for many. But sagging skin is a common problem and side effect that affects their confidence. When you research plastic surgery, make sure you know the difference between myths and facts. For this reason, they are exploring the options of undergoing plastic surgery to get their body into the shape they want.
Should I Have Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss?
Patients who have lost a lot of weight are likely to experience skin laxity. This means that their skin is looser, resulting in sagging in various areas.
It is this amount of excess skin that leads many men and women to seek cosmetic surgery. While this decision varies from person to person, plastic surgery helps patients feel whole as the excess skin reminds them of their obesity.
That's why these body contouring procedures feel like the final step to completing their weight loss journey. Not only would they feel lighter, but they would also look fit and toned.
When Is The Right Time To Consider Plastic Surgery
Most surgeons recommend waiting 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery before undergoing plastic surgery. This gives patients enough time to recover, stabilize their weight, and get used to a routine of exercise and eating healthy.
The best candidates for plastic surgery are those with a BMI of less than 30. They should have no to few pre-existing conditions and do not smoke. Candidates with a BMI of 35 or higher, who are active smokers, and in poor general health, run the risk of not recovering correctly after surgery and are at higher risk for complications during any cosmetic procedure. That's why an initial consultation with a surgeon and assessing the patient's overall health is necessary.
The best plastic surgery candidates are committed to a healthy lifestyle and nutritious diet that will help them maintain their shape and weight after surgery.
What Surgeries Are Usually Performed as Part of the Post-Weight Loss Makeover?
Some of the most common surgeries offered post-weight loss include liposuction and the panniculectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the pannus or the apron-like fold of excess skin that hangs from the lower abdomen.
Other procedures that are available include:
- Traditional and Extended Tummy Tuck
- Breast lift With or Without Augmentation
- Arm lift
- Back Lift
- Lower Body Lift
- Buttock lift
- Thigh lift
These procedures may be performed in combination with others, depending on a person’s specific goals. During the initial consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, they can create a treatment plan that meets their patient’s needs in the safest and easiest way possible.
What Should I Expect During Recovery?
During recovery from body contouring surgery, bandages or dressings will be applied to your incisions after the procedure.
After surgery, your surgeon will provide instructions for caring for the surgical site. You will need to attend follow-up visits with your surgeon to ensure that healing is proceeding according to schedule and that there are no side effects.
Depending on the extent of your procedure, you may not be allowed to bend or lift for several weeks.
For thigh lifts and panniculectomies, you'll need to limit standing upright for extended periods of time, as this can put stress on the internal sutures while they heal. However, you should get some exercise as soon as you can to avoid blood clots. Simple activities such as walking around the house will improve circulation, and drinking plenty of fluids will assist in speeding your recovery.
Does Insurance Cover Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss?
Many insurance companies cover weight loss surgery. However, not all providers extend coverage to cosmetic procedures that remove excess skin after weight loss.
Some companies approve skin removal surgery to treat a medical condition such as skin infections due to the folds. In these instances, your surgeon may be required to submit a document to your insurance company.
ABOUT THE AUTHORDr. Pankaj Tiwari is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction with advanced microsurgical techniques at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery. Aside from flap techniques, he is also well-versed in the treatment of lymphedema. He is licensed by both the State Medical Board of Ohio and the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
Read more articles by Dr. Tiwari!