Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Is Body Contouring After Weight Loss Right for You?

November 1, 2021

Weight loss comes with many hardships, but the rewards are always worth it. There's no better feeling than reaching your ideal weight after investing a lot of time working out and eating healthy.

Reaching your weight goal is a significant achievement. But when you lose so much weight, you are often left with excess sagging or overhanging skin.

For this reason, people consult a plastic surgeon for body contouring.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Body contouring, also known as body sculpting, is a collection of non-surgical cosmetic treatments that help reveal a toned body hiding beneath the excess layers of fat that have resulted from significant weight loss. Experts say that many people who have lost a significant amount of weight are proud of what they have accomplished but face a new problem: their post-weight loss body reminding them of where they once were.

Body contouring addresses aesthetic concerns; thus, it's usually the final step in achieving the body that many people envision for themselves. If they have undergone bariatric surgery, body contouring is a popular choice for many as a follow-up procedure.

Are You Good Candidate for Plastic Surgery After Massive Weight Loss?

The best candidate for body contouring procedures is someone who has been at their ideal weight or goal for at least six months and is not expected to lose any more weight. Patients benefit most from these procedures if they have excess skin but little excess fat.

It is important that you do not have any chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. You should also eat a healthy diet; problems like protein deficiencies can interfere with healing.

Other criteria for the ideal plastic surgery candidate include:

  • You don't smoke. Smoking slows the healing process and increases the risk of complications during and after surgery. If you are a smoker, you must quit smoking completely at least six weeks before surgery.
  • Have mental stamina as surgical contouring procedures require patience and perseverance.
  • Have realistic expectations of your body after surgery, as these procedures will improve your shape but not fully restore it to how it was before the weight gain. It's also important to remember that a person's skin sags as a normal part of aging.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss: Procedures

Depending on where you have excess or sagging skin, there are different body contouring procedures. Before choosing a procedure, it's important to remember that body contouring is not a means to continue losing weight. Consult a board-certified surgeon to help you detail the plan for your surgery. Here are six common body contouring procedures to know about:


Back Lift

A back lift effectively removes sagging skin and excess soft tissue from the back to create a slimmer, more defined contour. There are two main types of back lifts: a bra-line lift and a vertical back lift.


Lower Body Lift

The lower body lift, also known as an extended or circumferential abdominoplasty, belt lipectomy, or torsoplasty, addresses the excess sagging skin, extra fat, and tissue laxity around and below your waist. This procedure results in tighter skin around the waist, a smoother contour of the midsection, and a refined profile.



A panniculectomy is a procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat deposits from the abdominal area. Medically referred to as the panniculus, this layer of external fat and excess skin in the abdominal area usually resembles an apron. After your panniculectomy, a flatter and smoother midsection without the hanging apron of skin and tissue will immediately be seen. 


Thigh Lift

A thigh lift, or thighplasty, is a great option if you want to improve the contour and appearance of your thighs so they don't appear distorted. By noticeably reducing the circumference of your legs, you can enjoy more options for better-fitting clothes and alleviate skin conditions such as rashes and ulcers that can lead to infection.

Four Types of Thigh Lifts

  1. Inner Thigh Lift, which targets the excess skin on the upper part of the inner thigh.
  2. Outer Thigh Lift, or a lateral thigh lift, which tightens the skin on the front and side of the thigh, removing a portion of excess skin on the buttocks.
  3. Spiral Thigh Lift, a relatively newer body contouring technique, helps refine the front, back, inner, and outer thighs in a circumferential direction.
  4. Vertical Thigh Lift, which reshapes the mid and lower thigh in a circumferential manner.


Breast Lift

A breast lift treats sagging and uneven breasts, decreased breast volume, drooping nipples, and stretched areolas, restoring youthful shape and firmness to your breasts.



Liposuction changes the shape of some regions of the body by removing fat from those areas through various techniques. It is most commonly used for the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, arms, neck, and under the chin and for the back, inner knee, chest, cheek, calves, and ankles.

Bariatric Surgery and Body Contouring

Bariatric surgery helps people achieve a more manageable weight and a sustained decrease in BMI. In this way, people can manage specific weight-related severe health problems. But often, the remaining sagging skin becomes a reminder of past obesity.

Body contouring aims to correct this by bringing the body back to its ideal proportions. This allows individuals to realize the success of their weight loss journey and provides the motivation to maintain their current form and prevent weight gain in the future.

If you want to know your options for body contouring after weight loss, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area who can help you tailor the surgical approach to your specific needs and set the right expectations for you.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss
Ergun Kocak


Dr. Ergun Kocak is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in advanced aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries of the breast and body at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery. He is fellowship-trained in microvascular reconstruction and performs over 200 DIEP and other microvascular free flap breast reconstructions yearly. He also specializes in aesthetic operations of the breast including breast reduction, and breast lift (mastopexy).