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What’s Next After WLS? Plastic Surgery!

August 17, 2016

With over 20 years of experience in plastic  and post-bariatric surgery, I have dedicated most of my career to perform facial rejuvenation procedures as well as body contouring for those who have had massive weight loss. To explain what happens after a patient has had bariatric surgery and what aspects should be taken into consideration in order to successfully complete the second part of the process, I wrote this article for you.

If you have decided to undergo a weight loss or bariatric surgery - Congratulations! You have made the most important decision of your life.

Not only because of the years you've added to your life but also for the quality of life you will have. You now have avoided the possibility of developing (if you don’t already suffer from it) diabetes, heart-related problems, high blood pressure and some other diseases that could cause you to die.

However, from talking to many weight loss surgery post-ops that have come to see me in the past 20 years, I find just a few patients have talked or prepared themselves for the changes that their bodies will go through after a massive weight loss. It is for this reason that it is important to me to explain what really happens after a patient has bariatric surgery, and what aspects should be taken into consideration in order to successfully complete the second part of your weight loss surgery journey.

After WLS, What's Next?

After you've lost weight from having bariatric surgery, your body will suffer a tremendous change and you need to be ready to accept it. It will start in the face, chest, abdomen, arms, and legs. During these changes, bariatric patients ask me many questions about their next step. Below are a few of the most common questions:

"What treatments can help me other than plastic surgery?"

Unfortunately, in the majority of cases, there are just a few options besides plastic surgery to correct the loose, saggy skin that comes as a result of losing a large amount of weight. The non-surgical options are very limited. For these patients, I recommend that you consult with a plastic surgeon professional to see if you are a good candidate for other types of treatments for your excess skin.

"After having weight loss surgery, when can I have plastic surgery?"

Depending on the type of bariatric surgery, and how much excess weight you need to lose, most patients lose their weight after six months or one year. If you haven’t lost all the weight that you would like to, consult with your bariatric surgeon or another member of their bariatric team. If you are at your goal weight (or close to it), you are ready to have plastic surgery.

"What do I need to weigh to have plastic surgery?"

When a person reaches their goal weight before they undergo plastic surgery, but you should know there are some patients who never reach their goal weight or others who will see their weight change once we have removed all the excess skin that hangs in their bodies and maybe some of the extra fat that is still left around.  When your weight has stabilized, you can go for a consultation with a plastic surgeon.

"How to decide who to go to have plastic surgery?"

The most important thing is for you to look for an experienced surgeon in the treatment of patients that have lost a lot of weight. Many plastic surgeons specialize in different areas even within the expertise of plastic surgery. You should look for someone who is doing this type of surgeries if not on a daily basis, at least frequently because the only way to improve the expertise is by doing more of this type of surgeries.

"Where should I go to have plastic surgery?"

You should make sure that the clinic where you are going to have plastic surgery has all the accreditations required in order to respond in case of an emergency. Also, make sure the clinic has accommodations for all of the needs of a patient that has had massive weight loss. As an example, at Cosmed, we have made it a priority to have top notch equipment and the experience to treat bariatric patients that have lost large amounts of weight.

"We understand that Cosmed is part of VIDA Wellness and Beauty Center, what is the advantage of this for patients?"

In VIDA Wellness and Beauty, we have evolved to meet our patients' needs. Throughout the years, we have seen that our patients come to us not only with weight problems but also with health issues, this is why we now offer bariatric surgery, internal medicine, hormonal therapy, intravenous nutrition, dental studio and some other options so people not only improve the aesthetic part but they can also be totally healthy.

"How much should I pay for my plastic surgery?"

We are all consumers and at the end of the day, we are interested in prices. Normally the cost of the surgery will vary according to the location of the center. For instance, cities such as New York or Los Angeles will have a higher cost. We shouldn’t confuse the geographical location with the quality of surgery. Neither is there a relationship between price and quality.

At Cosmed, we offer high-quality surgical procedures. We are a team of specialized plastic surgeons in the treatment of after weight loss procedures with over 20 years experience. We also attend to every cosmetic need that bariatric patients might require. Besides this, each one of us has a sub-specialty in plastic surgery
whereby we can team up to offer patients outstanding results.

Cosmed is a surgical clinic certified by the AAAASF (American Asociation for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery) which is an organization that specializes in accreditations with the highest safety standards for patients who will require surgery. We have been certified for several years and not only do we offer surgical facilities but we have a Recovery Boutique with on-call nurses that are available 24/7.

I insist, if you want safety and quality in your surgery, you must choose a certified surgeon that has all the accreditations, training, and certified facilities. More than anything, you have to make sure that the doctors and staff guarantee you the most important thing of all: Safety. So when you have to decide on a plastic surgeon, look for certifications, reviews from other patients and the type of services.

"What advice will you give to someone who's looking to have plastic surgery in Mexico?"

Be careful because there are certain misinterpretations about what qualifies as plastic, cosmetic and aesthetic surgery. We are certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons. There is a very big difference between that and being an aesthetic or cosmetic surgeon. If you are planning to travel to other countries seeking for cheaper services, make certain that they are certified by the American Asociation of Plastic Surgery or the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery.



Alejandro Quiroz, MD, FACS is the chief plastic surgeon at COSMED Plastic Surgery Center in Mexico. Dr. Quiroz is a Board Certified, Bi-lingual, Bi-cultural International Surgeon, Licensed in both the U.S. and Mexico. He is member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), and the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society (SDPSS).

Read more articles from Dr. Quiroz

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