Excess skin removal and cosmetic surgery are viable options for many weight loss surgery patients because of the dramatic body changes that occur with extreme weight loss. Bariatric patients will likely have to deal with excess and sagging skin as they lose weight because their skin will have breached its elastic limit – meaning that it has stretched past the point of recovery. The degree to which sagging skin occurs depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and speed of weight loss. In order to correct these issues when they occur, various cosmetic procedures including body lifts, breast lifts, panniculectomies, and abdominoplasties are available to help with the discomfort that may be associated with excess skin, as well as to enhance overall physical appearance.
You can learn more about the most common corrective and cosmetic surgery procedures after weight loss surgery by clicking the links below:
While cosmetic surgery has become routine in the United States, it is important that patients coordinate with their weight loss surgeon and their primary physician before undergoing any additional surgical procedures. Patients should wait until their weight has stabilized before undergoing a procedure to correct excess or sagging skin. If their weight is still in flux, the procedure may fail, and any additional weight gain may lead to more excess skin when that weight is once again lost. It is generally recommended that patients wait about 18-24 months after surgery before undergoing a cosmetic procedure.
Many cosmetic procedures can be performed in an ambulatory surgery center, as outpatient surgery. That means that most patients will be able to return home the same day, depending on the anesthesia used, the type of surgery performed and the policy of the surgery center.
Cosmetic surgery is a major procedure and patients should be in optimal health before they undergo any kind of surgery, especially an elective one. That means that the diseases associated with morbid obesity should be significantly reduced or eliminated before the patient considers cosmetic surgery. In addition, tobacco smoking can adversely affect healing of large skin incisions. Most surgeons will not perform cosmetic surgery on patients who are actively smoking tobacco cigarettes. For patients that may be considering cosmetic surgery after bariatric surgery, it is important that they take care in finding the right surgeon for them. While most bariatric practices and primary physicians will have one or several cosmetic surgeons that they recommend, patients should always research their options diligently. In some cases, bariatric surgeons may be trained and experienced in cosmetic procedures related to excess skin after weight loss.