Losing a great deal of weight, either through diet and exercise or as a result of bariatric surgery, is a huge accomplishment which should be celebrated and the positive benefits in terms of your health and impact on relationships are manifold. Yet many men and women find that their physical appearance is still very far from satisfactory.
If you’ve lost the weight over a relatively short amount of time and been carrying that excess weight for many years, it’s likely that your skin will fail to shrink as the pounds drop off. Sagging skin in loose folds can be left on the abdomen, arms, legs, back, breasts and even face and this excess skin can cause hygiene and medical problems, limit what you can wear and even limit your mobility.
This is the moment that many turn to body contouring surgery which aims to remove this excess skin, helping you to achieve the body you’ve long dreamt of. There are a whole host of body contouring surgery procedures, from tummy tucks to full body lifts, that can be performed, but the timing has to be right. If you’ve just undergone extreme weight loss, there are three main questions which will need answering before any plastic surgeon will recommend you go ahead with surgery…
Are you capable of maintaining a stable weight?
You’ve already put in enormous work in losing so much weight. But it’s essential that you can demonstrate to you and your surgeon that you can keep that weight off. Any significant weight gains between now and your surgery can have a massively negative impact on the outcome of a tummy tuck. Bottom line: the best tummy tuck candidates should already be at their ideal weight (or as close to it as possible) beforehand.
Are you in general good health?
You don’t have to be in the peak of condition to be suitable for a tummy tuck, but there are a few rules of thumb. If you’ve lost weight via bariatric surgery, it’s essential that you give your body time to reset before embarking on further surgery.
More importantly, it’s essential that you can demonstrate that you’ve switched to a healthier lifestyle and are doing what you need to do to avoid extreme weight gain. You won’t have to diet while you recover from tummy tuck surgery, but you will have to concentrate on eating enough of the right foods.
Do you have a goal – and is it realistic?
In most cases, that goal is simple: you’ve done a lot of work on your body, but there are certain things – a pocket of fat, or skin that refuses to ‘snap’ back into place – and you want a procedure to put that right. You will be left with a degree of scarring as the result of surgery, but the majority of patients are happy to accept this in exchange for the marked improvement in their appearance.