The 7 Most Popular Options for Post-Bariatric Surgery
- 11 November 2016
- Dr. Mark Broudo
Losing weight may be your ultimate goal when you undergo weight loss surgery, but your problems do not stop once you have lost all those unwanted fats.
If you have lost a huge amount of weight, you will likely be dealing with a lot of excess skin after your bariatric surgery, which makes it essential to undergo further post-bariatric surgeries to achieve a desirable body contour and appearance.
Check out the following post-bariatric surgeries that you can discuss with your plastic surgeon to restore attractive body proportions.
After your bariatric surgery, you are most likely to have a pannus – an overhanging apron of skin located in your lower abdomen that can be extremely troublesome, not to mention unsightly. Thus, post-bariatric surgeries often involve panniculectomy, which removes the hanging pannus below your belly button.
In this surgery, a horizontal incision is made in the pubic area, from where the excess skin and fat are removed. The remaining skin is pulled closed and secured with sutures.
Even though a panniculectomy can get rid of that annoying flab of fat in the abdomen, it does not remove excess skin and fat above the belly button, thus resulting in little improvement in belly contour by itself. However, when combined with other post-weight loss surgeries, panniculectomy can significantly mend the appearance of the abdomen.
Also known as a lower body lift, a belt lipectomy is a surgery designed for reshaping and contouring the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, and thighs. It is best for patients who have excessive loose skin in the lower body area.
A circumferential incision – passing from the back around the hips to the front of the thighs – is usually made for this procedure. Through the incision, your surgeon removes loose skin and underlying fat tissue from below the incision to suspend the remaining tissues and smoothen the lower part of the body. You are placed in different positions throughout the lower body lift, depending on the area being operated on. The belt lipectomy often starts in the buttocks and then progresses to address your hips and thighs. It is often combined with skin tightening in the abdominal region.
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Often done as part of a lower body lift, abdominoplasty or tummy tuck removes excess loose skin and fat in the lower abdomen below the belly button area. It also helps tighten slack abdominal muscles and even produces noticeable improvements in the appearance of stretch marks.
To do a tummy tuck, your surgeon creates an incision along the natural crease of the bikini line and running from hip to hip. Through this incision, excess skin and fat from the abdominal area are removed. The fascia overlying the abdominal muscles are also tightened with permanent sutures. The belly button and the skin around it are also repositioned for a more natural and tight-looking abdomen.
Though your surgeon will try to keep your scars hidden, the length and visibility of scars vary greatly, depending on the amount of fat and skin that needs to be removed.
Better known as liposuction, lipoplasty is a surgery that is often used in conjunction with a wide variety of plastic surgery procedures following dramatic weight loss. Depending on the location, it can significantly improve the contours of your flanks, hips, thighs, knees, upper arms, neck, and chest.
Small incisions – just enough to accommodate the liposuction cannulas – are made in areas where excess fat is to be removed. The cannula is then inserted through the incision to create tunnels through the fat. The cannula then suctions the fat towards a high-vacuum hose. Once the excess fat has been removed, your surgeon will apply dressings on your incision sites and put you in a compression garment to aid in recovery.
But even though a lipoplasty can remove excess fat in your body, it does not address the appearance of loose skin, which is why it should be done in combination with other post-bariatric surgeries.
Mastopexy is more commonly known as a breast lift – a very popular procedure not just for post-bariatric surgery patients but among women in general. This procedure aims to return the youthful shape and lift of the breasts by decreasing breast volume and fixing drooping nipples. However, it is important to note that a breast lift does not enlarge or reduce the size of the breasts.
The incisions for a mastopexy depend on the amount of excess skin, position of nipples, your preferences, and your doctor’s recommendations. Your surgeon then repositions and reshapes the breast tissue through the incision, and also surgically removes excess skin. The nipples and areola are also repositioned to a more youthful height. Sometimes, the size of the areola also needs to be reduced, so your surgeon will excise the skin around the perimeter. The remaining skin is tightened while closing the incisions, layering the sutures deep within the breast tissue to support the newly shaped breasts.
The upper arm lift or brachioplasty is designed to remove excess skin and fat deposits, giving the arms a more pleasing and youthful contour. It is a popular component of post-bariatric surgery because the upper arms generally become loose and flabby due to dramatic weight loss.
Though the incisions depend on the amount of excess skin to be removed, it is usually placed either on the inside or back of the arm, extending from the armpit to just above the elbow. Excess fat and skin are excised through the incision.
If an arm lift has not been enough to remove the fats, you may need to undergo a liposuction of the upper arms. For those who only have a small amount of extra skin on the arms, a mini brachioplasty may be performed instead. This limits the incision to the underarm area, lessening the visibility of scars.
Also known as a thigh lift, thighplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat on the thighs to give them a tighter and more toned appearance. There are several types of thigh lifts that you can undergo for post-bariatric surgery, such as the inner thigh lift, vertical thighplasty, and outer thigh lift. Your choice of technique depends on the location and amount of your excess skin on the thighs.
After undergoing dramatic weight loss due to weight loss surgery, you might want to discuss your options with your surgeon when it comes to dealing with all the excess skin. Schedule a Free Consultation with one of Face + Body Cosmetic Surgery’s experienced and board-certified surgeons to discuss your options when it comes to post-bariatric surgery.