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5 Things to Consider Before Body Contouring Surgery After Major Weight Loss

Surgical Body / October 1, 2014

Significant weight loss and aging often results in considerable skin and tissue laxity of the upper arms, breasts or chest, abdomen, trunk, buttocks and thighs.  This can be extremely frustrating to many patients and is not noticeably improved with exercise or diet.

Body contouring surgery is often an option for some patients to correct sagging and loose tissues and restore a youthful and balanced shape to the body.  New techniques and improved technology allows this to be done safely, on an outpatient basis and with minimal discomfort and less recovery time than in the past.

This is an extremely personal decision and we are here to help each patient with a specific and long-term plan.  When Dr. Barone is making recommendations for weight loss patients, we typically review certain fundamentals for each patient to consider:

  1. Is your weight stable?

This is an important question for a number of reasons. 1) It tells us how committed you are to maintaining your weight, especially if you will be making the investment to have these procedures, we want you to keep the weight off! 2) If you had weight loss surgery, we like to see that you’ve kept your weight stable for at least 6 months at or near your goal.  Also, we need to be sure that your nutrition is stable, and important factor for recovery.

  1. Are other medical issues resolved or controlled?

Issues like diabetes or heart disease must be well controlled or resolved before having body contouring surgery for a number of reasons.  Depending on your medical history it may be necessary to obtain clearance from other medical professionals before you may have an elective procedure. This is for your safety and also something we watch when considering your recovery.

  1. Do you smoke?

Smoking can dramatically impact the body’s ability to heal and increases the risk of complications after surgery. So much so that we suggest that ALL of our surgery patients attempt to quit smoking, or at the very least quit for a period of time before surgery until most healing is complete.

  1. Are you committed to your new lifestyle?

You have worked hard to lose weight and change your life, congratulations!  As mentioned earlier, body contouring surgery is often an investment of not only financial factors but involves time off work, recovery time and is an emotional journey as well.  When considering going through these procedures, which can sometimes mean several surgeries, we urge our patients to renew the commitment they’ve made to themselves and the new lifestyle that got them where they are today.  Keep up with the diet and exercise, and ask us for help if you need resources – we would be happy to point you in the right direction.

  1. Do you have realistic expectations?

The results of body contouring procedures can be dramatic, but it is important to realize that there are of course limitations to what we can do.  There will also be scars, and Dr. Barone and our nursing staff do the best they can to prepare our patients for where they will be and what can be expected as far as recovery time.  We take every opportunity to prepare you as best we can for your surgery, but being mentally tough is important as healing can be quite a process!

We are dedicated to help all of our patients improve their lives through healthier eating, exercise and resiliency, and honored when a patient chooses us to be part of their journey!