Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss
Congratulations! If you’ve recently lost a lot of weight, you’re probably feeling much better about yourself. You have achieved a great milestone! Dr. Frank Agullo can help you get to the next part of your journey in achieving the body you wanted to accomplish by the dramatic weight loss. Body contouring after major weight loss can help you get rid of unwanted skin, flab, overlaps and cellulite pockets that occurred because of your rapid loss in weight.
Stop hiding behind baggy clothes. You’ve finally lost the weight, now it’s time to lose the extra skin and leave the baggage behind you. The procedure you need is called “body contouring”, which is another fancy name for a “full body lift”. Body contouring is a combination of procedures including liposuction, arm lift, breast lift with or without augmentation, back roll excision, circumferential body lift, abdominoplasty, and medial thigh lift. This procedure combines multiple surgeries to trim and shape your back, abdomen, chest (or breasts), thighs and butt. It’s the fastest way – and only way – to treat and remove the excess skin and fatty tissue that is left hanging as a result of rapid weight loss. Everyone doesn’t need all of these procedures at this time, but some do. The number and extent of procedures can only be determined during a full consultation with Dr. Agullo.
Is full-body contouring right for you?
The Full Body Contouring procedure is an ideal solution for people who were once obese and who have since shed a lot of fat. Examples of patients Dr. Agullo has helped include: mothers who want to get their pre-baby bodies back after having multiple babies, patients of bariatric surgery who have done gastric bypass, or someone who has lost a lot of weight by traditional methods, yet who hasn’t experienced any tonal changes through exercise and diet. Take a look at what you can expect:
If you lost weight through gastric bypass, you will usually wait 18 months before undergoing body-contouring surgeries. This is comprised of 12 months of weight loss and 6 months of being stable at your weight. Regardless of the means you used for weight loss, you should be at a stable weight for at least six months before undergoing post weight loss body contouring. If you plan on losing more weight, the sagging skin may reappear after surgery; therefore it is crucial to be at a stable weight. Also, make sure you don’t regain the weight because it will dramatically weaken and further stress the thin skin from surgery and will undo much of the improvement achieved with surgery.
Full body contouring techniques
Body contouring usually encompasses several procedures to accomplish the sculpting of the body. Depending on your goals, sculpting may be completed within one surgical session or during multiple stages.
Body contouring surgery is performed to improve the shape or contour of a person’s body. Liposuction is the traditional method for body contouring, but it has expanded to include procedures that alter and improve the overall shape of a patient’s body. During body contouring procedures, the plastic and reconstructive surgeon reshapes and contours areas of the body where excess skin and fat remain following weight loss or pregnancy. The results are generally dramatic and provide significant functional and aesthetic benefits for the patient.
Body contour surgery should have as its goal a balanced and harmonious sculpting of the human form, treating the body as a whole, and not as isolated parts. Consultation with the patient allows the surgeon the opportunity to come to an understanding of the concerns a patient has, and the ability to offer appropriate procedures to improve them. Each surgery is specifically planned and customized for each individual, addressing their particular needs. Body contouring surgery may include liposuction, tummy tuck, body lift, arm lift, and/or breast augmentation, reduction, or lift.
The techniques we use for full body contouring include:
Liposuction. Liposuction remains best suited for small, isolated fat deposits that have only little extra skin. Many individuals turn to liposuction to reduce or eliminate unwanted bulges on their thighs, hips, and abdomen that cannot be eliminated through diet and exercise. The procedure sculpts the body to its proper proportions and many patients find that self-image and self-confidence improve as well. The dramatic results obtained through liposuction can be maintained by adhering to a healthy diet and exercise program. Learn more about liposuction here.
Tummy tuck. Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty is one of the more popular cosmetic procedures among many individuals. It involves removing excess skin and fat from the abdomen to create a smoother, flatter appearance. By contouring, tightening, and flattening the abdomen, it offers individuals an attractive more physically fit appearance. Learn more about abdominoplasties or tummy tucks here.
Lower body lift. Body lift or circumferential abdominoplasty is ideal when skin on the inner and outer thigh appears loose and unattractive. This procedure is done to tighten the loose skin of the thigh, buttock, and abdomen. By stretching the skin, the contour is improved and the surface assumes a much smoother appearance. It includes an abdominal, thigh, and buttocks lift done at the same time. Patients are often exhilarated to learn of a body lift. Although the scar is lengthy, it is confined to the waistline and is hidden by conventional underwear or a bikini.
Breast contour procedures. Breast enlargement is ideal for the woman who desires a more curvaceous silhouette, whereas breast augmentation can provide naturally fuller-looking breasts with more lift; restoring the balance between chest, hips and waist, giving width and projection. The procedure makes breasts larger, rounder and fuller while providing a natural appearance. Women can have this surgery after their breasts have fully developed. Breast augmentation can help improve a woman’s appearance after pregnancy or excessive weight loss. Learn more about breast augmentation here.
Breast lift can be incorporated when factors such as pregnancy, nursing and the force of gravity take their toll on a woman’s breasts. As the skin loses its elasticity, the breasts often lose their shape and firmness and begin to sag. A breast lift can raise and reshape sagging breasts, provide a fuller more balanced shape, as well as reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. Often, if only a small amount of lift is needed, breast augmentation with implants results in a fuller lifted breast without further surgery. Breast lift can also be combined with a breast augmentation if increased size is desired, as well as a lift. Learn more about breast lift or mastopexy here.
Breast reduction is indicated in patients with very large breasts who may suffer from a variety of symptoms. The weight of the breast tissue itself would cause problems; but many women with large breasts find that this weight causes back strain and discomfort. The bra may even become painful as the straps cut into the shoulders. We work with many patients who suffer from these problems. In fact, some of our happiest patients are breast reduction patients who say that we have improved the quality of their lives. Learn more about reduction mammoplasty or breast reduction here.
Arm lift. Arm lift or brachioplasty deals with loose skin and excess fat at the arms which can be a source of great anxiety. Liposuction alone may be successful if you have good skin tone at the arms, but a brachioplasty may be performed if there is a significant amount of excess skin. The surgeon tightens the excess skin of the arm and armpit in the armpit area, leaving a well-concealed scar. Most patients will accept the arm scar in exchange for an improved arm contour. Learn more about arm lift or brachioplasty here.
Thigh Lift. A thigh lift addresses the excess skin and fatty tissue in the medial, posterior, and anterior thighs. Liposuction in this area can be effective if there is no excess skin. When excess skin is present, it should be excised and pulled upwards. The incision is made along the inguinal crease or groin and extends to the lower buttock crease just above the posterior thigh. When there is a substantial amount of excess skin and fatty tissue circumferentially around the thigh, a vertical incision must be placed from the groin to the knee along the medial portion of the thigh. Learn more about thigh lifts here.
Full body contouring is one of the more complex of procedures, hence requiring several techniques of removing skin excess and fatty deposits from the patient. The term “body contouring” refers to the combination of some of these procedures in one setting. The term “full body lift”, refers to the combination of all or most of these procedures at the same time.
Preparing for Surgery
Even though your surgery is elective, you should know that having any type of surgery should be taken seriously. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to prepare for this “down time” and to ensure faster healing afterward. We recommend that if you are a smoker, to quit at least two weeks before and two weeks after the surgery. Smoking reduces the healing process by about 50%, so this is an important factor for your health. Smoking is also a risk factor for developing areas of skin loss.
- Do not shave your body right before surgery, as the open microscopic pores can increase the chance of infection.
- If possible, get your prescriptions or medications prepared ahead of time. You will not be in a position to move much following surgery and should have someone help you or get it planned in advance.
- Stock your home with extra pads or towels to protect your bedding and mattress in case of any leaking.
- Have gauze and peroxide handy for cleaning wound maintenance.
- Do not eat anything or drink anything at least 12 hours prior to your procedure.
The procedures vary on a case-by-case basis. You can expect to be under general anesthesia for anywhere between four and eight hours. Typically, body contouring surgery begins with your lower body in the thighs, hips and buttocks region, then moving to the abdomen and upper torso. Dr. Agullo will combine different techniques and procedures to achieve your goals. The combination of these procedures will be determined during your thorough consultation.
During the full body lift, the doctor can remove all of the extra skin around your chest, breasts, abdomen, thighs, and back. The procedure is highly personalized to your individual needs and objectives.
Success of your surgery depends on your age, skin type, size and shape. If you have supple, healthy skin your surgery may be more straightforward than someone who has a more severe degree of excess skin and stretch marks and is susceptible to rashes or other healing deterrents. After full recovery, you will be able to wear clothes they were once too self-conscious to wear before, such as bathing suits or tight-fitting jeans and blouses. Most of the scars will be easily hidden with underwear or bathing suit.
Total body lift recovery
Recovering from having a full body contouring procedure may take four to six weeks, But you’ll gradually feel better every day as you realize how lightweight and mobile you will feel by not carrying around all of that extra weight from excess skin and fatty tissue. You may feel free! Your body will feel like it just got a second chance in life.
If you are undergoing more than two or three procedures at the same time you will stay overnight in the hospital or at our outpatient facility depending on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed and your overall health. If you are undergoing more than three or four procedures, you will likely stay at the hospital for three days of recovery after the procedure.
You may feel some pain for a few weeks following your surgery, however keep in mind this pain is only temporary and in the long run you will greatly benefit after having a full body lift because it will give you increased mobility, strength, confidence and many other benefits. You can usually shower the next day after surgery.
It is important to start walking the day after surgery to keep your joints flexible and to avoid getting any blood clots. Moving helps your circulation and blood flow travel through your body. Although painful at first, moving helps the body heal faster and controls the pain quicker. Now is the time to embrace the new you!
Risks associated with full body lifts
It is important to know that surgery always has risks, but you can help prevent complications by carefully following your physician’s instructions both before and after surgery. Communication with your plastic surgeon is of paramount importance. It is important that you choose a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, that the facility is accredited, and that you undergo anesthesia by a board certified anesthesiologist.
Most patients who go through a full body lift have an uneventful recovery, heal normally, and reap the rewards of a new and improved body physique and contour. Yet, there are always risks and complications associated with any type of plastic surgery. The most common risks associated with Circumferential Abdominoplasty include:
- Delayed wound healing
- Unexpected hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding
- Blood Clots
- Risks from anesthesia
- Loss of sensation to the skin
- Need for revisions
In many patients, the skin has lost its elasticity due to the excessive stretching from being overweight. As a result, although all excessive skin is removed during a body lift, the skin may loosen over time and a revision surgery might be necessary.
Cost of full body contouring
Most doctors don’t want to disclose the costs of full-body contours on their websites. That’s understandable. However, we believe you should be empowered to find the best services and have an idea of the cost before committing to the procedures and consultation. You have to keep in mind that the cost is highly related to the number and magnitude of the procedures that are to be performed simultaneously. Performing the procedures together will result in savings compared to performing the procedures separately. In general, you can expect to pay $3,600 – $8,000 + for a full body contour, because of all of the fat that is removed and the many techniques that must be used to achieve this procedure. The cost for the procedures individually is less, and you can check them throughout the website from the main page.
Are you ready to have the body of your dreams?
Dr. Frank Agullo has vast experience in body contouring after massive weight loss at El Paso Cosmetic Surgery and performs the procedures routinely. He has presented techniques and case series throughout the world and has published multiple journal articles and book chapters. We’ve helped many patients to take back their physical form and sculpt the body of their dreams. To minimize risks and complications, all of our body contouring procedures are performed in one day and in less than six hours! Our team is ready to give you the full body lift you want.
Contact us for a consultation to discuss whether a full body lift is right for you.