Surgery after Massive Weight Loss

Surgery after massive weight loss is often not a single procedure but many. When patients experience massive weight loss, often designated as 100 pounds or more, there is often significant skin loss and sagging in multiple areas of the body including the abdomen, hips, thighs, arms, breasts, neck, and face, all of which may require surgery to correct the effects of this ā€œdeflationā€. Ā Surgery following massive weight loss is a relatively new area of plastic surgery. These cases were fairly uncommon 25 years ago but have increased significantly since that time. As more people became obese, we saw more patients responding to this problem with medically supervised diets, gastric bypass and banding procedures, medications, and old-fashioned diet and exercise. The result is that we are now seeing patients after their successful weight loss journey that have lost 100 pounds or more on a fairly frequent basis.

With their weight now controlled and overall health improved many of these patients may be disappointed with the appearance of their loose skin. The good news, however, is that plastic surgeons have gained increasing experience and have responded to this challenge by developing new and better procedures to correct the affects of massive weight loss. We are happy to be a part of this ever evolving field and to be able to help patients who have achieved this significant weight loss.

Surgery after Weight Loss Overview

Initial Consultation

At your initial visit we will evaluate your areas of concern and discuss options for treatment. Ā Often our patients have multiple areas they wish to correct and we’ll Ā develop a Ā treatment plan to address these areas. If multiple procedures are needed we we may suggest completing your transformation in stages rather than performing all operations in one setting. Ā This can give our patients the best results with the greatest safety. Ā In some cases we may recommend not pursuing surgery, particularly if we feel the potential risks of surgery outweigh the benefits. Ā Once a treatment plan has been developed, we can discuss how we can plan you surgical procedure(s) to fit your lifestyle.

The No-Drain Technique

For many years we routinely placed drains following abdominoplasty. However, a few years ago we changed our technique, placing progressive tension sutures internally to both better shape the tissues, avoid tension at the incision, and make drain placement unnecessary. We have expanded this technique to other body contouring operations we perform after weight loss, such as brachioplasty, thigh lifts, and others. Ā The benefits to our patients have been dramatic. Many people who have undergone these procedures in the past said that having a drain was one of the most bothersome aspect of their recovery. We now find we rarely use drains and have better results with happier patients.

Best Candidates

Our most successful and happy patients have been those that have dropped their weight to a normal range, maintained a stable weight, planned carefully for their surgery and recovery, had realistic expectations about their results, and have been otherwise healthy.

Planning Your Surgery