Plastic surgery after massive weight loss, also known as post bariatric surgery, encompasses procedures that deal with loose and redundant skin that remains after the person has lost weight. Once there is massive weight loss, it is unlikely that the skin will contract completely to the new smaller size of the body. Rolls of excess skin may remain in the abdomen or extremities, making it difficult for these people to take full advantage of their new body. Sometimes, after large fluctuations in weight, the tissues of the abdominal wall, arms, or the legs lose their elasticity, becoming lax and flaccid. The person may have localized accumulations of fat in these areas that they cannot get rid of, despite exercise. Stretch marks may cover the skin of the lower abdomen and occasionally extend as far as the mid-abdominal area. Stretch marks may also be present in the upper or lower extremities, making it difficult for that person to wear short sleeve shirts or pants. The purpose of dermolipectomy is to eliminate many of the deformities that result from excess skin and to give the abdomen and extremities a tighter, firmer, and more pleasing contour.
Body lift and contouring procedures are operations that can benefit both men and women. Men who have had significant weight loss or who have folds of excess skin in the abdomen or extremities may also benefit from Virginia body lift surgery. It must be remembered that individuals who have excess skin may also suffer from excess fatty tissue in the same areas. This operation is not a substitute for more conventional methods of weight loss, such as dieting and exercise. However, after large body weight fluctuations, the skin elasticity may be permanently lost. These individuals are unable to eliminate this excess skin by using normal measures. Under these circumstances, dermolipectomy can provide a means to achieve this goal.
Body lift surgery or dermolipectomy should be thought of as a spectrum of surgical procedures that can be tailored to meet your specific need. In other words, not every person requires an extensive skin excision. In certain situations after losing large amounts of weight, the skin is able to retract considerably, making the need for skin excision unnecessary. However, if it is stretched beyond a certain limit, the skin loses this elastic potential, and it may not retract to conform to the new shape of the body. The degree of skin redundancy will determine the length of the scar with post bariatric surgery. If there is minimal skin redundancy, the scars may be very short and well-hidden. On the other hand, where there is a significant amount of excess skin, the scars may be long and conspicuous. Only your plastic surgeon can tell you how extensive the scars will be. Body lift and post bariatric surgery is often combined with liposuction (fat removal), enabling Dr. Marefat to enhance the end result of surgery and put finishing touches where necessary.
Your recovery from body lift and post bariatric surgery will depend on the extent of skin excision. If a large amount is being excised, the recovery may be 10 days. If a minor excision is being done, the recovery will be closer to 7 days. You will have a moderate amount of swelling and bruising after Virginia body lift surgery. The discomfort is tolerated by most patients without difficulty. The oral pain medication can easily control this discomfort. You should be able to return to your normal level of activity within 2-3 weeks after surgery.
Body lift is an operation in which excess rolls of skin and fat are removed directly from the body or its extremities. To help obtain ideal results, Dr. Marefat may incorporate liposuction into the operation. After bariatric surgery (gastric stapling or gastric bypass), the patient may lose a considerable amount of weight. The skin, however, may not be able to contract to the smaller abdomen and extremities. This excess skin may become very burdensome or even difficult to keep clean. At times, it may even become difficult for someone to find or wear clothing. A dermolipectomy is a spectrum of procedures designed to eliminate excessive skin and fat. Whether you have lost weight through diet or through bariatric surgery, a body lift can visibly emphasize the fruits of your hard work.
A dermolipectomy is performed when skin has lost the ability to contract after massive weight fluctuations. In some instances, it may be due to a genetic predisposition for having loose skin. Dr. Marefat can remove the loose skin and fat from the abdomen, arms, or thighs. This improves the body’s overall shape, causing the skin to become tighter and more youthful. Virginia body lift and post bariatric surgery may be performed on any area of the body with excess skin. Patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery often need to address the excess skin remaining from weight loss.
In the first consultation, you will discuss your concerns with our patient care coordinators and Dr. Marefat. We will explain what you need to know about each procedure and help to determine what is best for you. You will receive information booklets and pricing on the procedure.
A body lift is done by directly removing excess skin and fat. The incisions are usually placed along less conspicuous areas on the body. The extent of the incision will depend on the amount of loose skin present. Sometimes, it can be done through limited incisions. At other times, the excess skin is so abundant that the incisions are long by necessity. The final contouring and shaping of the area may be done with selective liposuction. Unless it is necessary, a Virginia body lift does not address underlying muscles or tissues.
After body lift surgery, you will have a moderate degree of discomfort. The length of recovery will depend on the extent of skin excision. Larger cases may need up to 2 weeks; smaller cases may need only a few days. Since the body lift surgery is limited to the skin, the downtime associated with it is not as significant as procedures that also address muscle and the outer layer of tissue covering the muscle.
The sutures are removed somewhere between 2-3 weeks after the surgery, depending on the area addressed by the procedure.
We like to see our patients frequently after surgery. You are seen by the doctor or nurse within 2-3 days of Virginia body lift surgery. Then, the normal postoperative routine is 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Of course, if there is any need, we will see you more often. After the first year, we encourage our patients to come in for routine follow-up visits every 3-5 years.
You should be able to wear makeup if you have had body lift surgery. However, we do not recommend putting makeup on your incisions until they have healed completely; this may result in tattooing from pigments in the makeup.
Generally, the younger you are, the better candidate you are for surgery. A person’s physiological age is more important than his or her chronological age. That is to say, you may be 60 years old, but your skin and general health may be better than that of most 50 year olds. The best candidates for Virginia body lift surgery are those who are in good health and have realistic expectations about surgery.
You can pay for post bariatric surgery or a body lift by certified check, credit card, or cash. Payment for cosmetic surgery is expected prior to any procedure. If you are scheduled for surgery several weeks in advance, you may pay by personal check.
Yes. In fact, the scars after Virginia body lift and post bariatric surgery can be quite long, depending on the amount of excess skin removed. A large amount of excess skin will necessitate a longer incision. Usually, we try to hide incisions in less visible areas. The scars of a body lift are located in the bikini area and, therefore, are less likely to be noticed. However, modifications to the surgery may be necessary that can result in a visible scar. Scars do fade with time; however, they will never go away completely. If you are contemplating Virginia body lift or post bariatric surgery, you must be comfortable with the idea of permanent scars. You are exchanging the inconvenience of excess rolls of skin for scars. This is a necessary compromise with this procedure.
Yes. However, the pain involved in Virginia body lift and post bariatric surgery is very tolerable. We have heard our patients describe it as aches or soreness but not as severe pain. Many patients do quite well with the medications prescribed to them for pain relief. Dr. Marefat usually injects the incisions with a solution that helps minimize the postoperative pain.
Not usually. Most dermolipectomies are done with the patient under general anesthesia. In certain cases, the amount of excess skin is so little that we can remove it by injecting it with local numbing medicine. This would be an exception, however, and up to the doctor to decide whether your procedure can be performed without general anesthesia.
The post bariatric surgery will be performed in either the hospital or outpatient facility, depending on the size and number of areas to be treated. Large skin excisions may require 1-2 nights of postoperative observation in the hospital. If your skin excision is less extensive, you may have this performed in an outpatient surgery center. Your plastic surgeon will decide which facility is best in your case.
Yes. In all cosmetic and reconstructive cases, medical photos are taken. Photographs are mandatory. This is the only way for us to compare your status before the procedure to your results. Photographs in plastic surgery serve the same purpose as x-rays do in other medical professions.
Dr. Marefat and the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery would be happy to help you set up a private consultation to discuss body lift & post bariatric surgery in Virginia. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our locations at 703-516-7600 (Arlington area) or at 703-560-9583 (Woodbridge).
Dr. Marefat offers a number of financial assistance programs and payment programs to cover the cost of body lift & post bariatric surgery in Virginia. Please visit the patient financing section of our website for more details or ask the staff at Metropolitan Plastic Surgery about these options so that you can get started with body lift & post bariatric surgery in Virginia today.