Some people are able to lose weight on their own with diet and exercise. Others turn to weight loss surgery such as bariatric surgery and gastric bypass surgery. With massive weight loss in a short time, skin often does not shrink well. Body contouring surgery after weight loss helps people deal with this extra skin to refine their new look.
Here in East Contra Costa County, we have one of the finest bariatric surgery centers in the nation located at John Muir Medical Center in Concord. Local patients who have lost massive amounts of weight are turning to plastic surgeons to help them improve their quality of life and self-esteem.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Eric Mariotti performs well-designed, strategically staged procedures with excellent, consistent results while maximizing patient safety. Dr. Mariotti has performed major contouring procedures on many of the bariatric surgery patients not only from John Muir Medical Center, but also from Stanford, San Francisco, San Diego and many from out of state.
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Excess skin on the upper arm is treated with brachioplasty. An incision is made along a line connecting the armpit to the elbow and excess tissue is removed. The scars are well hidden.
Tummy Tuck or Lower Body Lift
This is indicated for patients with generalized loose skin encircling the torso. At our practice in Concord, this procedure takes a tummy tuck and continues it around the back to tighten not only the abdomen, but also droopy thighs and buttocks.
Dr. Mariotti also offers a no-drain technique for abdominoplasty and lower body lift. Previously, external drains were put in place following surgery in order to minimize fluid buildup, called seroma. Though these drains are useful, they can be inconvenient and uncomfortable, affecting mobility and causing additional stress during the recovery period. With the no-drain technique, internal sutures are used to secure the skin to the abdominal wall, thereby closing the space where fluid could collect. The internal sutures are dissolvable and do not require removal.
During your consultation, be sure to discuss your candidacy for a no-drain procedure with Dr. Mariotti. He is excited to help you explore your surgical options and find the solution that works best for you.
What's Best for You?Dr. Mariotti wrote an article for the popular weight loss site Obesity Help where he talked about the differences between a tummy tuck and lower body lift. We encourage you to check it out!
Mastopexy (Breast Lift/Reduction)
The excess skin is surgically removed and the nipple is elevated to create a more youthful appearance. Sometimes excess tissue from the lateral chest wall can be used to augment the breast volume.
Usually one of the last procedures to be performed, this can involve either removal of the upper inner thigh skin only or, in cases where the skin is loose over the entire leg, the incision may be placed down the inner thigh to remove a greater amount of skin.
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The Role of Plastic Surgery after Weight Loss
Massive weight loss is defined as the loss of greater than 100 pounds or 100 percent above the person’s ideal body weight. Patients are usually left with a large amount of excess skin. The need to remove this excess skin is not only for aesthetic benefit but, in some cases, may help treat medical conditions. To address these problems, patients are first evaluated when they have reached their plateau of weight loss. This is usually a year after their gastric bypass operations. Body contouring surgery is planned only for patients who are psychologically stable and willing to accept staged operations to achieve the expected goals.
The exact sequence is customized to the needs and desires of each patient. Surgery after weight loss typically includes a belt lipectomy for the abdomen followed by a thigh lift and arm lift. Women who have lost a large amount of weight often have extremely droopy breasts and need a breast lift. Dr. Mariotti may also perform liposuction in conjunction with any of the lift procedures, which is especially effective for the upper abdomen, flanks and thighs.
Many insurance companies have tightened the requirements for coverage of plastic surgery after weight loss. Patients should understand that no insurance company is in the business of covering procedures that are primarily cosmetic. However, if there are medical problems associated with the excess skin, such as chronic rashes previously treated with conservative measures, coverage may be possible.
The most common coverage is for a panniculectomy, which is the removal of the skin which hangs below the pubic area. Although no insurance company will pay for a cosmetic tummy tuck, many patients choose to combine an insurance-covered panniculectomy with a tummy tuck to help offset the costs of the more complete cosmetic procedure. Insurance coverage always requires the submission of a letter from Dr. Mariotti along with supporting documentation and photographs.
Take the first step toward your dream look and contact us online or call our Concord office at 925-685-4533 to request a consultation.
After Weight Loss FAQs
The cost of plastic surgery after weight loss will depend on which and how many procedures you choose to include in your surgery, as well as factors like your location and the plastic surgery practice you select. Combining multiple procedures into one surgery will help to offset fees for anesthesia, operating room facilities and other associated costs.
In some cases, insurance may cover all or part of the cost of your after weight loss plastic surgery. Check with your insurance provider for more information.
If cost is a constraint for you, discuss your financing and payment options with Dr. Mariotti at your consultation.
Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with post-weight-loss treatment plans and procedures. Consider, too, the specific procedures you’re thinking about including, looking at before and after photos from this particular plastic surgeon.
The best procedures to include will depend on your specific needs and goals. Some of the most popular after weight loss procedures include panniculectomy, lower body lift, upper arm lift, liposuction, abdominoplasty and breast lift.
Most post-weight-loss plastic surgeries are focused on removing and tightening excess skin, as well as addressing exercise-resistant fat.
The ideal candidate for plastic surgery following weight loss will have already come close to or achieved their target weight prior to plastic surgery. It is also crucial that you are able to maintain a healthy, stable weight for several months before moving forward with your plastic surgery procedures.
Plastic surgery after weight loss is typically performed under general anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during your procedure. Afterward, you may experience some swelling, bruising, tenderness and discomfort as your body begins the healing process. Dr. Mariotti will prescribe the appropriate medication for pain management. You should notice an improvement in these symptoms, as well as your results taking shape, over the next several days and weeks.
Your recovery experience will depend on which and how many procedures you’ve included in your post-weight-loss plastic surgery. Generally speaking, plan to take around 1 to 2 weeks off of work and other daily duties to rest and recover. You may be able to resume light physical activities around 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery, holding off on more strenuous activities until the four- to six-week mark. Dr. Mariotti will provide you with detailed recovery guidelines based on your customized procedure.
Results will continue to develop over the next weeks and months following your procedure and can be very long lasting. However, it is crucial that you maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen, as future weight gain can affect your results down the road.
*Information for education only, not meant as a guarantee of results. Your results may vary. Unless otherwise noted, images on this site are of models.