Body Contouring After Major Weight Loss

With the growing popularity of bariatric procedures, or weight loss surgery, as a treatment for obesity, body contouring has become the final step in the care for many of these patients. Through a wide range of skin removal procedures, board-certified plastic surgeon Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS can help men and women who recently underwent major weight loss achieve the smoother, more contoured physique they have worked so hard to obtain.

If you think you might be a good candidate for body contouring following significant weight loss, this page will give you a basic understanding of the procedures and the results you can expect.

Why Choose Us for Your Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery?

Dr. Zemmel is highly qualified in performing skin removal after major weight loss surgery to help reveal the new you. He completed the highly competitive Integrated Plastic Surgery program at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. During his General Surgery training, Dr. Zemmel assisted with and performed dozens of gastric bypass procedures with several nationally known general surgeons specializing in this field. He also learned the pre-operative and post-operative needs of this patient population and directly provided post-operative care for many patients.

Dr. Zemmel then matriculated to the Plastic Surgery program where he provided dozens of body contouring surgeries to the very same patients. This unique training experience equipped him to understand all aspects of bariatric surgery, allowing him to deliver safe and precise body contouring after major weight loss.

Dr. Zemmel has a special interest in post-weight loss surgery body contouring and dedicates a large portion of his practice to this complex, challenging, and rewarding specialty.

He applies the latest techniques in body sculpting tailored to each patient’s specific needs and goals. He can help you realize the new shape that is hidden beneath the excess skin that remains after your goal weight has been achieved.

Will I Need Plastic Surgery After Bariatric Surgery?

Significant weight loss over a short period of time causes excess skin to build up in certain areas of the body. The remaining skin often does not retain the elasticity found in unstretched skin and will not “shrink back” or recontour to your new underlying body shape. This often leaves excessive amounts of hanging skin around the face, arms, trunk, abdomen, breasts, and thighs. This can create a number of health problems including skin rashes, skin breakdown, hygiene issues, and finding properly fitting clothes.

Dr. Zemmel has developed a comprehensive approach to bariatric patients who wish to achieve their optimal shape following weight loss. During your initial consultation, Dr. Zemmel will get to know you as a person and learn your goals and desires.

How Soon After Bariatric Surgery Can I Get Plastic Surgery?

After weight loss procedures like gastric bypass surgery, many patients obtain their target weight within 12 to 18 months. This is typically a good time to consider skin removal and body lifting procedures, since your body will likely not undergo more dramatic changes that would interfere with the aesthetic results of plastic surgery.

The best way to learn if you are ready for body contouring is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Zemmel, who can provide an honest look at the safety of undergoing cosmetic surgery and your projected results.

What Are the Different Types of Skin Removal Surgery?

Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery and the subsequent weight loss have numerous but similar areas of concern. These areas usually include the face and neck, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and arms. Common plastic surgery procedures to address excess or sagging skin in these areas include:

Facelift and Neck Lift Surgery

Many patients show signs of premature aging due to excess skin around the face and neck. Depending on the degree of excess tissue a facelift (rhytidectomy) in combination with a brow lift or blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) may be necessary to rejuvenate the face. Dr. Zemmel also specializes in minimally invasive facial procedures including the endoscopic brow lift and the MACS (Minimal Access Cranial Suspension) facelift.

Breast Lift

Both women and men may have drooping or sagging of the breasts due to stretching of the skin and volume loss. For women, a mastopexy (breast lift) may be necessary to reposition the nipple and remove excess skin. This may be performed with or without the addition of breast implants to improve shape, volume, and cleavage of the breasts.

Breast Reduction

For men unhappy with sagging breast tissue after major weight loss, several male breast reduction techniques are available depending on the degree of correction required. Liposuction can also be incorporated to remove isolated pockets of fat.

Tummy Tuck

Women and men often have excess, overhanging skin in the abdominal wall area. Occasionally this hanging skin can cause hygiene and health problems associated with repeated skin rashes, skin breakdown, and fungal infections. The underlying abdominal wall muscles may also be lax, and both of these problems can be effectively addressed with a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.

Lower Body Lift

Some patients may have laxity of the trunk that extends around the hips and flanks to the buttock area. This may be treated with a lower body (circumferential body) lift, which helps lift the sagging tissue and tighten the area for a smoother shape.

Thigh Lift

Excess skin can also accumulate around the inner thigh area, leading to chafing, rashes, and feeling self-conscious. Depending on the amount of laxity, the incision for a thigh lift can be placed along the groin crease or lengthwise down the inner thigh for an inconspicuous result.

Arm Lift

Some patients also wish to improve the contour of the upper arms after major weight loss. If a large amount of skin is present creating a “hammock” appearance, an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) may provide relief. This is done via a lengthwise incision placed on the inner back side of the arm with possible extension into the underarm area.

Can Post-Bariatric Body Contouring Be Performed in One Surgery?

All of a patient’s trouble areas typically cannot be addressed during one operation, creating the need for multiple stages of surgery. However, it is common to combine a tummy tuck with a breast lift (with or without the addition of breast implants), or a thigh lift with an arm lift. Two procedures can usually be safely combined.

During your consultation, Dr. Zemmel will listen to your priorities, complete a full examination of your body, and develop a comprehensive plan for your body contouring surgery.

How Much Does Post-Weight Loss Surgery Body Contouring Cost?

Since plastic surgery after major weight loss is highly tailored to the needs of each individual, the cost of your treatment plan may greatly vary from another patient’s total cost. Factors that may affect your cost include:

After your consultation with Dr. Zemmel, our team can provide you with a personalized cost to help you budget for your procedure(s). If you are interested in dividing your total cost into smaller monthly payments, we accept multiple plastic surgery financing options to make plastic surgery more affordable.

Schedule Your Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery Consultation

For a complete evaluation, please contact our team at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zemmel.