Morbid obesity is an epidemic afflicting many of those in Southern California, including Los Angeles and Orange County. For those who have battled obesity successfully, the challenge of excess and hanging skin folds of the face, abdomen, arms, thighs, and breasts may create problems for personal hygiene and finding clothes that fit.
What is a Post Bariatric Procedure?
A Post Bariatric procedure refers to a body contouring treatment that reduces the excess skin and fat in the body that is a result of major weight loss. After massive weight loss, sagging skin can make the body contour appear misshapen and deformed. A Post Bariatric procedure is designed using a series of procedures to restore the body to a natural proportionate contour. Dr. Kalantarian may recommend a series of procedures such as a lower body lift or upper body lift in combination with other procedures like an arm lift or tummy tuck to best fit the patient’s needs.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Post-Bariatric Body Contouring?
Women who gained a lot of weight during pregnancy, or patients who have undergone bariatric (weight loss) surgery, such as the lapband or gastric bypass, are often unhappy with their shape, even after they’ve reached a healthy weight. A good candidate for a body lift is someone who has maintained their current weight for at least 3 months. Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery are advised to wait at least a year before undergoing any other major surgeries. Women are advised to wait until they are done having children before undergoing a body lift.
What Can I Expect From Post-Bariatric Surgery?
Post-bariatric body contouring is a highly personalized procedure. A consultation with Orange County Dr. K Plastic Surgeon is recommended to formulate a specific plan for your body type and expectations. The most common procedures performed on post-bariatric patients are a lower body lift combined with an upper body lift, also called a total body lift. A lower body lift shapes and tightens the abdomen, back, thighs, and buttocks. During a lower body lift, a belt-like incision is made starting above the outer thighs and buttocks. Dr. Kalantarian then performs the thigh lift and sutures this area before beginning the tummy tuck. During abdominoplasty the doctor will tighten the stomach muscles and perform liposuction on any extra fat in the area. A tummy tuck requires a horizontal incision along the pubic area. An upper body lift shapes and tightens the breast, chest, and mid-back areas. The incision for an upper body lift is made along the bra-line. During an upper body lift the surgeon will eliminate back rolls and contour the waist, as well as tightening the skin beneath the breasts.
What is the Recovery Period After Post-Bariatric Body Contouring?
It is possible Dr. Kalantarian will recommend separate surgeries for patients who opt for a total body lift because risk of complications increase when multiple procedures are performed at the same time. Patients must remain in the hospital for at least 1 to 3 days following a body lift. Pain medication is administered intravenously. Drainage tubes will be inserted for up to two weeks, and a patient will most likely be required to wear compression garments during this time. It generally take 6 weeks for swelling to dramatically decrease, during which time the patient must refrain from strenuous activities.