Cosmetic Surgery after Massive Weight Loss

What happens when an obese person attempts to safely lose half of their body weight in 365 days through hard work and healthy diet and exercise? ABC set out to document the weight loss journeys of eight individuals in the reality television series Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. Last week, Atlanta area (Duluth) native Alex Respess was featured on the show.  Twenty-three year old Respess weighed 459 pounds when he began his transformation, and after twelve long months of hard work, he’d lost 216 pounds. His extreme makeover was completed with cosmetic surgery to remove the excess skin that remained even after the weight was gone.

Cosmetic Surgery after Massive Weight Loss at Atlanta Plastic SurgeryAlex is not alone in needing skin removal surgery after such dramatic weight loss. When a person loses a substantial amount of weight, whether it’s a result of diet and exercise or in response to weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery), they are often left with excess, draping skin. After the skin is stretched to a certain point, it becomes lax and doesn’t bounce back like it once did. The highly skilled plastic surgeons of Atlanta Plastic Surgery offer body lift surgery to help post weight loss patients achieve a smoother figure by eliminating excess skin and tightening the remaining tissue.

As with cosmetic surgery after pregnancy, the components of post weight loss surgery are dependent upon a patient’s specific needs. Body lift surgery entails removing, lifting and tightening excess skin and tissue. A typical body lift procedure includes tummy tuck, arm lift, and thigh lift. A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles to reveal a flatter, tighter stomach.  While a typical tummy tuck procedure focuses specifically on the abdomen, most post bariatric patients need a circumferential body lift.  This procedure removes skin and tightens muscle of the abdomen, around the waist, and treats the hips and flanks.  Arm lift surgery (brachioplasty) removes loose, sagging skin and fat from under the upper arms. Similarly, thigh lift surgery (thighplasty) removes excess skin and fat from the inner and outer thighs.

In addition to the aforementioned components of body lift surgery, liposuction may be used to remove isolated areas of excess fat. Women often undergo breast lift surgery (mastopexy) after massive weight loss to lift sagging breasts that have lost volume due to weight loss. At times, breast reduction is necessary to remove fat and glandular tissue for patients with overly large breasts. Male patients who have excess breast tissue (gynecomastia) after weight loss may benefit from male breast reduction surgery to give their chest a more masculine appearance.

If you’re interested in cosmetic surgery to further enhance your achieved weight loss goals, schedule a consultation. For more information about the plastic surgery procedures performed at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, visit our website and continue to read our blog.