Losing 100 pounds or more is a major accomplishment and an excellent first step toward enjoying a healthier lifestyle. Whether those pounds were shed by adhering to a diet and exercise regimen or as a result of bariatric surgery, you likely were left with an excessive amount of sagging skin that can pose its own challenges. It may even prevent you from being able to experience all the benefits that significant weight loss has to offer. This can be addressed with skin removal surgery. Dr. Erick Sanchez is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Baton Rouge, LA. He specializes in after weight loss surgery and works closely with patients to reshape their skin and create a more contoured physique.
What is skin removal surgery?
Following the loss of a substantial amount of weight, a variety of body contouring procedures can be performed to achieve a more natural-looking shape. Excess folds of skin can be eliminated on areas including the buttocks, legs, arms, and torso. Not only can these surgeries help make patients feel more comfortable, but they also can make performing exercises and other movements easier, help clothing fit better, and provide a major self-confidence boost.
How to find a surgeon
Skin removal is a highly specialized type of cosmetic surgery that is best performed by a skilled plastic surgeon in Baton Rouge who, like Dr. Sanchez, has been extensively trained and specializes in body contouring procedures. To help ensure that your surgery is performed safely and that you receive excellent results, it is wise to do some homework prior to your procedure and learn about a surgeon’s education, medical background, and practice history. Ideally, he or she will be board certified and have received formal training in body contouring procedures, which they perform regularly at one or more accredited surgical facilities. Request to view before-and-after photos of previous skin removal patients. A reputable surgeon will post a portfolio of their work on the website of their practice or will have examples available at their office. This is your best opportunity to glean insight into the type of results the surgeon typically is able to achieve.
Which procedures can be performed?
Like many other cosmetic procedures, skin removal surgery is highly customizable to address each patient’s individual aesthetic needs and goals. In general, most surgeries involve body lifting procedures. These may include one or more of the following:
Thigh and butt lift – By removing skin on and around the thighs and buttocks, a slender and smoother appearance can be created. When incisions are made beneath the crease of the buttocks, lower on the hips, and near the groin, scars may be easily camouflaged by a swimsuit or undergarments. This transformative procedure can vastly improve the shape of the legs and lower body as well as allow Baton Rouge to patients feel more comfortable and confident while donning shorts and jeans.
Lower body lift – Also known as a circumferential body lift, this common after weight loss procedure focuses on the buttocks, abdomen, and thighs. It also is among the most extensive cosmetic procedures, requiring a lengthy incision near the top of the hip bone that stretches around the body. Similar to a tummy tuck, it is used to remove skin from both the front and back of the torso and tighten the abdominal muscles. This lends a firmer look and feel to the remaining tissue as well as a more pleasing shape to the lower body.
Panniculectomy – It is not unusual for weight loss patients to have a large drape of skin that hangs down below the belly button. During a panniculectomy, Dr. Erick Sanchez removes this so-called “apron” of skin through an incision above the pubic bone. This causes the skin on the torso to appear firmer and flatter. Panniculectomies are appreciated by patients as the procedure can significantly boost their level of comfort and improve the fit of clothing.
Upper body lift procedures
Several back lift procedures also offer benefits for post-weight loss patients. These include:
Breast lift – It is not unusual for female patients in Baton Rouge to be disappointed with the appearance of their breasts following the loss of a significant amount of weight. The breasts may lose volume and look deflated or saggy. During a breast lift, excess skin is removed, the breast is reshaped for better symmetry and its position on the torso is altered to lend a more perky, youthful look. To increase size and volume, breast implants can also be placed in conjunction with a breast lift.
Back or bra line lift – Liposuction is employed and skin is removed as a way to eliminate bothersome rolls that appear below and around the bra band on female patients. As part of a back or bra line lift, an incision is made along the bra line so that scars will be hidden beneath clothing. As a result, the skin on the upper back will look smoother and more contoured.
Arm lift – The dreaded “bat wing” that results when the skin on the upper arm drapes downward can be improved or eliminated with an arm lift. During this procedure, loose skin and fat are removed through an incision along the underside of the upper arm. This restores firmness and creates a contoured shape.
The recovery process
The duration of your recovery following skin removal procedures will depend largely on the type and how many surgeries were performed. For example, a lower body lift may require a brief hospital stay. Discomfort levels may be significant for several days following surgery, and drainage tubes may be in place for up to two weeks until the swelling subsides. You may experience physical limitations and be required to refrain from exercise and lifting items for six weeks or more as your body heals. Recoveries from other lift procedures may not be as lengthy.
If you are ready to get rid of the excess skin that results following a dramatic weight loss, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Erick Sanchez. He is dedicated to assisting Baton Rouge patients experience the full benefits of skin removal surgery and feel comfortable in their own skin.