Body contouring is typically required for patients who have lost significant weight and have loose skin. When weight is lost, the fatty tissue goes away but the overlying skin fails to withdraw and remains stretched. This can occur in the neck, arms, back, breast, abdomen, buttocks, and inner thighs. Body contouring generally involves removing the excess skin and tightening the internal tissue. Many times this can be combined with liposuction if needed. For some patients that have excess skin that wraps around from the flanks to the back, the back tissue needs to be removed as well and this is termed a “belt lipectomy.” For the inner thighs and buttocks, the treatment is the same: removing and tightening the excess skin combined with liposuction as needed.
Dr. Deutsch will often combine 2 or 3 body contour procedures together in the same operation if the patient is a good candidate. Post-operative garments help with swelling and bruising and restrictions involve no heavy lifting or exercise for 4-6 weeks. The ideal candidate is one who has achieved his or her ideal weight, is healthy, and does not smoke.
Post-Gastric Sleeve Body Contouring
Gastric sleeve surgery, also called vertical sleeve gastrectomy, is a relatively new type of weight loss surgery that is increasing in popularity. During the procedure, approximately 80 percent of the stomach is removed, restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold. Patients become fuller faster, their sensations of hunger are reduced, and they eat a lot less. On average, patients lose around 60 percent of their excess body weight (the difference between a person’s current and ideal weight) in the year following surgery. It’s not uncommon for people to lose 100 pounds or more after a sleeve gastrectomy.
If you are one of the many thousands of people in the U.S. who have had weight loss surgery, you know how good it feels to shed all those unwanted pounds. However, you may still be left with loose, sagging skin that fails to complement your vastly reduced body mass index. With the loss of so much weight in a relatively short period of time, your skin probably doesn’t have enough natural elasticity to “shrink down” to your new, underlying shape.
Yet there are steps that can be taken to remedy the situation. Mark Deutsch, MD, FACS, corrects sagging or excessive, hanging skin using a body contouring procedure known as abdominoplasty (or, more commonly, “tummy tuck” surgery). This procedure can provide you with a tighter, flatter stomach that matches your leaner, trimmer, new body.
Timing is critical. Generally, it’s recommended to have a tummy tuck about a year after gastric sleeve surgery or once you’ve reached your goal weight and maintained it for at least three months; others may require a thigh lift, Brachioplasty, or a combination for excess skin in addition to a tummy tuck procedure. A tummy tuck is not a substitute for weight loss. Ideal candidates are those who are at an optimal and stable weight, finished childbearing, non-smokers, and in good overall health.
Body Contouring with a Tummy Tuck Procedure
During a tummy tuck, Dr. Deutsch removes excess skin and fat on the tummy and tightens the muscles on the abdominal wall. The operation usually lasts two hours and is conducted using general anesthesia. Dr. Deutsch starts by making an incision between the hip bones at about the level of the pubic hair. Through this incision, he removes excess fat, tissue, and skin and repairs and tightens the abdominal tissues with permanent sutures. The navel (umbilicus) may also be remodeled and possibly relocated to achieve the desired results.
Following abdominoplasty, you will experience some swelling and discomfort. It is important to take any prescribed medications and change your bandage regularly. You will need to modify your physical activity for about six weeks after the procedure. You should also plan on taking some time off of work (typically 2 to 4 weeks). Dr. Deutsch can help you determine the best way to modify your activity level and promote your recovery. Most patients are back to their normal routines and activity levels within three months.
Some of the results of the procedure will be immediately noticeable. However, it usually takes about 10 to 12 weeks for the final aesthetic benefits of abdominoplasty to become actualized. This is how long it takes for swelling to go down and tissues to heal.
How much a tummy tuck costs vary, depending on the complexity of what’s needed for the individual patient. We will provide detailed pricing information following your initial consultation so there are no surprises later on. Our practice offers plastic surgery financing through Alphaeon Credit and CareCredit, two very reputable financing companies that provide financing for elective surgeries like tummy tucks.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about abdominoplasty, or to find out whether you qualify for the procedure, contact us today. Our staff will answer any questions you may have and can schedule your appointment with Dr. Deutsch. Don’t wait any longer to achieve the improved health and self-confidence you deserve. You’ve already accomplished a great deal by getting down to your ideal weight. A tummy tuck is a next step to truly feeling and looking your very best.