How to Make the Most of Your Post-Weight Loss Journey
Weight loss is a goal for countless Houston men and women who are unhappy with their appearance or concerned about their health. Reaching a goal weight is an exciting time for many, but for others, dropping a significant amount of weight brings on a new set of aesthetic or medical concerns. Loose, sagging skin left behind by massive weight loss can take a toll on your confidence and, in some cases, be a physical impediment that impacts your quality of life.
The good news is that there are surgical procedures available to address this excess skin. At Houston Center for Plastic Surgery, Dr. Norman Rappaport offers a variety of procedures that can enhance and contour the new body you’ve achieved through weight loss. These post-weight loss surgeries can be performed individually or together for more dramatic results.
Weight loss can leave loose skin that extends from the underarm to the elbow on the lower portion of the upper arms. An arm lift (brachioplasty) reduces this sagging “bat wing” skin while reshaping the underlying supportive tissue for a leaner, more defined arm contour. Dr. Rappaport offers several arm lift techniques in order to tailor the procedure to each patient’s needs. For a relatively modest treatment area, a limited-incision brachioplasty can move excess skin into the armpit with a small incision. More extensive treatment areas may require a standard brachioplasty to remove excess skin and tissue. The most extensive results are achieved with an extended brachioplasty, which addresses excess tissue on the side of the chest wall in addition to the upper arm.
Arm lifts at Houston Center for Plastic Surgery are performed on an outpatient basis, using either local or general anesthesia. The incision length, procedure steps and duration of the surgery will depend on the amount of tissue removed and the technique used. Recovery may involve compression garments and drainage tubes to help alleviate swelling, and most patients can return to work, provided it is not physically demanding, within a few days of the procedure.
Sagging and drooping breasts are a common occurrence after significant weight loss. Many women opt to enhance their breasts after weight loss through surgical procedures that can reshape, lift or add volume to breasts that appear “deflated.” A breast lift (mastopexy) can restore your breasts to a higher position on the chest. The procedure also removes excess skin, and repositions the nipple and areola for a more youthful look. The result is a naturally attractive shape that is in better proportion to your post-weight loss body. A breast lift may be enhanced by breast augmentation using implants to restore lost volume, and Dr. Rappaport also offers skin reduction and reshaping benefits for men who have lost a substantial amount of weight.
Dr. Rappaport may use one of several incision techniques to achieve your desired results. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, typically under general anesthesia, so patients can return home on the same day as their surgery. The duration of the procedure will depend on the technique used, the extent of the surgery and whether any additional procedures will be performed concurrently. Most patients can return to work within a week, and results develop over the next few months as the incision scars fade and the breasts settle into their final shape and position.
A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) creates a more defined waistline by tightening the vertical muscles of the abdominal wall, removing excess skin and tissue from the midsection, and smoothing the area around the navel. The procedure is an excellent way to eliminate loose skin around the abdomen caused by significant weight loss. Depending on the amount of tissue to be removed, Dr. Rappaport can perform a standard tummy tuck or a mini tummy tuck (partial abdominoplasty). A mini tummy tuck achieves a more sculpted midsection with smaller incisions and less downtime than a full tummy tuck. Liposuction can added to your tummy tuck procedure to remove stubborn deposits of fat that remain despite prior weight loss efforts or procedures.
A tummy tuck is completed under general anesthesia and can be performed on an outpatient basis; however, many patients prefer to remain in the facility overnight for professional care. Surgical drains will be placed for several days, and a compression garment will need to be worn to encourage proper healing. Patients can typically return to light activities within two weeks. More strenuous activities should be avoided for six to eight weeks to allow sufficient time for the abdomen to heal.
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift (belt lipectomy) is designed to achieve a more pleasing body contour for patients who have sagging tissue around their entire torso, not just the abdominal area. Body lift surgery helps elevate the entire lower region of the body by tightening the abdominal wall and removing excess skin on the midsection, thighs and buttocks. Removing this burdensome tissue not only has aesthetic benefits, but it can also help clothing fit better, improve mobility and prevent rashes caused by friction between skin folds. A lower body lift can be combined with liposuction or other lift procedures.
Dr. Rappaport performs a lower body lift under general anesthesia. The procedure typically takes between four and six hours to complete and usually requires at least an overnight stay in the hospital. Drains and a compression garment will be used during the recovery period. Daily activities can usually be resumed in 10 days to two weeks, though it may take several weeks for preoperative energy levels to return. Your results will continue to improve over the year following surgery.
Enhance Your Weight Loss Journey with HCPS
Is post-weight loss surgery right for you? As a Houston board-certified surgeon with extensive experience performing lift procedures, Dr. Rappaport is qualified to recommended options based on your needs and desired outcomes. Dr. Rappaport will work closely with you to clarify your goals and create a customized treatment plan designed to achieve the best possible results for your unique circumstances. Contact Houston Center for Plastic Surgery today at 713-790-4500 to take the next step in your weight loss journey.