Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring

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Procedures Frequently Performed by Dr. Reis

Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring

When individuals lose a significant amount of weight from either diet and exercise or bariatric surgery, they are universally healthier, more fit, slimmer, and more confident as a result. However, on the flipside, their skin almost never contracts back fully so they are often left with loose excess hanging skin as well as residual excess concentrations of fatty tissue. In such cases, body contouring surgery can be the ideal solution.

Body contouring is a term used to describe a wide range of surgical procedures. The singular goal that all of these procedures have in common is to shape and tones the skin and underlying supportive tissue. These procedures all involve tightening and lifting excess loose skin and fatty tissue from the affected areas. These procedures can routinely and safely be combined to target two or more areas in a single operation.

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How Does Body Contouring Work?

Body contouring procedures are performed in our private AAAASF certified cosmetic operating room by Dr. Reis. As most patients that have undergone massive weight loss have multiple areas of their body with loose excess skin that is troublesome, it is often necessary to perform multiple staged procedures in order provide the safest and most reliable longterm outcomes while addressing all areas you would like corrected.

The majority of these procedures are performed as same-day outpatient surgery where you go home the same day as the surgery. However, if a stay overnight is needed or you would like, you can stay at our luxury medical suites in the building. Most patients will receive IV anesthesia and will still be breathing on their own without the need for a ventilator or breathing machine, which is a safer alternative to typical general anesthesia. Sutures will be used to close the incisions, and a dressing will be applied to the affected area. The duration of the surgery depends upon which body contouring procedure you and Dr. Reis have chosen, but typically will not exceed 6 or 7 hours in a single combined surgery day.

Who Is An Appropriate Candidate?

The best candidates for body contouring are people whose weight has stabilized, optimally for a full year, so that any further weight loss or weight gain does not interfere with the results of body contouring. If you have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or anemia, it must be controlled before you can safely undergo the surgery. If you’ve been taking herbal supplements or any blood-thinning tablets, it is advised to stop the pills two weeks before the procedure. Additionally, Dr. Reis will evaluate your overall health before the scheduled surgery date and give advice on your eating, drinking, vitamins, supplements and other medications. Smoking should be stopped at least two to three months before the surgery because it minimizes blood supply to body tissues and active or recent smoking dramatically increases the risk of wound healing problems. Additionally, all herbal supplements, fish oil, and other non-prescription medications need to be stopped two weeks prior to surgery, as these are associated with increased bleeding, bruising and swelling.

What Is The Recovery Process and Time?

After surgery, the patient is required to wear a compression garment to aid healing. When the body contouring procedure is combined with liposuction, the garment is worn for 6-8 weeks. When no liposuction was performed, it is usually worn for two weeks but may be necessary worn longer for optimal results. Dissolving sutures are exclusively used, so there is no need to have any removed. A small drainage tube may also be inserted to reduce fluid buildup, which will typically stay in place for 1-2 weeks, dependent on the amount of drainage daily.

Immediately following surgery, bruising and swelling will be present, which can cause some mild discomfort and pain. Pain is easily managed with a combination of oral medications while the swelling and inflammation subside. Most patients begin tapering the pain medications within the first week of surgery and have completely weaned off onto only Tylenol and Motrin within two weeks. You should be fully enjoying your new look with a resolution of bruising and most of the swelling within a few weeks.


Dr. Scott Reis has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.