Post weight loss plastic surgery, also called bariatric plastic surgery, is a growing specialty within the field of plastic surgery. I use the word “specialty” deliberately, as it truly takes a special plastic surgeon to put beautiful finishing touches on a newly slim body safely.
Weight loss patients should look for a plastic surgeon who—with their skills, experience and commitment to the specialty—can demonstrate that they’re ready for the challenge of resculpting the body. Here’s why.
There’s a range of surgical options. Every body is different; that goes without saying. But it’s especially apparent in weight loss patients. Some people’s skin bounces back to some extent; others describe their unclothed look as “melted wax.” And skin often sags unevenly from one side of the body to the other.
Take the abdominal area, for example, where most people who seek plastic surgery after weight loss have significant amounts of redundant skin. Whereas your average post-childbearing mom may be very satisfied with a standard tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, a weight loss patient may benefit from other options such as an extended abdominoplasty or a circumferential abdominoplasty, or torsoplasty. True to its name, the latter procedure circles the entire torso, lifting and excising droopy skin. Only a plastic surgeon with experience in a variety of abdominal procedures can design and deliver the right option.
There’s a need to understand special challenges. Weight loss patients, particularly those who have chosen bariatric surgery, may have health considerations that must be taken into account when planning surgery. For one thing, when caloric intake is restricted, people often don’t get enough protein in their diets. Low levels of protein can adversely affect the healing process. Other possible factors that can surface are long-term heart or lung issues that may persist after extra pounds have been shed.
Even with some additional challenges to consider, weight loss patients can usually undergo plastic surgery safely.