Learn about body contouring and find out if it's right for you.
Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D.
June 1, 2010
If you have sagging skin due to extreme and rapid weight loss—for example, following gastric bypass surgery—you may want to consider body contouring surgery to help you reduce, tighten, reshape and tone the excess flab and fat.
What is Body Contouring?
Arm Lifts (brachioplasties) reduce fat and skin between the underarm and elbow.
Body lifts eliminate excess skin in the abdomen, thighs and/or buttocks. Plastic Surgery Review adds that some people choose to have a body lift to improve upon the results of previously performed contouring procedures such as tummy tucks or liposuction.
Bra-line back lifts remove sagging skin and fat rolls from the areas under the arms and around the back that spill over the top of the bra.
Breast lifts (mastopexies) raise and firm breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. Implants may be inserted.
Breast augmentation (a.k.a. augmentation mammaplasty) restores breast volume through the insertion of implants.
Fat transfers (grafting) refer to using the patient's own fat cells to reshape the desired body parts. Body implants can be used as an alternative to fat transfers to improve the shape of the buttocks, chest, calf and bicep. The implants are made from an FDA-approved semi-solid rubberized silicone that fits in front of the bones.
Panniculectomies remove excess fat and skin near and below the belly button. Tummy tucks (abdominoplasties) not only remove excess fat and skin—they also tighten the stomach muscles to achieve a flatter, firmer abdomen. Abdominal etching is slightly different in that the procedure includes sculpting some fat to emphasize muscle definition. Plastic Surgery Review points out that this procedure is generally used with patients who already have strong abs behind the fat layer.
What You Can Expect
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it can take more than two years for your body contouring procedure to reach the expected results; and maintaining your new shape requires getting regular exercise and following a sensible diet. Consult with your plastic surgeon to determine which body contour surgeries, if any, are appropriate for you.