Post Bariatric Body Contour
Dr. John Pedersen
Surgery
When we gain weight, our skin naturally stretches to accommodate the extra fatty tissue. When skin is stretched an extreme, it becomes damaged. Overstretched skin loses its elasticity, which is what allows it to maintain its tone and tightness. Stretch marks are a manifestation of too much stretch on our skin. Thus, when a person loses a massive amount of weight, the damaged skin has little capacity to “snap back” and does not conform to the new shape of the person's body. This can result in significant amounts of sagging skin. In addition to cosmetic problems, folds of sagging skin can be a health issues such as rashes, infections and wounds to develop. Nothing can restore the skin's elasticity, so, in order to tighten sagging skin after weight loss, I perform body contour surgery.

Gastric bypass surgery's ever-increasing popularity as a treatment for morbid obesity means that more and more people are in need of surgery to tighten skin after weight loss.

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Over 75,000 post-bariatric body contouring procedures were performed in 2005, and that number has risen ever since. I am happy to be providing patients with the most up to date, state-of-the-art surgical procedures to tighten skin after weight loss. My goal is to provide safe, an effective result of post-bariatric body contouring that is based on your desires.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss
Post-bariatric body contouring surgery, or simply, "body lift” surgery, is an effective surgical process used to remove excess skin and tighten skin after weight loss. Excess skin develops in both set patterns and patterns that are unique to each individual. After removal the residual skin is lifted and tightened to better fit the patient's body frame. This usually takes place over the course of several visits to the surgical facility, as I address each area of your specific goals.

Post-bariatric body contouring is not a single procedure, but rather a collection of procedures: Abdominoplasty (tummy Tuck), Panniculectomy, Belt Lipectomy, Face lift (rhytidectomy), Arm lift (brachioplasty), Thigh lift (thighplasty). Each of these is used to tighten skin after weight loss in a specific area of the body according to your goals.

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck), Panniculectomy, Belt lipectomy
There exist many layers to the abdominal wall all of which are affected my weight gain and loss. Panniculectomy addresses only one of the layers; the skin. In order to give the trunk of your body a more ideal contour, Abdominoplasty addresses the layers underneath the skin, which further enhances your outcome. During an abdominoplasty, we remove the loose skin. Additionally, during abdominoplasty I tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall that causes the abdomen to protrude. A Belt Lipectomy refers to a procedure in which the excess skin is removed around the entire circumference of the body. At times this is necessary to provide a smooth contour. In all procedures, the skin is then brought down and secured with stitches underneath the skin. No staples are used and all sutures dissolve so that there are none to remove postop. Incisions are strategically placed so that nearly all-resulting scars can be concealed beneath a bathing suit.

Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
When sagging skin is draped around the upper arm and sometimes the forearm, we use a procedure known as brachioplasty, or arm lift. The field of plastic surgery has advanced greatly over the past decade. We now are able to hide our incisions in both remote area and hidden spaces. We utilize these concepts when contouring the arm and forearm. Brachioplasty is a tool we use to remove the drooping skin from under the arm and conceal the scar so that short sleeve shirts are back in the wardrobe.

Thighplasty (Hip and Thigh Lift)
The hip and thigh region are major locations where fat is stored, so when fat is lost, loose, excess skin often remains in that area. There are many techniques involved in Contouring the thigh and leg. Contouring of these areas mostly involves an incision within the crease of the inguinal area. Some body-contouring techniques involve small scar on the inner thigh which enables a reduction in redundant skin circumferentially around the thigh. Another tool we use is liposuction to remove residual and stubborn fatty tissue.

Neck Lift (submentoplasty or myeloplasty)
After bariatric surgery, skin can gather and hang from the front of the neck, causing jowls and the "double chin." Neck lift surgery can effectively tighten sagging skin, and give your neck a slimmer, and much more youthful contour. Incisions are generally placed inconspicuously behind the ears or alternatively under the chin hidden from site. As the skin is removed the remainder is lifted up and secured. Occasionally, we are able to use threads as a “thread lift” to correct the excess skin around the neck and chin.

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