Every day, 500 Americans undergo bariatric surgery in hopes of taking the short track to losing a massive amount of weight. Countless more have joined weight loss programs, ordered dietary supplements or started gym memberships to shed the pounds. However, losing 100 pounds or more is just the beginning of an uphill battle for the morbidly obese. After the fat comes off, stretched-out skin and disproportionate pockets of persistent fat cause physical and psychological issues to persist.
Plastic surgery is an essential complement to massive weight loss. Last year, almost 45,000 Americans had body contouring done by plastic surgeons after weight loss, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This number is expected to rise considerably as insurance coverage expands.
On one hand, people are thrilled to have lost so much weight. On the other hand, all they see in the mirror is the flabby skin persisting. This excess skin goes beyond cosmetic unsightliness in many cases. I’m happy to offer a full suite of surgeries to help patients who have achieved their weight loss goals finally enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Patients Enjoy Improved Quality of Life With Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss
Tatiana Bobbitt, a woman who lost 190 pounds, told The Huffington Post she “lost motivation” because she couldn’t see the weight loss anymore; all she could see was her excess arm and groin skin that had become painful and infected. A recent study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery echoed this sentiment: Of 100 patients who had lost 100 pounds or more, those who did not have any cosmetic procedures ended up gaining back 50 pounds, compared to the 13 pounds gained by body contouring patients. Swiss researchers concluded that skin removal and body contouring procedures should be routine standard of care in the bariatric surgery process.
“I felt gross when I saw myself naked and when it came to dating, it was a big insecurity,” Bobbitt recalled. Once her parents saw the extent of her infection, they agreed to help her pay for abdomen, arm and lower body lifts. Thanks to the surgery, Bobbitt is now a 210-pound married college graduate. Had she not have been able to get the plastic surgery procedures done, she says, “I think I would regret ever losing the weight in the first place.”
Another plastic surgery success story can be seen in the former “World’s Fattest Man,” Paul Mason of Ipswich, England, who traveled to NYC to have plastic surgery after losing 650 pounds, down from his original 980 pound weight. Expert surgeons removed 50 pounds of skin in a complex 9.5 hour operation. Prior to his surgery, he was confined to a wheelchair, unable to shower standing up, had no sensation in his feet and had to deal with “an apron of extra flesh” whenever he got into a pair of pants.
Eventually, he plans to have one more operation to remove excess skin from his upper arms, but for now he is content being able to enjoy the daily pleasures of life once again. He says he is now able “to sit in a cinema seat for the first time in 30 years and hold hands and cuddle, like couples do.”
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Best Plastic Surgery Procedures For Weight Loss Patients
A one-on-one consultation with Dr. David Halpern is the best way to determine which procedures are best for a particular patient. He may recommend one or more of the following procedures, which can be done all at once or in a series of installments:
- Arm Lift – Reduce extra underarm tissue and cellulite through a simple incision made in the armpit. Remaining skin is tightened and contoured. The arm lift is often combined with liposuction for the best results.
- Lower Body Lift – This procedure tightens and sculpts the buttocks, inner and outer thighs, hips and abdomen. Often, Dr. David Halpern will perform a lift alongside liposuction and/or a tummy tuck.
- Tummy Tuck – Tummy tucks, often done alongside liposuction, remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen. They are especially popular for women who are done having children.
- Breast Lift – Mastoplexy eliminates sagging skin and drooping breasts. Sometimes it is done with augmentation to restore lost volume due to age or childbearing.
Are You Ready To Look Your Best?
It is recommended that patients plan to have their body contouring procedures done once they have finished shedding pounds and remained at a stable weight for three to six months. Learn more about what makes Dr. David Halpern one of the most qualified plastic surgeons for post-weight-loss procedures and call 813-871-5000 to set up a consultation.