Surgery After Weight Loss
Removal of Excess Skin and Residual Fat
Losing and keeping off a significant amount of weight is a commendable achievement. However, after massive weight loss, individuals are often left with redundant skin and residual fat in areas such as the breasts, abdomen, thighs, neck and arms that can be unexpected and disappointing. Dr. Jason Cooper specializes in plastic surgery after weight loss for South Florida residents who want firmer, sleeker contours. At High Point Plastic Surgery near Palm Beach Gardens, Dr. Jason Cooper performs a number of plastic surgery procedures designed to restore a toned appearance after weight loss.
Find out what you can do to put the finishing touches on your weight loss accomplishment. Request a consultation online to meet with Dr. Jason Cooper, or call our office at 561-509-1606 to schedule an appointment.
“The patience and perseverance required for massive weight loss must also be applied to plastic surgery after weight loss. Combined treatments should be well thought out and planned to incorporate the patient’s current work and lifestyle. While I will combine procedures whenever safely possible, comprehensive improvement often requires multiple, staged procedures.”
What Is Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery following dramatic weight loss may be a single operation or a series of staged procedures occurring over the course of months or years. Dr. Jason Cooper determines the extent and nature of a patient’s treatment based on their cosmetic goals, the areas that need treatment, and the degree of correction needed. Patients considering plastic surgery at Dr. Jason Cooper’s practice have often undergone bariatric surgery to help them lose weight. Good candidates for this procedure are healthy, have maintained a stable weight for several months or more, and are bothered by sagging skin and residual fat deposits.
It’s also recommended that:
- You maintain a stable body weight for at least 6 months
- You have no underlying chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease
- You don’t smoke
- Your expectations are realistic and that you are mentally prepared to undergo what could be a series of operations
Customizing Your Procedure
You and Dr. Jason Cooper will collaborate during the course of your treatment at High Point Plastic Surgery to create a plastic surgery plan for achieving your goals. A significant loss of weight can leave your neck and body appearing deflated from subcutaneous fat loss and skin that doesn’t “bounce back” after being overstretched.
Dr. Jason Cooper performs a range of post weight-loss surgery procedures, which are often combined or performed in stages, including:
- Panniculectomy: The pannus refers to the lower abdominal skin that hangs over the pubic area after bariatric surgery, weight loss, or pregnancy. This procedure removes this skin, which can cause discomfort and chafing, and is usually combined with other procedures.
- Lower body lift: An incision made around the circumference of the body allows Dr. Cooper to reshape the abdomen, waist, hips, thighs, and buttocks.
- Breast lift: Women who lose significant weight, either after pregnancy, through lifestyle changes, or bariatric surgery, typically see their breasts lose volume. A breast lift restores them to a more youthful shape and position.
- Tummy tuck: Using an incision made on the lower abdomen, Dr. Jason Cooper removes excess skin and in many cases tightens the abdominal muscles.
- Liposuction: Dr. Jason Cooper contours the thighs, flanks, abdomen, breasts, and neck by removing pockets of fat through a small tube called a cannula.
- Upper arm lift: Also called brachioplasty, this procedure removes the excess fat and skin that hangs down from the upper arms.
- Thigh lift: Results in toned thighs by removing excess skin and fat. This procedure can be performed on the outer or inner thighs, or both.
Dr. Jason Cooper carefully considers your work, lifestyle, medical history, and several other factors when combining treatments in an overall body contouring strategy. That also includes making incisions where they will be as inconspicuous as possible.
There is a reason Dr. Jason Cooper is regarded as one of South Florida’s premier plastic surgeons; the consistently beautiful results that only a specialist with his experience and training can get.
What to Expect From Post Weight Loss Surgery
Some patients are good candidates for combining several procedures in one operation, which offers the benefit of a single recovery period. Patient safety is Dr. Jason Cooper’s top priority and in some cases staging the procedures is the appropriate approach. Dr. Jason Cooper will work with you to determine the best plan for you, and will give you detailed pre- and postoperative instructions to follow. Recovery varies from patient to patient, but there are some general guidelines regarding the process:
Immediately after surgery: Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be discharged the same day, or you may spend the night in the hospital. Once the general anesthesia wears off, you will be encouraged to walk around to promote circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. You will be dressed in a snug compression garment which helps promote optimal healing and skin retraction. You may be given prescription oral pain medication or a pain pump device to manage your discomfort.
First week after surgery: Once you return home you will need someone to help with daily activities, at least for a few days. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled within the first 5 to 7 days after surgery. You will continue to wear the compression garment as instructed by Dr. Jason Cooper.
Several weeks after surgery: Expect the swelling and numbness following the surgery to take months to fully subside. You will need to monitor and record your closed suction drainage output; typically drains are removed in the first or second week after the operation. Avoid strenuous activities for at least 6 weeks and closely monitor the incision area or areas for increased redness, swelling, bleeding, or drainage. You will likely wear your compression garment for several weeks to months after your surgery per Dr. Jason Cooper’s instructions.