You’ve already done the really hard part! You exercised when it would have been so much easier to stay on the couch. You changed your diet when it was so hard to turn down those sweets. Some of you had surgery to help you get healthier and take control of your life. Your body responded. The weight dropped off. The muscle packed on. But things still don’t look the way you had hoped. This feeling is quite common with patients who had major weight loss. It becomes frustrating and sometimes depressing. You’ve done so much hard work- everything that was asked of you- why can’t things look the way they should?
Working with patients who dedicated themselves to getting healthier and happier is a privilege. Being able to help them finalize their transformation to their new bodies is one of our passions. No matter where your stubborn skin has stayed, there is likely a procedure or surgery to make it better. Whether it’s your face and neck, your tummy, your breasts, your arms, your thighs or your buttocks, at Graper Harper Cosmetic Surgery, our plastic surgeons have the answer. By providing safe and natural looking surgical solutions to your problem areas, we can assist you in completing your body makeover. Don’t let your excess skin hold you prisoner and prevent you from truly embracing your dedication, your efforts and your accomplishments.
Here are some areas that are typical concerns for weight loss patients and our philosophy:
Face and Neck:
The face and neck are the first thing you look at in the mirror and an area you are never able to hide (without a wardrobe full of turtlenecks). Often, weight loss patients struggle with loose skin and loss of volume in the face. While standard neck and face lifts may be your best solution, we also are the only cosmetic surgery office in Charlotte to offer a minimally invasive, state-of-the-art technology called ThermiRF that delivers controlled thermal energy to improve and tighten your skin.
Adjuvant dermal fillers like Juvederm, Voluma and autologous fat grafting to the face can also help improve your face shape and restore a healthier, younger looking appearance.
Often this area is one that really troubles weight loss patients. It’s critical to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that is familiar with weight loss patients and their specific conditions. There are certain strategies that need to be applied to the weight loss patient when it comes to all surgeries, but especially breast and chest surgery. Treating breast and chest surgery in the weight loss population the same as you would the general population is fraught with complications. You must discuss this, in depth, with your surgeon.
Another major area of concern for the majority of weight loss patients is their abdomen. With major weight loss, there is a significant discordance between the amount of skin left to drape over the now smaller musculoskeletal system. This is typically much different than the issues we, as surgeons, address in our abdominoplasty population of post-pregnancy women. Often, the excess skin extends to your love handle areas and even your back. In those cases, we perform an “extended abdominoplasty” or a “circumferential abdominoplasty”. With proper technique and surgical planning, these procedures can rejuvenate the entire torso and even help improve your lateral thighs and buttock area. Again, only board certified plastic surgeons that have a special understanding of the unique differences in the weight loss population can best address patients such as yourself.
That loose “bat-wing” skin drives people crazy. Your arms are more muscular, they are smaller, there is less fat, but the loose skin is just too much to bare (no pun intended). Brachioplasty is a surgical technique in which that extra skin is removed and the scar is placed in as inconspicuous of a position as possible. For some, the ThermiRF may be a minimally invasive solution with a much smaller incision. If the scar is unavoidable, we have strategies to make it as unnoticeable and beautiful as possible.
Often these two areas go hand in hand. By a reduction in your weight and fat volume that kept these areas plump and overfilled, the sagging skin and lost volume now becomes an issue. While the ThermiRF may work for some, often a surgery is needed to removed the unwanted skin and restore a better contour and appearance. Autologous fat grafting to the buttocks can help restore lost volume and give your backside a better shape. Setting realistic post-operative expectations for these areas is critical and should only be addressed by a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in these particular circumstances.
It is very common for many different areas to be of concern to our weight loss population. While addressing all of your concerns is our goal, it is often necessary to stage your procedures into several settings. Safety is paramount and sometimes it is best to let different areas of the body heal at different times. We set a limit to the number of hours a patient should be on the operating table to maximize safety and limit potential complications. For a list of complications for each procedure, please review that procedure on our website. We will help you formulate the best staging of your surgeries to achieve the best results with the easiest recovery possible. If you have any concerns with your body after major weight loss, schedule a consultation with one of the highly-qualified and well-respected surgeons at Graper Harper Cosmetic Surgery. We are here to help you make an informed decision on reaching your goal and completing your physical and emotional journey.