Appropriate Skin Procedures Following Bariatric Surgery

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

In recent weeks, patient interest with regard to the ramifications of significant weight loss has grown dramatically. As the availability of surgeons qualified to perform obesity surgery procedures increases, so do the number of patients who require treatment of the loose skin that results after these surgeries achieve their goal.

The weight loss effect of bariatric surgery can be astonishing. Patients report weight losses exceeding 100 pounds with regularity. The operative intervention has become remarkably more safe and appealing to a wider patient population.

What many patients fail to realize; however, is that as the fat appears to melt away, the folds of skin remain. Unfortunately, this can lead to a body contour which still does not meet with the patient's satisfaction, despite all the work they've done to get the weight off.

This is where the plastic surgeon with an interest in the bariatric patient comes in. There are a number of surgical interventions which can improve one's body contours after great weight loss. These surgical procedures concentrate not only on removing the excess skin, but also on firming the overall appearance of the body.

The consequence of these interventions are carefully placed scars, but the effect of the contouring procedures can be staggering. The most common of these procedures deal with the effect of the weight loss on the trunk and extremities, but face and neck lifts are also common. Abdominoplasties have been particularly tailored to this patient population by adding a vertical component to tighten the width of the abdomen. Belt like procedures, which extend around the back can lift the thigh and buttock area where significant weight loss frequently occurs. The inner thigh can be firmed with excision of skin and remaining fat from this area. The inner arms can also be addressed with a procedure known as brachioplasty, which thins and removes draping skin which can even hamper the wearing of long sleeves.

Many of these procedures can be performed in combination with each other. This is, of course, limited by patient tolerance and general health. In our practice, the operative intervention is tailored to specific patient needs. The deformity precipitated by the weight loss, is often very individualized, so the plastic surgical intervention should be also. Some patients may require more attention to one body surface than another, and this is discussed at a comprehensive consultation.

Most of these body contouring surgeries can be performed as an outpatient, under general or sedative anesthesia. Post operative follow-up includes wearing of compressive garments, which not only improve swelling, but also can lead to finer scarring. No procedure is without risk, but body contouring surgery has been successfully performed on thousands of bariatric surgery patients. Of special consideration, is that the average patient in this group, has done a great deal for their general health by intervening to correct their obesity problem.

So, if you've undergone a drastic weight loss, with assistance of a bariatric surgery, and now suffer from the appearance of multiple areas of deflated skin, then seek the counsel of a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with a special interest in the gastric bypass patient population for more information on body contouring surgery.

The Plastic Surgery Group, P.C., in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers the latest skin procedures following bariatric surgery. For more information on the body contouring procedures we offer, visit our plastic surgery procedures page or call our plastic surgery staff at (423) 756-7134 or (800) 634-3334. You can also e-mail us your questions and we will be in touch with you shortly.