Obesity has assumes epidemic proportions in most of the world and many obese patients lose large amount of weight by medical means or bariatric surgery. There is a limit to the amount the skin and soft tissues can retract after weight loss, so these patients are left with loose hanging skin and soft tissues which do not conform to the reduced body image and become a cosmetic problem. Common areas of problem are-
- Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
- Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
- Abdominal area may extend around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overhang
- Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin
The hanging skin needs to be treated by surgical means depending on the area of involvement. Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin. The result is a more normal appearance to the body, with smoother contours. This is, in short, the final phase of your total weight loss experience.
Common Operations for massive weight loss body contouring are-
Circumferential lower truncal dermatolipectomy, belt lipectomy, Lower body lift, upper body lift, gluteal contouring, mastopexy for breasts and brachioplasty for arms
Most of these surgeries are very long and complicated and leave long operative scars on the body, but re rewarding because they restore the body image of the patient.