iStock_000014588003SmallYou’ve lost a lot of weight and you like what you see on the scale, but you may not like what you are seeing in the mirror. If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, you may now have excess, hanging skin in multiple areas of your body including your stomach, arms, or legs that you would like to have removed. After weight loss procedures are a specialty of Dr. Joseph Michaels, who was part of a team of surgeons to help the former “Heaviest Man in the World,” Paul Mason, last year, removing over 50 lbs. of excess skin from the man’s body after his big weight loss. In this blog post, Dr. Michaels uses his experience and surgical knowledge to answer your questions about various after weight loss procedures.

What’s the difference between a tummy tuck and a panniculectomy?

A panniculectomy is a procedure that removes the hanging apron of skin below the belly button that is often left after a significant weight loss. A panniculectomy is considered a medically necessary procedure due to the fact that the excess skin causes mobility issues, infection and other complications. Unlike a tummy tuck, which is considered a cosmetic procedure where the muscles are also tightened and liposuction may be also performed to optimize your contour, a panniculectomy will only remove the lower abdominal skin.

How soon can I have a lower body lift after bariatric surgery?

A lower body lift, which combines multiple procedures to remove loose, excess skin from the abdomen, outer thighs and buttocks, should be performed about 10 to 18 months after the patient has bariatric surgery; this will allow for the patient’s weight to stabilize and the body’s metabolic functions to stabilize, lowering the risk of surgical complications and contributing to a better aesthetic appearance following surgery. This time frame also applies to the many of the other procedures offered by our practice for after weight loss patients.

Do I need an arm lift or can I just have liposuction on my arms?

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, procedure removes excess, hanging skin and tissue from the upper arms. This procedure is appropriate for most after weight loss patients when there is loose skin. Liposuction is often performed during this procedure to remove any residual fat deposits left in your arm. If you only have residual fat to be removed, and if your skin tone is good, liposuction may be a potential option for you rather than an arm lift.

Will I have scars after a thigh lift?

A thigh lift can be used to remove extra, sagging skin from the inner or outer thighs. The length of the incision will depend on the amount of skin and fat needing to be removed. The appearance of your post-operative scar depends on numerous factors, the most important being your genetics. Though this procedure will leave visible scars, Dr. Michaels will work to place your incisions where they can be best concealed.

More Questions?

Contact Dr. Joseph Michaels of Michaels Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery if you have more questions, or to schedule your after weight loss consultation. Call our Rockville office at (301) 468-5991 or our Fairfax office at (703) 957-8610.

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