shutterstock_85934113After a dramatic weight loss, skin tightening and lifting procedures may be desired in multiple areas of the body. During the initial consultation that I have with all of my patients, we will go over all of the issues the patient wants to correct. When there are a number of concerns, I will discuss each one of the possible treatment options with the patient, as well as the advantages and drawbacks of each.

Body sculpting and liposuction can be used to address several problem body areas at once, and lifts can help tighten skin and other tissues that hang down. Post-bariatric surgery and weight loss patients will usually benefit most from excess skin removal, liposuction in specific trouble spots, and lift procedures. The ability of the skin to shrink back after stretching is limited, and most bariatric surgery patients end up with folds and wrinkles of extra skin that hang down and can be embarrassing. Liposuction can eliminate any remaining pockets of excessive fat, and any extra skin removed, so the skin can be tightened and smoothed out.

Given the many concerns of these patients, I always recommend staging the surgery into a series of operations for the safest and best outcome. Usually, I recommend surgery for the trunk and abdomen first, then the chest or breasts, and finally, the thighs. Sometimes these areas can be combined in fewer operations; sometimes they require more. Safety is paramount. I also recommend these procedures only take place when the weight loss is complete and close to the ideal weight for that individual.

I explain to each patient that every case is different, and every patient may respond differently to the same exact procedure. There are not any guarantees with plastic surgery, but many of my patients get results they are very happy with.

Steve Merten, FRACS

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