Reshaping Your Body After Significant Weight Loss

Obesity has become one of modern society’s inevitable epidemics, but thankfully, there is now a rise in the number of people who are bucking the trend and accomplishing significant weight loss in their lives through natural means of diet and exercise, or after undergoing a weight loss surgery such as a bariatric procedure.

And while you’re understandably focused on how you want to look, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon can help you understand what it takes to get you there. Your goals, lifestyle and general health all factor in. Not everyone is a good candidate for body contouring surgery.

Our surgeons will discuss the types of procedures that might help you achieve your body image goals, as well as any potential risks, the impact on your body and what different options will cost.

Dr Ray Goh, co-founder of Valley Plastic Surgery, offers some sage advice when considering body contouring surgery. “Although weight loss contributes positively to general wellbeing, it can also cause the body to deflate like a balloon, resulting in loose and saggy skin,” explains Dr Goh. “This can cause tremendous cosmetic deformity – as well as pain and discomfort – as the skin begins to fold and rub on itself, and psychologically, can often be more harmful for the patient than when they were overweight.”

Body contouring surgery can encompass a range of surgical procedures aimed at improving and restoring the body’s shape after a significant weight loss. Common procedures that fall into this category include tummy tucks, lower body lifts, breast lifts, and arm and thigh lifts.

“These procedures generally involve the removal of large areas of skin, therefore extensive scarring is often one of the trade-offs patients need to accept,” says Dr Goh. “As a silver lining though, these scars will fade, and are usually placed strategically to minimise their visibility.”

Body contouring procedures are a significant decision to consider, and the initial process involves identifying the areas that are of major concern in order to allow the surgeon to prioritise, plan, and stage the surgery. When a patient has several areas that need addressing, it must be determined whether they can be all treated at the same time, or whether treatment should be more sensibly broken up into multiple procedures and staged over a period of time. In making this decision, the surgeon and patient need to consider healing factors, recovery, and safety.

“Body contouring is considered major surgery and is not without its risks,” cautions Dr Goh. “In preparing for this type of surgery, it is best that the patient has reached and is stable in their goal weight, lives an active healthy lifestyle, and has eliminated risk factors such as smoking. They should maintain a positive mindset during recovery, and be focused and motivated by the final outcome, which will close the final chapter in their weight loss journey.”

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.