Dramatic weight loss, whether achieved by proper nutrition and exercise, as the result of bariatric surgery, or from other forms of medical treatment, has many benefits. However, once you reach your weight loss goals, you may find that you still don't have the fit and healthy body image you desire. Skin may be loose, sagging and in many cases, your body contours may appear irregular and disharmonious.
If you have undergone dramatic weight loss that has resulted in excess sagging skin, surgical body contouring may be right for you. In general, body contouring following major weight loss is an important and rewarding phase of your challenge to have a healthier, more proportionate body, and can help you further enhance your body image and self-confidence.
The condition of being significantly overweight can cause stress on your health in many ways. If your physical activity has been limited due to your overweight condition, you may have weak muscle and skin tone, and your skin may be severely stretched. Bariatric surgery, sometimes called gastric bypass surgery, is one method of major weight loss for individuals clinically defined as obese.
Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, the skin that has been severely stretched is now unsupported, and begins to sag in pockets that most commonly develop around the:
Face, neck and jowls, resulting in a droopy, sad appearance
Upper arms, resulting in a bat-wing like appearance
Breasts, causing them to flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
Abdominal area, extending around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overhang
Buttocks, groin and thighs, causing hanging pockets of skin
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Weak sagging skin that becomes macerated (wet or infected) is not only unattractive; it is also a serious threat to your health that must be treated. Surgical body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of the 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 essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience. However, before you decide to undergo body contouring following major weight loss, it is important to understand that your weight loss must have stabilized. If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop. If you rapidly regain the weight you have lost, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned skin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars. If you are interested in surgery, Dr. Gunn will work closely with your physician to determine when it is appropriate to begin body contouring.
Visit the Photo Gallery for images of some of Dr. Gunn's patients.