Post-Massive Weight Loss
Post-Massive Weight Loss Surgery Gainesville, Florida
Massive weight loss is a huge accomplishment, but it comes with its own struggles. As you lose weight, your frame becomes smaller but often times your skin does not retract as it should. This may be caused by elastic fibers in your skin stretching too far to accommodate extra weight. This is often reflected by stretch marks you can see on the surface of your skin, indicating the fibers have been overstretched to the point that they can not “snap back” once the fat supporting them has been lost.
This loose skin may be treated by a combination of excisional procedures as detailed below. Dr. Gaines will help you choose the right combination of procedures to treat the areas you are concerned about. Keep in mind the procedures outlined below are not weight loss procedures, but post-weight loss procedures to remove excess skin and tighten areas that do not respond to exercise. You may not need all of them performed, but a customized plan will help you decide what combination of procedures listed below would be best for you. We want to make you feel comfortable and confident in your own skin!
Post Massive Weight Loss Surgery
Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)
Brachioplasty, more commonly referred to as an arm lift, is performed to improve the shape, firmness, and the appearance of the upper arm. Not meant as a weight loss procedure, an arm lift will help eliminate sagging skin and fat deposits on the upper arm that do not respond to exercise or a healthy diet. Brachioplasty is sometimes performed in combination with liposuction or abdominoplasty in order to achieve a comprehensive enhancement of a patient’s body contour. We will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for an arm lift during a consultation at our practice.
During the arm lift procedure, Dr. Gaines will make an incision along the inside of the arm that may extend from the underarm to the elbow. Working through this incision, fat deposits and excess skin are removed while the overlying skin is tightened.
When you visit our practice, we will be able to provide you with more in-depth post-surgical instructions following brachioplasty. In general, it is recommended that patients refrain from strenuous physical activity, particularly activity that involves pushing or pulling, for one to two weeks. Contact sports and strenuous exercise should be avoided for approximately six weeks.
If you feel like your arms have some modest loose skin, but do not want to undergo an excisional procedure, visit our BodyTite page for information about minimally invasive skin tightening. Depending on how loose your skin is, Dr. Gaines may recommend a brachioplasty, BodyTite, or a combination of both.
Mastopexy (Breast Lift)
Weight gain and weight loss both affect the breasts and lead to a loss of volume and elasticity that causes the breasts to sag. Weight gain may stretch out the elastic fibers in your breast tissue as your skin expands to accommodate. When this is followed by massive weight loss, the elastic fibers remain stretched but have a “deflated” appearance.
Breast lift surgery is performed at our office as an outpatient procedure. The procedure is simple and effective. A breast lift, or mastopexy, tightens loose skin and restore a naturally full, lifted look. During a breast lift, Dr. Gaines will make an incision around the darkly-colored areola. This thin incision will extend beneath the breast to the fold beneath the breast. Dr. Gaines will remove excess breast tissue and skin, and the nipple will be repositioned so that it sits higher on the breast, while the breast is repositioned to a higher position on the chest wall. Dr. Gaines will close the incision in the breast with delicate sutures that will minimize the appearance of scarring. A supportive post-operative bra is placed to aid in post-surgical healing and contouring.
After a breast lift, patients are advised to avoid pushing or pulling motions for one to two weeks, and to avoid heavy lifting and other intense activity for up to six weeks. Dr. Gaines will provide you with more in-depth pre- and post-operative instructions at your consultation and will answer any questions that you may have.
Depending on the amount of weight you have lost, Dr. Gaines may recommend a standard abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) or a Fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty.
The fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty is reserved for patients with very redundant abdominal skin resulting from massive weight loss, especially when weight loss surgery or bariatric procedures have been performed. The procedure consists of two incisions: one that runs horizontally, from hip to hip, and a vertical incision that runs up the center of your tummy. The low horizontal incision allows Dr. Gaines to remove any excess skin on your lower abdomen, and the vertical incision will allow Dr. Gaines to tighten your abdominal skin further by pulling it not only down, but across your torso. These incisions also allow Dr. Gaines to repair the underlying abdominal muscles if necessary.
Candidates for a fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty often have a large amount of abdominal skin with very little fat between the skin and their fascia. Often times, the abdominal region is wider than the hips. At our clinic, we understand the importance of feeling confident in your skin, and we feel that you deserve to fully enjoy the accomplishment massive weight loss represents. Click here to set up a consultation to see if a Fleur-de-lis Abdominoplasty would be the best choice for you.
Lateral Thigh Lift
After significant weight loss, it is common for the upper thighs to experience skin laxity. This laxity may present as sagging, dimpling or other contour irregularities, depending on a number of factors. A lateral thigh lift is meant to address these issues by removing excess skin from the thighs while reshaping them to have a smoother contour.
During the thigh lift procedure, Dr. Gaines makes an incision that runs up and over your hip bone. This allows him to remove excess fat and skin from the lateral thigh. The soft tissue along the outer thigh is freed up down to the knee, and the lateral thigh skin is then lifted in a manner similar to “pulling up your pants”. The incision is closed using both deep and superficial sutures, to reinforce the durability of the lift while insuring the resulting scar is as thin as possible.
Excisional Buttock Lift
An excisional buttock lift, also referred to as a gluteoplasty, is performed to improve the shape, firmness, and appearance of the buttocks and thighs. Opposed to a Brazilian Butt Lift, which is meant to enlarge the buttocks by fat grafting, an excisional buttock lift will help eliminate excess skin and fat deposits that do not respond to exercise or a healthy diet. A buttock lift is sometimes performed in combination with a tummy tuck or liposuction in order to achieve a comprehensive enhancement of a patient’s body contour. We will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for an excisional buttock lift during a consultation at our practice.
During the buttock lift procedure, Dr. Gaines will make incisions either along the upper area of the buttock or in some cases in the crease of the lower buttocks. The method of incision will be determined by the extent of work and the desired outcome of the buttock lift, as well as the location of the majority of the skin laxity. Working through the surgical incisions, Dr. Gaines will remove deposits of fat and excess skin, before they are closed in careful layers to create a thin and well-hidden post-operative scar.
When you visit our practice, we will be able to provide you with more in-depth post-surgical instructions following an excisional buttock lift. In general, it is recommended that patients avoid exercise and strenuous physical activity for three to four weeks. We also recommend not sitting for a prolonged amount of time for at least one week after a buttock lift.
In the weeks following treatment, you will periodically visit our office to ensure your healing is progressing on time and free of complications. During this time you should abstain from strenuous activities like heavy lifting, strength training, and contact sports. We will be able to provide you with in-depth post-operative instructions when you visit our clinic for a consultation.