Bariatric Surgery in a nutshell
Gastric bypass or other weight-loss surgeries are collectively known as bariatric surgery. These surgical procedures involve making changes to the patient’s digestive system to help them lose weight.
Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or when the patients experience serious health problems due to their weight. Some procedures limit how much the patient can eat, while other procedures work by reducing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Some procedures do both.
Bariatric surgery is one of the most requested surgical procedures lately in the United States. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, more than 250,000 bariatric surgery operations were performed in the United States in 2018.
However, the story of the achievement of the hundreds of pounds these patients lose thanks to this surgery is only a portion of the journey against obesity. The new challenge for these patients is to rid themselves of the abundant loose skin which, in many cases, can be as uncomfortable as obesity. However, there is a remedy.
Bariatric surgery and loose skin – what can be done about it?
The excess skin from different parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, and gluteal areas, and the stomach, can be eliminated with what is known as the Total Body Lift.
“Indisputably, the most important thing for people who are obese is to lose weight and to get out of the risk zone for life-threatening condions” – says Dr. Zaydon. He continues: “After such an extreme weight loss, many people are left with tissue that hangs in the central part of their face, such as the neck, the mandible, as in the eyelid area and area of the eyebrows. The effect is that young patients tend to look much older due to the lack of elasticity of their skin” – explains our plastic surgeon Dr. Zaydon.
In order to correct the excess skin after a dramatic weight loss, Dr. Zaydon suggests a facelift or a complete lift of the face, which permits removal of the skin and tightening of the muscles, and recaptures a fresh appearance. On another part, droopy eyes can be corrected with blepharoplasty or surgery of the eyelids, for the upper or lower lids.
“Any remaining fat in the neck area can be extracted with liposuction, and then the removal of the skin,” explains Dr. Zaydon.
Safety first: Before you consider a body lift after bariatric surgery
The first thing Dr. Zaydon recommends for bariatric surgery patients to wait until their weight and body have stabilized before undergoing reconstruction. “This medical intervention shouldn’t be taken lightly. After the surgery patients are required to make permanent healthy changes to their diet and get regular exercise to help ensure the long-term success of the procedure. It is an absolute necessity!” – says Dr. Zaydon.
The surgery should be coordinated with the bariatric surgeon in order to ensure everything in the patient is in optimal health.
In the case of reconstructive surgery of the body, the recommendations do not change.
“Initially, bariatric surgery patients may have problems with nutrition, they tend to be anemic, and have problems with bleeding. This is why it is so important for the patient to recover completely,” states Dr. Zaydon, who practices reconstructive surgery of the face and body.
Although bariatric surgery is somewhat new, reconstructive surgery of the body due to weight loss, in reality, is not. Plastic surgery of the body can focus on the reconstruction of determined areas such as the stomach, trunk, arms, and legs.
“Many times patients decide to only operate on the area which bothers them the most,” indicates Dr. Zaydon. Although each case is different, according to his experience, the areas of the body which preoccupy patients are the stomach, followed by the legs, bust, and, lastly, the arms.
Surgical skin tightening after bariatric surgery or after massive weight loss
In order to remove the skin from the legs and arms, generally it is customary to make a longitudinal incision; at the same time the muscle is tightened with surgical sutures.
“The incision is long but it is done in the least visible sight, and in the majority of cases people prefer a scar versus the discomfort of the hanging skin,” maintains the surgeon.
Another surgical procedure, which is common in the case of substantial weight loss, is what is known as the Belt Lipectomy, in which the lower part of the trunk, from the abdomen to the hips to the gluteals, as well as the upper part of the legs, is reconstructed. The incision is realized circumferentially around the waist line, the extra skin is cut, and the tissue lifted,” explains Dr. Zaydon, who insists this type of procedure should be done in a hospital setting.
Reconstructive plastic surgery after bariatric surgery, up to this time, has been covered by some insurance companies. “However, terms of the insurance companies could change, but there are support groups at some hospitals which can help patients champion for their rights,” indicates Dr. Zaydon.
These are surgeries, which, aside from improving physical appearance, are also attributed to positive changes in the emotional part of a person. According to surgeons, there is improvement in the social life of these patients, including relationships with their significant others.
More information about reconstructive plastic surgery for the body and face after bariatric procedures
If you are looking for a board-certified plastic surgeon who can improve the appearance of your body after a bariatric surgery, you may want to consider the expertise of Dr. Thomas Zaydon. He specializes in reconstructive plastic surgery of the face and body and has decades of professional experience treating patients with excess or loose skin tissue resulting from massive weight loss.
Dr. Zaydon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Zaydon serves as an expert witness on liability cases around the country.
Dr. Zaydon offers various types of plastic surgery procedures, including:
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.