Weight loss is a big accomplishment, but sometimes patients who have lost a large amount of weight need extra help to reach their goals. Significant weight loss often leaves behind loose, flabby areas in typical “problem spots” like the lower and upper belly, hips, flanks, and thighs. In the lower abdominal area, particularly, loose skin and muscles can create an illusion of heaviness even when a person has little excess fat.
A normal tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) can tighten loose muscles very effectively, but for many post weight loss patients, large amounts of loose skin create problems that a tummy tuck alone cannot fix. To add to the problem, excess skin can often cause post weight loss patients to experience puckering and unevenness along the incision if their surgeon performs only “standard” tummy tucks. As an Oakland-area post bariatric surgeon, I perform many tummy tucks and I would like to outline briefly how post bariatric patients can adapt their procedures to accomplish their goals and enjoy more attractive results.
Post Weight Loss Tummy Tucks: Why the Special Approaches?
Postbariatric cosmetic surgeons have developed two main approaches to post weight loss surgery to help Walnut Creek tummy tuck patients:
What is it? Normal abdominoplasty involves just one horizontal incision that extends from hip to hip below the patient’s “bikini” line, but for weight loss patients who are seeing excess skin in their upper abdomen as well, this lower incision is not enough to create a smooth result. Bi-directional abdominoplasty adds a second, vertical incision that runs perpendicular to the first one, allowing the surgeon to remove the excess skin.
Is it right for me? Bi-directional abdominoplasty is effective for post bariatric surgery patients in the Bay Area who have reached a stable weight and practice healthy habits, but want to correct excess skin that gives their abdomen a puckered look.
What is it? Circumferential abdominoplasty also requires an additional incision to tighten and remove loose skin and fat. In this version, the surgeon will extend the initial incision all the way around the patient’s hips and along their upper buttocks, removing excess skin and fat (through liposuction) in the process. This tightens the hips and lower abdomen significantly, while slightly lifting the buttocks.
Is it right for me? Circumferential abdominoplasty is effective for post bariatric patients who have maintained a healthy weight for at least 6 months and exercise faithfully, but dislike the loose, flabby areas along their hips, lower belly, and buttocks.
As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, tummy tucks offer the best results when the surgeon can customize the procedure for you, personally. When you meet with a potential Oakland-area post bariatric surgeon, take the time to find out whether he or she has the personal focus to go beyond the “standard” approach and create results that match your needs.