Body contouring after weight loss

About the procedure

Body contouring procedures are a group of plastic surgery procedures that help patients regain the contours of their bodies after significant weight loss. After weight loss, although the extra weight is gone, there is typically a large amount of skin that hangs from the body. Often, this skin is most prominent in the abdomen, arms, breasts, thighs, and back/buttocks. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise or weight loss can completely remove this skin.

In order to remove the skin and restore the normal contours of the body, Dr. Hirsch will perform a series of body contouring procedures including abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), mastopexy and mastopexy augmentation, brachioplasty, body lift, and medial thigh lift. These procedures can often be combined in order to reduce the amount of time under anesthesia.

Recovery after body contouring after weight loss procedures depends on the procedures that were performed. When procedures are combined, the recovery time can be a bit longer than if procedures are performed individually. In general, after most body contouring procedures, patients are able to resume normal daily activities at 2-3 weeks, and are able to resume full exercise at 6-8 weeks depending on which procedures were performed.

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Frequently asked questions about body contouring after weight loss:

What will my scars look like after a body contouring procedures?

During body contouring procedures after weight loss, your scars can be very extensive. In general, the excess skin is removed but is replaced by a scar. Scar appearance can be somewhat unpredictable. The goal is for every scar to be a thin line, but occasionally scars can spread, become raised, or hyperpigment. Dr. Hirsch will discuss scar location and possible appearance with you at the time of your consultation.

I have recently lost over 100 pounds. When is the best time for Dr. Hirsch to perform body contouring procedures for me?

Before undergoing body contouring surgery, two important requirements about your weight should be met: 1) your weight should be stable for 6 months 2)you should be comfortable with your current weight and not be actively trying to lose more weight. In order for Dr. Hirsch to achieve the best possible result, it is important that your weight is not changing in either direction. If you are actively losing weight, more loose skin can be created by the weight loss and you might need an additional surgery. If you gain weight, your skin will re-expand and you will lose the contouring that was achieved with your surgery.

What is the best way to combine procedures so that I can minimize the number of times that I go under anesthesia?

There is no “best” way to combine procedures. Dr. Hirsch will discuss combining procedures with you at the time of your consultation in order to give you the safest, best result possible. When procedures are combined, Dr. Hirsch will often combine upper and lower body procedures at the same time to aid the recovery process. Common combinations are tummy tuck + arm lift or thigh lift + breasts, although other combinations are equally acceptable.

Will I have to take blood thinner shots after surgery?

Some patients will need to take blood thinner shots after surgery for 7-10 days in order to decrease the risk of getting a blood clot in their legs, which is a potentially life threatening condition. Dr. Hirsch will discuss this with you at the time of your consultation.

Are body contouring surgeries after weight loss covered by insurance?

In general, body contouring procedures after weight loss are not covered by insurance. Dr. Hirsch and his staff will work with you and your insurance company to help determine insurance coverage for your procedures.

Additional resources about body contouring after massive weight loss

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Meet Dr. Elliot Hirsch

Dr. Elliot M. Hirsch is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. His extensive training and experience with abdominal wall and extremity surgery has helped him specialize his attention to aesthetic detail to ensure that patients achieve the best possible results. Dr. Hirsch has been educated at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, including Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, and Northwestern University. He is an active researcher and has published over 40 original papers and book chapters, and holds patents for his inventions in plastic surgery.

To read more about Dr. Hirsch, please visit his extended biography page.
Read Dr. Hirsch's Biography