What Is Surgical Body Contouring?
Dramatic weight loss has many benefits – increased mobility, better quality of life, and improved self-esteem – but it can also create permanent unfavorable changes to your appearance. After skin and tissues have been stretched out to accommodate a larger frame, they often lose their elasticity and are unable to “snap back” to where they were before the weight gain. Like a rubber band that has been stretched too far, the skin and tissue are unable to return to its former resistance and pliability. The result is hanging, loose skin that can be heavy, uncomfortable, and difficult to conceal under clothing.
Through the careful mapping of tissue and the use of new body shaping techniques, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Watterson offers innovative body contouring procedures that tighten and smooth your shape. Our extensive experience and qualifications provide you with methods that are tailored to your body type, skin tone, and age.
Body Contouring Before And After Photos
Body Lift Review
“From my first consultation with my doctor, I knew I was in the best of hands. He was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and a very good listener. He heard my concerns and replied with his best, most sincere recommendation.”
Who Is A Candidate For Body Contouring Procedures?
A body lift should be performed when the patient is as close to their desired goal weight as possible and has maintained a stable weight for at least 6 months. Since every patient has different needs and goals for their body type, a surgical plan would be mapped out during a free plastic surgery consultation. This plan may involve one stage of procedures, or various stages of procedures done months apart to allow adequate healing.
What Are The Different Types Of Body Contouring Procedures?
Body contouring (or “body lift”) procedures may include:
- Facelift for sagging skin on the mid-face, jowls, and neck
- Breast lift (Mastopexy) for sagging, flattened breasts
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) for the apron of excess skin and fat that hangs over the beltline
- Thigh Lift for the sagging skin of the inner and outer thighs
- Arm Lift (Brachioplasty) for the sagging skin of the upper arms known as “bat-wings”
- Liposuction for removing the pockets of excess fatty tissues
How Long Does Body Contouring Surgery Take?
Body contouring procedures are typically performed on an outpatient basis. Patients arrive at the surgery center an hour or so before their procedure. This time is spent getting into the surgical gown or dressing, marking the treatment areas, answering last-minute questions, and administering anesthesia.
The duration of the surgery itself can vary depending on the procedure and the inclusion of additional techniques. For example, a tummy tuck usually takes 1 to 2 hours. However, if the patient also has liposuction in the same surgery, their procedure may last longer. We do our best to prepare patients for their surgery with an estimated time of completion based on their particular situation.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
All of our contouring procedures are performed with general anesthesia. This form of IV sedation is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist and is monitored through the entire procedure. General anesthesia works by preventing pain receptors in the brain and body from communicating. Patients feel no pain and also have no recollection of their time in surgery. When the procedure is over, patients are moved to a monitored recovery area until the effects of anesthesia diminish. They can then be released to a loved one who will drive them home.
How should I prepare for a body contouring procedure?
The doctor may recommend certain activity modifications depending on your health history, lifestyle, and surgical plan. In some cases, a patient may be advised to complete certain tests, such as lab work or breast screening. Patients who smoke must quit several weeks before their procedure. During your consultation, it is important to disclose the medications and supplements you are taking. Blood-thinning medication and substances that thin the blood, including vitamin E and fish oil, should be avoided before surgery. If you take a prescription blood-thinner, Dr. Watterson may suggest that you consult with the prescribing physician regarding dosing or other potential changes.
Is This An Inpatient Or Outpatient Procedure?
Depends on the type of cosmetic body procedure and length of time (usually outpatient).
Are There Side Effects To Body Contouring?
Nearly every surgical procedure involves post-operative side effects. These include:
- Grogginess from anesthesia and prescription pain medication.
- It is possible that the patient may feel nauseous or may vomit.
- Swelling in the surgical site.
- Bruising in the area of the surgical site.
- Soreness or tenderness.
- Limited range of motion, depending on the procedure.
- Tiring more easily during the few weeks of recovery. Patients should rest as much as possible while the body is devoting the majority of its energy to healing.
Are There Risks To Surgical Body Contouring?
All surgery has risk. In addition to those that are associated with general anesthesia, surgical risks include:
- Fluid or blood accumulation beneath the skin
- Prolonged pain or numbness
- Poor wound healing
- Poor aesthetic outcome
Your board-certified plastic surgeon discusses potential surgical risks during your consultation visit and also discusses how he works to reduce each and every one. After surgery, these risks can be reduced by strictly following post-operative instructions.
What Is The Recovery From A Body Lift?
Recovery from various body contouring procedures generally lasts six weeks. Patients are usually advised to take two weeks off work and other usual activities, like caring for children and pets. Post-operative side effects like discomfort, limited range of motion, and swelling are most intense during the first week after surgery. At that time, patients may rely on prescription medication for optimal comfort.
This medication should be taken as directed for at least a few days, even if the patient is relatively comfortable. Pain can build quickly and cause unnecessary stress. After two weeks of rest, many patients can go back to work and other light activities. After body contouring, some activity restrictions may remain until four or more weeks of recovery. Examples include strenuous exercise or heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling. Activity restrictions are usually completely lifted about six weeks post-op.
Every surgical situation is unique and customized to the patient. When you consult with us about your body lift or other contouring procedure, Dr. Watterson can provide information regarding expected recovery based on your surgical plan.
How Long Do Surgical Body Contouring Results Last?
The results achieved with a surgical contouring procedure are long-lasting. Because the treatment area usually never returns to its pre-treatment state, some say that contouring procedure results are permanent. That said, there are factors that influence physical appearance. Once a contouring procedure has been performed, the longevity of results is somewhat in the patient’s hands. To prolong the effects of a facial or body contouring procedure, patients are advised to:
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use.
- Wear sunscreen every day and avoid tanning and tanning beds.
- Pursue a healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious foods and regular exercise.
- Practice stress-management techniques like mindfulness or meditation.
- Maintain youthful skin with occasional professional treatments like chemical peels, fractional
- laser skin rejuvenation, microneedling, and injectables.