Massive weight loss as a result of bariatric or gastric bypass surgery in combination with post-weight loss cosmetic plastic surgery can do more to improve confidence than weight loss alone. As we begin heading out to the beaches, pools, tennis courts and summer activities, someone who has experienced massive weight loss may be even more self-conscious and embarrassed by excessive amounts of sagging skin.
With the increasing number of bariatric surgeries being performed every year it is only natural to see a correlation in plastic surgical procedures to correct issues caused as a result of massive weight loss. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which began tracking the procedures performed on massive weight loss patients in 2009, “Thigh lifts and upper arm lifts had their biggest single-year increase in five years in 2014, both up nine percent. Tummy tucks inched up four percent and breast lift procedures posted a ten percent increase.”(www.plasticsurgery.org/news/massive-weight-loss-fuels-surge-in-plastic-surgery.html)
As a plastic surgeon, I also work with patients to help them lose and maintain healthy weight. I have worked with patients who have had small and large amounts of weight to lose. I have worked with many patients post bariatric surgery. My experience leads me to recommend that patients considering bariatric surgery would be best served by working in tandem with a plastic surgeon prior to their weight-loss surgery.
When weight loss surgery is approached this way, a plastic surgeon can help devise a plan for follow-up procedures that will provide the most positive psychological benefits. While the weight loss will help alleviate life-threatening issues like heart conditions and diabetes, it will not rectify the intense psychological burden patients live with when faced with unsightly and very often disrupting sagging skin. No amount of exercise or compression will make it possible for patients to exercise comfortably. In many instances the sagging skin makes exercise impossible. Many experience such psychological trauma that they return to the comfort of food and regain weight.
The numbers of weight loss surgery are increasing every year. According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, “In 2013, 179,000 Americans underwent weight loss surgery, averaging nearly 500 procedures every day, the most since 2009 and the third highest number on record.” And, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Since then, plastic surgeries related to weight loss are up across the board, as well.”
For many bariatric patients, they did not know follow-up plastic surgery would be an option. Many have discovered their lives improve more positively after plastic surgery and that it is a more affordable option than they thought it would be.
If you are considering bariatric surgery, research an experienced and reputable plastic surgeon and meet with this surgeon prior to weight loss surgery. Discuss your concerns and prepare yourself to create the body and life of your dreams. Weight loss alone will not meet your expectations when 100 pounds or more are lost. Consider the psychological burdens as well as the detrimental health issues. Your objective is to feel great about yourself. Weight loss is just the first step.