So you have done the fantastic job of losing a tremendous amount of weight and now you are fitting into those clothes that you had always admired. People are constantly complimenting you on how good you are looking and are asking you about how you managed to lose a lot of weight. While you are enjoying listening to all those wonderful words, you are not happy deep within; because every time you look at yourself in the mirror, you see skin drooping and sagging, all over your body. You might have lost all that weight, but the skin that has been left behind, is still there.
There are plenty of procedures out there, which will help you, get rid of that extra skin, but the fact is that before you go rushing to your nearest cosmetology clinic, it is important for you to understand the pros and cons of each of these procedures. For instance, of late, there has been a lot of talk about body contouring, but before you sign up for the same, it is imperative that you understand every aspect associated with it.
When someone loses a lot of weight, the problem is no longer the excess fat, it is most often the skin that has been left behind, and without removing it, the actual weight loss will not be truly visible. As a matter of fact, even if you lose the weight via a weight reduction surgery, the excess skin will still be a problem. It was perhaps having understood problems like this, that procedure such as body contouring started appearing on the scene.
Although body contouring is a relatively new sub speciality in the larger domain of plastic surgery, it is fast becoming a rage, mainly because it is an easy way to remove excess skin and tissue, after dramatic weight loss. More importantly, the removal of the excess skin allows the person to feel much better about themselves, physically as well as emotionally. As a matter of fact, the process of losing all excess skin, is the last step for most people to gaining the body, they had always dreamt of. Studies have shown that the number of people, opting for body contouring has increased by a steady percentage.
Let’s first look at the types of body contouring:
While procedures like tummy tuck and breast lift have been around for a really long time, they are quite ancient as compared to what a body contouring process can do. In a body contouring process, there is a large amount of skin that is removed at one time. In addition, several parts of the body can be covered within one procedure. So, while a tummy tuck would work only on the abdomen, body contouring will work on multiple areas of the body. For instance, if you go for a lower body lift, your abdomen, the general area around the mid-section as well as the outer thighs will be taken care of. Similarly, if you go for an upper body lift, then the breasts and the back would be concentrated on. Body contouring can be done on the face too, as well as arms and inner thighs.
The amount of time taken for the procedure can vary:
It is important to understand that a body contouring procedure is a lengthy process, which means that the time spent under anaesthesia will be really long. In order to reduce that time, a growing number of clinics and hospitals are now offering multiple surgeons, working on one body, at the same time. This not only reduces the time spent under anaesthesia, but also reduces the amount of time, you will need to recover. However, you need to remember that even though there are multiple surgeons working on you, a lower body lift or a procedure covering multiple parts of the body, could still take over 5 hours, if not more.
There are certain concerns about safety:
It is important to remember that the body contouring procedure is a surgical process, which means that there is always the chance of something going wrong. Some of the most common problems include:
- Reopening of wounds, which could lead to the need for surgical draining
- Infection in the wounds
- Excessive bleeding, which could invite a second surgery
- There is the need for blood transfusion in many cases
- In rare cases, there are blood clots
This is why it is incredibly important to choose a doctor, who has immense experience in the field, allowing for minimal to no scope for anything going wrong. Studies have shown that when there is not a lot of time between the weight loss surgery and the body contouring, things could go wrong.
Is the procedure really for you?
Simply because you have lost a lot of weight, does not mean that you really need to undergo body contouring as well. There is also the chance that you might not need body contouring for the entire body. Factors that will determine whether you need the surgery or not, include:
- Your age
- The amount of sun exposure you have had
- The distribution of the weight
- Where you have lost most weight
- Whether you are happy with the way you look
- Whether you are willing to spend the amount of money that such procedures require
In most cases, people who are under the age of 40, rarely need the body contouring process, because when you are young, the skin is able to jump back, much faster and easily too.
Here is what you will have to do before going in for the body contouring procedure:
- You will have to make sure that your weight has stabilised completely, which means that you should ideally wait for 3 months, before going for the surgery.
- Make sure that you have enough time to recover and have off time from work.
- Having a proper support system at home will be just as important, because you will need rest and time to recuperate.
- Stop smoking well in advance, because smoking might cause problems with your healing process.
- You have to remember that there will be scars, which might get lighter, but they will never really disappear.