arm_liftWith the increasing number of people affected by obesity who have had bariatric surgery (lap band or gastric bypass), body contouring following massive weight loss has become part of the mainstream in plastic surgery. Dr. Sonderman has gained extensive expertise in the area of body contouring for massive weight loss patients, including:

  • Remove excess fat that did not respond to bariatric surgery or traditional means of weight loss
  • Trim excess redundant skin that may be overhanging in different areas of the body
  • Tighten underlying tissue to result in a normal appearance
  • Allows for enjoyment in social, physical and intimate activities that would otherwise be avoided
  • Improves self image and confidence

Dr. Sonderman performs body contouring, also known as massive weight loss plastic surgery, to provide a natural improvement to contours of the body following massive weight loss. During a consultation with Dr. Sonderman, you will learn how to identify your candidacy for the procedure, body contouring costs, and guidelines to reduce the risk of complications. You will also learn about the techniques involved in the procedure, including:

  • Upper Arm Lift for sagging, loose skinned arms
  • Breast Augmentation for breasts that have lost volume
  • Breast Lift for breasts lying flat against the chest, often with nipples pointing down
  • Abdominal Lift for a overhanging lower abdomen (pannus) that may extend below the waist on all body sides
  • Butt Lift to lift sagging buttocks
  • Body Lift for excessive rolls on the back and sides
  • Thigh Lift for loose sagging skin of the inner and outer thigh

The Surgery

The time required for massive weight loss body contouring depends upon the extent of the procedure. In some cases, two or more surgical sessions may be required over time to achieve the most natural appearance. During body contouring, Dr. Sonderman will use general anesthesia to conduct the procedure. Liposuction may be performed to remove excess fat deposits. Then, excision will be performed to remove excess skin and tissue. The underlying tissues will be tightened as well. Dr. Sonderman also performs male breast reduction surgery to provide a firmer, well-proportioned and more natural bodily appearance for people with deformities from weight loss. Dr. Sonderman may treat one or more areas, as follows:

  • Body Lift: Essentially, a tummy tuck may be performed. This is accomplished through an incision extending around the sides to the back. In addition, lifting and tightening of the sagging abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks may be performed.
  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy): A breast lift may be performed to remove excess breast skin and reposition nipples that point downward. The extent of the incision and scar visibility depends upon the extent of the lift required in the procedure. Sometimes, breast implants are placed simultaneously to enhance breast shape and size. Further information on Breast Lifts is available here and Breast Augmentation here.
  • Arm Lift (Brachioplasty): Sagging skin, skin tightening and contour irregularities of the upper arm may be corrected with an arm lift. This procedure is performed through an incision made from the area under the arm to the elbow. The procedure works best in those patients who have significant excess loose skin on the arms with very minimal excess fat.
  • Thigh Lift: An outer thigh lift is usually performed as part of the body lift. Dr. Sonderman performs two types of thigh lifts. If excess skin is limited to the upper part of the thigh, then a limited incision upper thigh lift may be the best choice. If, however, your skin excess extends down towards the knee, then you will likely obtain the best result from an inner thigh lift that extends from the groin down to the knee.

Dr. Sonderman will suture all areas necessary following each treated area. Finally, a large dressing and/or compression garment may be placed around the treatment area to aid in healing.

Aftercare for Surgery Following Massive Weight Loss

You may spend the first night following surgery in our overnight stay center attended by a registered nurse. Dr. Sonderman will also see you in the days following the procedure. You will be provided with guidelines for activity restrictions and discomfort management, including medications to ease discomfort. You may experience swelling, bruising, bleeding and numbness following surgery which subsides with the aid of the compression garment.

Complications are rare, but may occur in some post bariatric patients. Complications may include: excessive bleeding, numbness, blood clots, respiratory distress, adverse anesthesia reaction, poor healing. Scars will lighten over time. Yet, it is important to remember that not all scars may be in discreet locations, depending upon the extent of surgery.

Most people return to work within two weeks following the procedure. The results are immediate, continue to improve over time and last for many years. Of course, the longevity of the procedure may be affected by weight changes, aging or pregnancy.