Post Bariatric Surgery

The loss of massive amounts of weight can result in sagging skin and loose muscle tissue. Surgery after massive weight loss can correct this by improving the shape and tone of underlying tissue. Excess fat and skin is removed to give the body a more shapely figure.

During your consultation, your doctor will discuss with you why you want the surgery and what your expectations are. You will also receive information regarding the options available to you for completing the surgery. Your surgeon will review your complete medical history, including any past medical conditions or previous surgeries. He or she will also assess your current health. If you are a smoker you will be asked to stop smoking several weeks prior to surgery. Your doctor will take measurements of your body and will take photographs for your medical record. You may also be required to undergo lab testing prior to surgery. Your doctor may alter medications you are currently taking and may prohibit the use of aspirin and other drugs. You will receive instructions for the day of your surgery, the use of anesthesia during your surgery, recovery and follow-up.

Your surgeon will either use an intravenous sedative or general anesthesia while performing your surgery and will decide which is best for you. Depending on the areas to be corrected, your doctor may make incisions in several areas. A lower body lift will correct a sagging abdomen. A breast lift will correct flat and sagging breasts. An arm lift is performed to reshape the upper arms. A thigh lift can correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh areas. Incisions in these areas can be extensive and may leave significant scarring. However, your surgeon will make incisions in inconspicuous areas.

Body contouring to correct the effects of massive weight loss is usually performed in stages. Your doctor will take into consideration your personal goals and overall health in developing a surgical plan to complete the contouring process. You must remember that it probably took a long time to take off the excess weight and it could take just as long to see the final results of contouring surgery.

Surgery poses the risk of infection and a reaction to anesthesia. Other risks of contouring surgery include scarring, bleeding, infection, accumulation of fluid, difficult wound healing, loss of skin, blood clots, numbness, necrosis, excess swelling, persistent pain, thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, skin discoloration and the possibility of revision surgery. While your doctor will go over the risks with you in detail, you should also make sure that all your questions regarding surgery and the risks involved are answered. Your surgery will be easier on you if you are comfortable with the knowledge you have. You should also ensure your doctor is qualified with several years’ experience with plastic surgery. Your comfort level with your doctor is as important as the surgery itself.

Once surgery is complete, you will be sent home to recover. You will be required to wear bandages over the incision sites to reduce swelling and to speed healing. A small tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain excess fluid. You will receive specific instructions regarding recovery, wound care and follow-up. It is extremely important to follow your doctor’s instructions to decrease the risk of complications.

The results of surgery are almost immediately visible. However, it can take several months to see the full effects of the surgery. Your body will need several months to heal. It may take over a year for the swelling and bruising to disappear. You may also have visible scarring. Your doctor will make incisions in the least noticeable areas where they will be hidden with clothing. However, some incisions may have to be made in more noticeable areas. You also need to keep in mind that your body will change with age and this will affect the results of your massive weight loss surgery.

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