Summary: Post-weight loss body contouring refers to any procedure designed to remove sagging skin or tissue after weight loss, revealing the slimmer figure that lies underneath. According to recently released data by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, procedures associated with massive weight loss, including abdominoplasty, thigh lifts, breast lifts and upper arm lifts, increased in popularity in the year 2014 at their fastest rate in four years. The trend of post-weight loss body contouring follows a clear rising concern for health, lifestyle and massive weight loss in the United States.
Increasing Health Concerns
As more and more Americans become aware of the national obesity problem, health concerns are on the rise. The United States has the highest rate of obesity among industrialized nations, but recent campaigns to raise awareness about the harmful effects of obesity, the benefits of healthy eating and ways to maintain an active lifestyle have inspired many Americans to drop their excess weight in exchange for a longer life expectancy and improved body image.
Growing Popularity of Weight Loss Surgery
Post-weight loss body contouring can’t help anyone lose weight, as the procedures are all about fine-tuning your weight loss success. For those in need of weight loss surgery, procedures such as bariatric surgery that remove a portion of the stomach can help patients drop significant pounds almost instantly.
In recent years, weight loss surgeries have also been on the rise. Not everyone can effectively lose weight with traditional methods of diet and exercise, as some obese people may have limited movement capabilities. For those interested in starting over with a smaller figure and an opportunity to establish a healthy lifestyle, procedures like bariatric surgery can offer that second chance.
Psychological Benefits of Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring
Someone can lose significant weight and never undergo body contouring procedures and will often be just as physically healthy as someone who gets body contouring. The primary reason so many post-weight loss patients seek body contouring is psychological.
Almost everyone who undergoes drastic weight loss is left with baggy folds of skin, excess fatty tissue and lingering bulges that won’t go away no matter what diet they try or how much exercise they do. At times, redundant skin and fatty tissue can cause physical problems, like chafing, difficulty fitting into clothing and skin rashes. For many, however, these burdens serve as constant psychological reminders of previous obesity, which can contribute to depression and increase the likelihood of regaining the weight they’ve lost.
The Most Common Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Procedures
The most common body contouring procedures for post-weight loss patients are tummy tucks, thigh or lower body lifts, upper arm lifts and breast lifts. Each of these procedures removes excess skin and tissue, tightens the underlying musculature and creates smoother, sleeker contours.
Both men and women can benefit from surgeries like abdominoplasty, also known as a tummy tuck, to create a better-looking abdomen, but the procedure also has health benefits. A tummy tuck can resolve diastasis recti, a condition of separated abdominal muscles and a distended belly that many previously obese individuals can develop. Abdominoplasty can also be combined with hernia repair.
Thigh, arm and lower body lifts all aim to improve the contours of the limbs or lower torso to not only create a more attractive figure, but also allow the patient to fit more easily into clothing. Finally, breast lifts are common procedures for women of all shapes and sizes, helping to restore the breasts to a more youthful position, which can be particularly helpful after drastic weight loss.