For people who finally achieve their goal of losing a massive amount of weight (100 lbs. or more), one might be surprised to hear that they are often left unhappy and in pain. They might have lost extensive girth, but the skin that used to stretch around their torsos and limbs remains behind, causing both psychological and physical pain.
The disappointment and pain that can follow such a positive milestone and achievement is something many patients are unprepared for. Their surgeon likely discussed with them the common side effect of excess or ‘redundant’ skin following such a large weight loss. Yet, when they actually see their own body in the mirror and experience the painful chafing that occurs from the skin folds, their disappointment can be palpable. Poor self-esteem can deepen and for many, losing the weight but retaining the sagging apron of skin can just feel like a reminder that they can never truly change for the better.
But of course, they can and do. Their distorted silhouette can be corrected through body contouring surgery. Patients who choose this surgery are motivated to begin a new lifestyle and build self-esteem. Body contouring surgery can produce dramatic results for such patients. The surgeon usually cuts an incision around the flanks and abdomen, and sometimes up the center of the front or back, in order to remove excess skin. Arm lifts and thigh/buttock lifts are often added to the surgery to contour the entire body. Of course, the emotional relief to patients is enormous. They fit their weight profile along with their clothes, and the painful chaffing is gone.
But perhaps of greater importance is the positive effect of body contouring surgery on their long-term weight management. Patients who had body contouring typically regained less weight than those patients who didn’t, according to a study done by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Those who had body contouring surgery following a gastric bypass regained an average of about 14 pounds, compared to nearly 50 pounds for patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery without body contouring. Given the negative effects of obesity and weight on health, such positive results of body contouring surgery can significantly aid in a patient's weight management plan. Gaining confidence and losing poor self-esteem can be a tremendous driver for choosing a positive lifestyle and building longterm health through weight management.