Massive weight loss is a success no matter which way it was achieved, whether through bariatric surgery or exercise and diet. It speaks volumes about the individual’s ability to maintain focus and reach his goals. Unfortunately in many cases, after we lose a lot of weight, we are unable to enjoy and show off the results of the hard work as our body still doesn’t look the way we would like. It is very common for people losing an impressive amount of weight to be confronted with sagging skin on the abdomen and upper arms, not to mention the stubborn adipose deposits on the flanks or thighs. Many surgeons consider plastic surgery as the next logical step after undergoing bariatric surgery or losing a lot of weight. Once the patient has reached the ideal weight and maintained it for at least six months, he or she is eligible for plastic surgery to improve the contours of the body and correct whatever imperfections might be left after weight loss. Depending on your body shape and how your body responded to weight loss, there are certain procedures that will be recommended for your particular case. You are eligible for plastic surgery after weight loss if: – Your weight is close to or normal and has been constant for at least six months, preferably longer. – You have no plans to lose any more weight in the months or years to come. – You are prepared to put in the effort to sustain the results of the intervention by keeping a balanced diet and exercising on a regular basis. – You are in good emotional and physical health. Don’t forget to mention to your plastic surgeon if you suffer from chronic conditions. – You are not on a strict diet. A diet lacking in the important nutrients, vitamins and minerals can interfere and prolong the healing process. – You are not a smoker. – You have reasonable and realistic expectations from the interventions that will be performed on you. Top 5 body contouring procedures recommended after weight loss: 1. Tummy tuck The tummy tuck is not only recommended for people who experienced massive weight fluctuations due to excessive eating, but also for women who experienced multiple pregnancies. It is a commonly performed procedure in the United States and all over the world and it can also strengthen your abdominal wall muscles, aside from ridding you of the excess skin and tissue on your stomach. There are patients with fat deposits and skin sagging on their abdomen who come in and ask for a liposuction. Unfortunately when skin sagging is present, liposuction is no longer a viable procedure to correct your issue. Liposuction is a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time, but it can’t provide impressive results on sagging skin or skin with a poor quality. If liposuction is performed, the sagginess will become even more pronounced. After a certain age the skin’s ability to retract to the new contours provided by liposuction is greatly reduced, hence making the tummy tuck a more suitable option. During the tummy tuck, the plastic surgeon can remove all the excess skin and tissue on the lower part of the abdomen and also reposition the navel and tighten the loose abdominal muscles. Depending on the patient’s needs we can perform a mini tummy tuck or a complete tummy tuck. Despite what some people believe, it is not for the patient to choose what procedure he would like, but for the plastic surgeon to recommend the procedure that would efficiently correct the issue at hand. 2. Thigh lift The thighs have a delicate and sensitive skin and can be greatly affected by weight fluctuations. Even during a normal pregnancy, stretch marks can occur on the thighs if the patient has poor skin quality. After the skin’s ligaments are stretched during weight gain, it is very difficult for the skin to retract after weight loss. Hence, we are often confronted with the sagging skin on the inner thighs, as well as other imperfections such as cellulite and stretch marks. A thigh lift procedure is not meant to correct cellulite, but it can certainly improve the aspect of your legs by removing the excess skin and fat tissue from the inner or exterior side of the thighs. The complexity of the intervention is dependent on the amount of skin and tissue that needs to be removed. 3. Breasts lift and/or augmentation procedure Many women lose weight and end up losing breast volume, which is a common and normal occurrence. They can lose their shape, volume and even consistency, not to mention the elevated position. Some women are even discouraged to lose weight after a certain age as their breasts and face will start sagging. It is always a good idea to shed off the excess weight, but the reality is that for older patients, plastic surgery might be necessary to correct the sagginess on the face and breasts. For patients who were obese or overweight, it can be a great disappointment to lose all that extra weight only to discover that the breasts have also lost their volume and are now lax and sagging. A breast lift procedure with or without augmentation can offer amazing results by offering them more elevated and perkier breasts. However, don’t expect for your breasts to look exactly like before you started putting on weight as this is not possible. 4. Upper arm lift The skin on the upper arms is similar to that of the thighs. It starts to sag earlier than the skin in other areas of the body, and arms develop a tired, lax aspect if the individual is physically inactive. After massive weight loss, not even strenuous workouts at the gym can help you correct sagging upper arms. You need plastic surgery to help you with this. Fortunately, the arm lift procedure is commonly performed and perfectly safe. It leaves behind permanent scars, but they are usually on the internal side of the arms and are not very visible. 5. Brazilian butt lift Some are born with a nice behind, and others have to work hard to get it or choose plastic surgery. The buttocks are one of the areas that will be affected by weight loss. You might have been proud of your curvaceous behind while being overweight, but after weight loss you might be disappointed to see that all is left are sagging, flat buttocks. To correct this issue, we have the Brazilian butt lift that offers impressive results in a vast majority of cases. What should be expected after a body contouring procedure? Most reshaping interventions leave behind permanent scars. The length and visibility of the scars are dependent on the plastic surgeon’s talent and experience, but also the amount of fat that was removed during surgery. After weight loss, to be able to solve all the aesthetic issues, more interventions might be needed, either performed at the same time or in different sessions spread months apart. Conclusion The main advantage of undergoing plastic surgery after bariatric surgery or a massive weight loss program is that you can see visible results straight away. We know the weight loss didn’t happen overnight and that it was a difficult and stressful period, so with plastic surgery you can perfect your body and show off the results. Of course, the final results of your intervention will be completely visible months after the surgery, but when choosing a tummy tuck or a breast lift, you will notice the change in your body as soon as you wake up from the anesthesia. The other good news about body contouring is that patients can maintain the results for a very long time or permanently. The natural aging process can have an impact on your breasts, even after undergoing a breast lift, but your breasts will never look like before the surgery. Keep in mind that to be a good candidate for body contouring, you need to have reached your ideal or normal weight and maintained it for at least six months, preferably a year. Ulterior weight gains or losses and future pregnancies can alter the results of the intervention.