American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

When is the time right for body contouring after major weight loss?

body contouring after major weight loss

Achieving a major weight loss goal is a huge success by itself and certainly a milestone to celebrate. Yet, even after having achieved their weight loss goals, many men and women struggle with excess skin after significant weight loss that can hinder their final results.

Therefore, many people plan post-weight loss body contouring procedures as part of their health and fitness journey. The key is to plan your procedure just right to maximize your results. These four factors are important to consider when deciding when the right time for body contouring could be.

Are you able to maintain a stable weight?

Whether you've achieved major weight loss through bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise, it is crucial that you're able to maintain a steady weight long-term before deciding to move forward with body contouring surgery. Significant weight fluctuations can negatively affect your outcome and may increase the risk of complications during or after body contouring. Even if your body contouring treatment includes liposuction to help remove small isolated areas of exercise-resistant fat, remember that plastic surgery isn't meant to serve as a method of weight loss. Thus, the ideal candidates should have already reached (or come as close as possible to reaching) their target weight first.

Are you in generally good health?

Most people who are in general good health and who can maintain a stable weight can be good candidates for body contouring after weight loss. However, if you've recently had bariatric surgery and are adjusting to a new diet plan, you may want to give your body some time to acclimate before your body contouring surgery.

Additionally, it's important to maintain healthy eating habits, so you'll need to make sure that you're fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to properly heal and recover. You shouldn't worry about "dieting" during your tummy tuck recovery, but rather focus on providing your body with enough of the right foods.

Do you have clear, realistic goals?

For most people, the primary goal of body contouring surgery after major weight loss is to remove uncomfortable and unsightly excess skin. With the addition of liposuction, your procedure could also address small areas of stubborn fat that often accumulate in areas such as your hips, waist and love handles.

However, body contouring procedures do have limitations. For this reason, it is important that you have clear, realistic goals about what body contouring can and cannot do for you before moving forward with plastic surgery.

Have you consulted a board-certified plastic surgeon?

If you feel that you're at a good place in your weight loss journey to start planning for body contouring, the next step is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she can help you plan the most appropriate body contouring timeline for your unique situation, as well as explain your options and help you decide which procedure(s) might be right for you.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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