If you’ve lost a great deal of weight, either on your own or through bariatric surgery, it’s a great accomplishment. But now, despite being at the weight you want, you’re left with loose sagging skin that won’t get on board with your new slimmer contours.
Body contouring with Dr. Guarnieri will finish the job, completing your transformation by removing the excess skin and repositioning stretched muscles beneath. And by combining surgical procedures, your recovery can be much easier.
Am I a Candidate for Body Contouring?
You’ve done the hard part, but your skin didn’t get the message and it’s bumming you out. What’s up with the elastic nature of your skin? The problem is the skin is elastic, but only to a degree. If the connective tissues are stretched too far for too long they are unable to rebound to their former degree of tautness. So, while you are now at your target weight, your skin is still living in your heavier past.
Body contouring is the only way that overly stretched skin can be tightened to match your new slimmer contours.
There is no set group of surgeries in body contouring. Dr. Guarnieri works with you during your consultation to target the areas where you have loose, hanging skin. Every patient’s situation is unique, as are the corresponding procedures. The single most involved procedure is a body lift, which targets the lower torso and upper legs. The goal of a body lift is to sculpt the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, hips, and thighs.
These are the various procedures that Dr. Guarnieri may include in body contouring. With most of these procedures, liposuction may be added to remove stubborn pockets of fat.
Preparing for Surgery
It’s important to be at or very near your ideal final weight before having any body contouring procedures. These procedures are not weight-loss procedures, so Dr. Guarnieri wants his patients to be within 10% of their ideal weight and to have maintained that weight for a period of time. The reason for this is that continued weight loss after surgery will create more sagging skin again.
Conversely, if you put weight back on after body contouring procedures, this will create large stretch marks and scars on the sensitive skin that is still recovering from surgery.
Body contouring is a commitment, just as losing the weight was. Dr. Guarnieri wants his patients committed to their new healthier weight and lifestyle. In these cases, body contouring can be incredibly rewarding, filling in the last piece of the extreme weight loss puzzle.
What Are the Body Contouring Procedures Like?
Despite which areas are addressed in your body contouring surgeries, the goals are the same — to make an incision, reposition and tighten underlying muscles, trim excess skin, and remove excess pockets of fat. Incisions from procedures such as body lifts are extensive, but Dr. Guarnieri minimizes scarring where possible by placing the incisions in locations where they fall within a natural crease or can be hidden by clothing.
The goal is to combine various surgeries into a single surgical session. Obviously, this makes for a more involved recovery, but it’s a single recovery period rather than multiple recoveries.
Body Contouring Recovery
As you would assume, your recovery is predicated on what surgeries you had. Regardless, your incisions will be covered with bandages and dressings, and drainage tubes will be placed in certain locations to prevent the accumulation of fluids and blood. You will move around relatively soon after your surgeries, but anything strenuous will be off-limits for up to two months. You’ll need to wear compression garments on some of the areas to reduce swelling and to help your body adjust to its new contour. With body contouring, many areas addressed with surgery are weight bearing, so it’s important to not load those areas during your recovery. This is especially true with muscles repositioned during a tummy tuck and thigh lift.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in body contouring, call (757) 345-2275 to schedule a consultation at our office in Williamsburg VA.