The Weight Loss Journey

The significant weight loss that occurs through bariatric surgery can leave you with excess, saggy skin that hangs from your body, arms, and legs. Fortunately, advanced procedures for skin reduction and body contouring after weight loss are available in Las Vegas from Dr. Terrence Higgins, Dr. Michael Edwards, and Dr. Andrew Silver to help you look as good as you feel. Our plastic surgeons have the training and experience required for post-weight loss plastic surgery.

If you are considering completing your physical transformation through plastic surgery, request a consultation with one of our surgeons in Las Vegas to discuss options after your weight loss surgery. Or, you can call our office at
702-822-2100 to schedule an appointment.

IS SURGERY AFTER WEIGHT LOSS RIGHT FOR ME?

If you’ve undergone a surgical weight-loss procedure, such as lap band surgery, you may be disappointed by the leftover excess skin that drapes over your waist. That’s not unusual, and our surgeons can help improve your appearance with body contouring procedures tailored for your needs. If you’re considering surgery after weight loss, however, it’s important to be at a stable weight and in good physical health.

It’s also important to understand both the possibilities and limitations of plastic surgery and have realistic expectations about your results.

It’s such an inspiration to see our weight loss patients who share their transformation stories and photos with us and it truly is our honor to be part of that next step in the journey toward making positive life changes.

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HOW IS SURGERY AFTER WEIGHT LOSS PERFORMED?

Post-weight loss plastic surgery often involves a combination of procedures to remove excess skin and improve your body’s tone and contour. Areas commonly improved include:

  • Arms
  • Abdomen
  • Thighs
  • Face
  • Neck

Getting the results you desire begins at your consultation. Through careful and methodical planning, Dr. Edwards, Dr. Higgins, and Dr. Silver develop a treatment plan for you that may include surgical procedures performed in stages to ensure your safety.

One of the most common procedures performed after weight loss surgery is called a panniculectomy, which is sometimes incorporated into a tummy tuck surgery. The pannus is the overhanging skin of the lower abdomen that typically occurs after major weight loss, pregnancy, or both.

Other common procedures after weight loss include:

Lower body lift: Also called a circumferential body lift, or belt lipectomy, this procedure reserved for patients with large amounts of excess skin requires a short hospital stay for recovery and is performed under general anesthesia. It is commonly performed in stages after careful planning that includes extensive markings where the incisions will be made.

Medial thigh lift: The medial (inner) thigh lift is performed when there is a large amount of excess skin in the inner thighs. It specifically reduces excess skin and fat in the upper portion of the thigh. An incision is made from your groin area backward to the crease of your buttocks. The skin is lifted and excess fat removed, along with extra skin.

Upper arm lift: This procedure removes excess skin from the upper arms using small incisions in the armpit if possible. The results from this procedure, which may also incorporate liposuction, can be dramatic.

“I advise patients who have undergone some type of bariatric surgery, such as a gastric bypass, to wait at least 6 months before proceeding with body contouring surgery. That will not only allow you to fully recover from the weight-loss surgery, but also ensure that your weight is stable.”

– Dr. Terry Higgins

WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING RECOVERY?

Although your surgeon offers you a specific recuperation timeline during your consultation, most of our Las Vegas-area patients have relatively comfortable and uneventful periods of recovery. We recommend a stay of 10-14 days for our out-of-town patients and will help make arrangements.

For the first few days after your surgery, you can manage any discomfort with prescribed or over-the-counter pain relievers. Swelling and bruising are usually maximum at 3 days and improve over the next few weeks. Most people feel well enough to work at 3 weeks, but still have cosmetic signs such as swelling and bruising that they would rather others not see.

During the recovery period, you will need to keep your body elevated in order to minimize swelling. Many patients opt to sleep in a recliner or propped up on a wedge or pillows. You will be encouraged to walk but must avoid heavy exercising to avoid delayed bruising and bleeding for 2-3 weeks. Sun protection is vital, especially for bruised skin and pink scars. To help yourself heal, don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.

Undergoing multiple procedures may also influence recovery time.

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