Georgeanna Huang, MD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

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Body Contouring after Weight Loss
Contrary to what most people think, the excess skin and fat you develop after weight loss do not really weigh that much.  However, removal of that hanging skin and fat does diminish the downward pull and stress on your spine and will improve your back pain as your center of mass is restored to the center of your spine.  Your clothes will fit more easily as well and your activity level will increase as it becomes easier to move around.

The body contouring involved after weight loss depends on where you have the most lax skin and fat.  Often, a circumferential abdominoplasty is necessary, meaning a tummy tuck that wraps completely around the back.  This allows all of the skin and fat to be removed without leaving "dog ears" which are puckers of skin that are created when a wedge of tissue is removed.  Liposuction is then used if necessary to soften any edges or transition points from the excision. 

Depending on how much tissue you have, this procedure can be performed as an outpatient or with an overnight stay.  If you have been exercising, chances are that you may not need any muscle tightening of your abdominal wall.  After surgery, you can expect to have at least two drains, which are reservoirs that collect fluid that your body makes after the surgery (much like the fluid that seeps when you have skinned your knee), which stay as short as one week and as long as several weeks, depending on the amount your body produces.  Walking and sitting are tight for a week or two, and no aerobic activity is allowed for four weeks.  You will wear a binder that helps to support your abdomen as it heals for the first six weeks.

Any other questions?

 We encourage you to ask questions so that you feel comfortable and informed in making this important decision for yourself.  If there is a question we have not answered, please do not hesitate to call us.

 
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is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with subspecialty training in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast.
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