News | Published July 17, 2014 | Written by Emily Peterson, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon

Body contouring: The final stage in your weight loss journey

Significant weight loss should be a time for celebration. Whether accomplished through diet and exercise or surgical methods, losing a large amount of weight can provide a fresh start and an improved outlook.

However, rapid weight loss can often lead to other physical issues such as sagging skin in the upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, groin and thighs. This occurs because the stretched skin is unable to conform back to a slimmer body. Body contouring can help individuals after major weight loss by removing the extra skin and fat and improving the shape and tone of the tissue that supports muscles, fat and skin. Procedures include arm lift, tummy tuck, thigh lift, breast lift and body lift.

Body contouring can be performed in one or multiple stages, depending on what areas need to be treated. Working with you and your physicians, your plastic surgeon will decide how best to schedule the procedures. Factors that play a role in these decisions include your overall health, your goals, how your body reacts to the process and your plastic surgeon’s professional judgment.

It is important to stabilize your weight before proceeding with body contouring. If you plan to lose more weight after the procedures, your skin may sag again. If you gain weight, the stressed skin will stretch causing wider scars and stretch marks, ultimately changing the shape of your body.

When embarking on this final stage of your weight loss journey, the best policy is to be open and honest with your plastic surgeon about your goals and expectations.

For more information about body contouring, visit cosmetic.mountnittany.org or call 814.231.7878.

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