If you have undergone a gastric bypass or LAP-BAND™ procedure and lost close to 100 pounds or more, you are probably now a thin person inside a body that is too big for you. In fact, in some ways the extra skin that hangs from your abdomen, thighs and arms is harder to manage than before you lost the weight, because you find that you have to keep tucking it into your clothes. Therefore, you haven’t really been able to enjoy your svelte new shape. Fortunately, Dr. Trott can help you look and feel the way you had envisioned–both in and out of clothes.
Post-weight loss body contouring procedures combine reconstructive and cosmetic techniques to tighten, lift and contour sagging areas for a more attractive appearance. You may choose to treat your arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, neck, or face. Safety comes first, and multiple procedures are typically staged six weeks to three months apart.
Lower Body Lift (Belt Lipectomy)
If you spend time in front of a mirror pulling up the skin on your thighs and pulling down the skin on your tummy, you may be a candidate for a lower body lift (belt lipectomy). Also known as a belt lipectomy, the lower body lift is designed to “tuck” the tummy, lift the thighs and buttocks, smooth out the back rolls, and remove excess skin from the torso and upper legs. It is basically a “tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) that goes all the way around” and is most commonly performed in a patient who has had significant weight loss (due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery) and feels that his or her lower body is sagging.
Dr. Trott performs a lower body lift (belt lipectomy) by combining the high lateral tension abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with liposuction (liposculpture) of the thighs, which allows for more extensive release of the anterior and lateral thigh skin. The result will be not only a flat abdomen but smoother, lifted thighs and buttocks with significant improvement in cellulite. The incision is kept low so it is hidden in underwear or a bathing suit.
You will wear a compressive garment for six weeks. Recovery time is similar to that for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). You will need approximately two weeks off from work. Walking is encouraged immediately, but strenuous exercise must be delayed for six weeks.
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Medial Thigh Lift
A medial thigh lift will tighten the sagging skin of your inner thighs that remains despite all of your working out. The incision is hidden in the groin and along the inside of the thigh, so that it is invisible from both the front and back view of your legs. For most post-bariatric patients who undergo multiple body contouring procedures, this is one of the last of the staged procedures performed. Dr. Trott recommends undergoing the lower body lift (belt lipectomy) first, as that alone will tighten up some of the medial thigh skin.
Post-operatively you will wear a compressive garment for six weeks. Dr. Trott recommends taking one to two weeks off work and taking it easy during that time period. A significant portion of the incision is in the groin, and this can be a sensitive area, so although it does not seem like a “big” surgery, the recovery should not be taken lightly.
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Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
Getting rid of the “bat wings” is often one of the first procedures that post-bariatric patients undergo so that they can finally wear sleeveless and short-sleeved tops. After substantial weight loss, weight gain or simply from the effects of aging, skin on the upper arms can become inelastic, loose and flabby. Arm lifts, also known as brachioplasty, remove that excess skin and fat. Dr. Trott’s approach will also remove that extra fold of skin in front of your armpit that sags over your bra. When necessary, she will combine the procedure with liposculpture (liposuction) of the arms.
For less severe skin tightening, the brachioplasty (arm lift) procedure requires a short incision hidden in your armpit. However, most weight loss patients will require an incision that extends from the armpit (or axillae) to the elbow, on the inside of the arm. This scar is hidden when your arms are at your sides.
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Labiaplasty (Labial Surgery)
Labial surgery, or labiaplasty, serves many functions: it can improve the appearance of the vagina, relieve discomfort, aid in proper hygiene, prevent chaffing from undergarments and clothing, and boost self-confidence. The procedure may be performed to correct external problems. External labiaplasty (labial surgery) trims the vaginal inner lips (labia minora) to remove excess skin and achieve a balance in size and overall much more pleasing and natural, youthful appearance.
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