Changes in body shape occur with aging, weight gain or weight loss. Over the last 20 years the overall increase in the rate of obesity and the associated rise in bariatric procedures(weight loss surgery) has also been associated with an increase in body reshaping procedures including tummy tucks, body lifts, arm and thigh lifts. Short term radical diets usually do not produce a lasting change. A better approach is improved diet and regular exercise regimen. If there are residual areas of fatty deposits then patients can benefit from liposuction which remains the most popular and sought after procedure.
The most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the U.S. today, liposuction sculpts the body by removing undesirable fat from areas of the body such as the abdomen, waist, hips, buttocks, thighs, knees, chin, cheeks, neck and upper arms that have not responded to diet and exercise. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia may be used and can last anywhere from one to five hours depending on the amount of fat being removed.
There are several different methods surgeons use when performing liposuction, including tumescent liposuction, the super-wet technique, and ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) or power-assisted liposuction. In all types a tiny incision is made in as inconspicuous a place as possible. A cannula (small tube) is inserted and moved back-and-forth beneath the skin, breaking up the fat layer and suctioning it out. Tumescent liposuction and super-wet liposuction use fluid injection, which facilitates fat removal, reduces blood loss, provides anesthesia during and after surgery, and helps to reduce the amount of bruising after surgery. UAL liquefies fat with ultrasonic energy and is highly precise.
After surgery, drainage tubes, compression garments and antibiotics may be needed to facilitate the healing process. Patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able and many return to work within a few days, although strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Results are visible immediately, though improvement may continue as swelling subsides during the first three months. Scars are small and inconspicuous.
CIRCUMFERENTIAL BODY LIFT
A circumferential body lift is a surgical procedure that helps to flatten and shape the abdomen and trunk by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles.
The best candidates are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.
A body lift will leave a permanent scar cycling the abdomen and trunk, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it.
TUMMY TUCK (ABDOMINOPLASTY)
Abdominoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to flatten and shape the abdomen and waist by removing excess fat and skin and tightening muscles.
The best candidates are in good physical condition with pockets of fat or loose skin that haven’t responded well to diet and exercise. Older, slightly obese people whose skin has lost some of its elasticity can be helped. Abdominoplasty can also be useful for women with stretched skin and muscles from pregnancy, although results from the procedure will diminish if they continue to bear children. For this reason, women who plan to have children again are advised to delay abdominoplasty. Patients who intend to lose a lot of weight are also encouraged to wait before undergoing the procedure, since skin in that area typically loosens after substantial weight loss.
The procedure takes approximately two to five hours and can be performed with general anesthesia or local anesthesia with a sedative. Recovery time ranges from two weeks to a few months, but with a balanced diet and regular exercise results are long-lasting.
Abdominoplasty will likely leave a permanent scar stretching between the hips, although it should be low enough for even a bikini to conceal it.
Dr. Niazi will make two incisions: one from hipbone to hipbone close to the pubic area, and one around the navel. Skin is separated from the abdominal muscles, which are then pulled together and stitched into place for a firmer abdomen and narrower waist. The skin flap is stretched down and over the newly tightened muscles, excess skin is removed, and the navel is reattached. Finally, the incisions will be stitched, dressings will be applied, and a temporary tube may be inserted to drain excess fluid from the surgical site.
A thigh lift is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper legs. Candidates typically suffer from loose, inelastic skin after extreme weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breastlifts, facelifts and armlifts to retain an attractive body proportion.
In a medial thigh lift (inner thigh lift), the surgical incision is made in the inner thigh along the line where the leg meets the groin. In a lateral thigh lift (outer thigh lift), the incision is made from the groin around the back of the body, so that the buttocks are lifted along with the thigh.
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. Patients who have significant amounts of fat may want to consider combining the procedure with liposuction.
POST BARIATRIC OR MASSIVE WEIGHT LOSS PROCEDURES
After substantial weight loss patients may feel unhappy with the physical appearance as in some areas the tissues and skin may not retract. The areas that commonly need attention are the abdomen, breasts, trunk, arms or the so-called ‘batwings’, thighs and face/neck. The patients should wait at least a year post bariatric surgery before they have a surgical procedure to allow tissues to settle as this reduces their complications.