Patients who have had Bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery frequently come for consultation with a plastic surgeon 1 to 2 years after their bariatric surgery. They have often lost 100-150 pounds or more and as a result they may have loose skin or problem areas in the face, arms, breast or chest, abdomen, buttocks, and inner or outer thighs. It's very important that they've reached a stable weight.
When a patient is in the process of losing weight, their protein stores are depleted and this is not a good time to go through elective surgery such as plastic surgery. Once the weight has been stabilized for three months or more we can begin the process of removing the unwanted skin.
Typically patients would have multiple areas of concern and on our initial consultation we like to make a list of all the areas the patient is concerned about. From that list we can develop a priority of things that are more important to the patient.
Once we've made that prioritization we can combine multiple procedures, typically two and possibly three, to be preformed at one time. In order to do this and maintain safety, we have to limit the amount of time under anesthesia. This is important because the anesthesia gases themselves can build up over time.
Additionally, patients can become cold while under surgery, which increases the risk of wound healing problems and infection. In order to do the most procedures possible in the least amount of time, I like to involve my brother Dr. Ernest Rehnke, in performing these operations. He's a very talented general surgeon that specializes in Bariatric surgery and is familiar with these kind of problems.
He and I work together as a team in order to perform more procedures in a limited amount of time. Quite commonly we like to combine a tummy tuck with inner thigh lift or brachioplasty and breast lift.
A brachioplasty is a procedure that removes the excess skin along the upper arms and armpit area. The scar runs between the biceps and triceps muscle and into the armpit area. It could have an extremely dramatic affect on a person's arms and is one of the procedures a patient is most happy with. It's easy to combine this operation with breast or chest surgery.
An operation such as a mastopexy is preformed to lift and tighten the breast, it's much different than a standard plastic surgery breast lift. This is because when a patient has lost so much weight the breast could be completely deflated and sagging, even down to the waist line. This sort of problem requires a special procedure. We have developed procedures in plastic surgery that address the weight loss patient specifically for just these sort of problems.
They are referred to as extended mastopexies and can have a very dramatic impact. Just about everything we do in plastic surgery has an application to the Bariatric patient. However, their needs are much greater than the typical plastic surgery patient.
And so the operations we use need to specialized for them. This is why it is important to find a plastic surgeon that specializes in post Bariatric surgery.
Plastic Surgery Consultation: Post Bariatric
If you are interested in Post Bariatric Plastic Surgery procedures, Liposuction or a Tummy Tuck, or just have general questions about Body Contouring Plastic Surgery procedures, please contact the Center for Surgical Excellence for a personal and confidential consultation with our convenient on-line form or call 1-727-341-0337.