What is body contouring? An in-depth exploration

Plastic Surgeon & Medical Spa Serving Oklahoma City, Edmond,Lawton & Nearby Central Oklahoma

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Posted: May 29, 2014

In our last post, we went over why bariatric surgery is on the rise. We also mentioned that just over 20 percent of bariatric surgery patients follow up with one or more body contouring procedures.

So what exactly does body contouring surgery consist of? As with most things, it really depends on the individual. Some people require just one procedure, and others have a combination of surgeries to effectively remove excess skin.

Who’s a candidate for body contouring surgery?

Ideally, you’ll want to wait for your weight until your weight has been stable for about a year. Some people opt to have body contouring done a year after their initial bariatric procedure, but this could mean additional procedures down the road if you continue to lose weight.

If you’ve lost a large amount of weight (100+ lbs.) due to either bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, you’re likely eligible for body contouring surgery.

We get the best results when our body contouring patients are in good health, maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and haven’t been smoking for at least 6 weeks prior to the surgery. (As we’ve discussed previously, smoking doesn’t mix well with surgery!) And even more importantly, we make sure our patients have realistic expectations going into the surgery.

Combining procedures for best results

We advise patients against any surgical combinations that will take more than 5 or 6 hours to complete. After that kind of time, your risk for surgery-related complications increases significantly – and this procedure is all about making things simpler, not more complicated.

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Some combinations Dr. Panchal finds most effective:

  • Tummy tuck + outer thigh lift
  • Tummy tuck + inner thigh lift
  • Belt lipectomy (tummy tuck + buttock lift)
  • Breast lift + arm lift

The difference between a quick fix and long-term, effective body contouring surgery

At Genesis, we’re all about acknowledging and respecting the whole person – not just the area you deem a “problem spot” or a trophy. We want to make sure that every procedure we do makes sense in the context of the rest of you.

  • Smarter lipo: When you think about liposuction or removing excess skin, you might think of it as a sort of “snip, snip, done” affair. But we know from experience that addressing only the most visible “problem area” doesn’t do much for your end result. Instead, you have to address both the “problem area” and the surrounding muscles and tissues.
  • Using what you’ve got: Liposuction removes fat and excess skin from a particular area – but the material removed can be put to use. Dr. Panchal uses the fat and tissue removed during a procedure to further enhance the shape of a patient’s body – for example, using the fat removed in a butt lift to further the shape of the buttocks.
  • Tummy tuck 2.0: Most people who undergo bariatric surgery are left with a large portion of skin that hangs over the abdomen – this is called a pannus. Some procedures only remove the pannus itself – but we prefer to deal with the whole area. Dr. Panchal gets rid of abdominal overhang, lifts the outer thighs, gets rid of any muffin top, and performs liposuction on the lower back and flank area. This way, you’re left with a shapely backside and a contoured abdomen – which look better from every angle.
  • Attention to detail: A hastily performed operation can result in ugly scarring and awkward bulging. Dr. Panchal focuses on creating small, easily concealable incisions and creating a smooth contour on the body.

In short, we prefer to treat an area comprehensively instead of just focusing on the most visible problem at the time – and our patients thank us for it! Instead of being disappointed and frustrated by the procedure that was supposed to help you regain your shape, you’ll be able to embrace the person you see in the mirror.

For a visual representation of Dr. Panchal’s methods, check out our body contouring before & after section.

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