Weight Loss Contouring
Patients who have lost a very significant amount of weight, either through diet and exercise, or weight loss bariatric surgery, are often left with excess loose skin. These are some of the most pleasant patients, and they do require body contouring to “complete” their weight loss journey.
Common operations requested after weight loss include:
- Abdomen contouring (see “Fleur de Lis” abdominoplasty)
- Breast lift
- Arm lift
- Lower and upper back lift
- Face and neck lift
- Tight lift
The specific operation(s) required are personal preference, but Dr. McInnes will discuss your aesthetic goals and also provide his recommendations. Many surgeries need to be staged to allow for recovery of one operation before proceeding with a second surgery. Technical details of your operation and expectations will be discussed at your consultation.
What makes me different after massive weight loss?
After bariatric surgery, patients often require close medical attention to ensure they meet the nutritional requirements of surgery. In order to heal, blood levels of various markers need to meet certain thresholds. Dr. McInnes will help coordinate your care with your medical team to ensure you are fully optimized prior to surgery and setup for success.
My friend got a free tummy tuck, why are you charging me?
Cosmetic surgery is not a benefit of the Medical Services Plan (MSP) anywhere in Canada, as taxpayers do not wish to pay for cosmetic surgery. A procedure called a panniculectomy is covered by MSP in certain medical circumstances, however this is not a cosmetic operation. Sometimes patients do not understand the difference between the two operations, and may report getting a “free tummy tuck”. This procedure involves removing some excess fat and skin below the belly button in certain patients but it does not contour the abdomen, and often does not produce a cosmetic improvement as the belly button gets sewn down to the pubic line. Many plastic surgeons refuse to do this procedure because it is somewhat aesthetically displeasing and is only for certain medical conditions. Dr. McInnes is happy to discuss the indications, limits, and outcomes of panniculectomy with you at your consultation.
What about my stretch marks?
Childbirth or weight loss commonly leave patients with stretch marks, which are full thickness scars in the skin. Like scars elsewhere, there isn’t a magic potion to eliminate them. Abdominoplasty surgery may remove some of the stretch marks, but this will depend where they are located. If they are mainly below the belly button, they will be mostly excised. If the stretch marks are located above the belly button, they will still be present after abdominoplasty. Dr McInnes will discuss this with you during your consultation.
What about non-invasive treatments (Coolsculpting, Sculpsure etc.)
Non-invasive treatments can be used for very mild cases, but won’t achieve the desired results for more moderate fatty deposition. Coolsculpting is often over-promoted in cosmetic med-spas by non-plastic surgeons who don’t have the ability to offer any surgical treatments. Several surgeons have abandoned less invasive options as patients were often spending a considerable amount of money only to be left disappointed with very modest results. Similarly, for very large amounts of excess fat, particularly if there is excess skin, liposuction alone may not achieve desired results. By offering multiple treatment options, Dr. McInnes can advise you on the treatment that will give you the results you desire with the least amount of downtime.
Why should my weight be stable before abdominoplasty?
The reason weight should be stable before abdominoplasty is because weight fluctuations can impact the results of your surgery. For example, if you were to lose a significant amount of weight after your abdominoplasty, Dr. McInnes may have been able to remove additional skin and fat from your abdomen. Similarly, if you gain weight, your surgical results will not be optimized for your size. It is important to aim for a healthy, sustainable weight prior to your abdominoplasty.
From a technical standpoint, the surgery may require different techniques to accommodate skin that has been permanently stretched in multiple directions. Also, because much of the skin elasticity has been permanently altered, surgical techniques often require different measures to ensure a sustained result (eg. techniques to provide extra bolstering).
The smoother, tighter contours that result from surgery are apparently almost immediately following your procedure but swelling and bruising will partially obscure the final result. Weight loss patients usually see immediate dramatic improvements to their contour.
Prices for your surgery vary based on your individual surgical requirements, the exact procedures you require, and will be provided after your assessment.
Your quoted cost will include the following:
- surgical facility fee and nursing staff fees
- the anesthesiologist fee
- all surgical supplies costs
- surgeon fee
Financing plans are available and are becoming an increasingly popular option.
There are risks associated with your surgery. Please download the consent form designed by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) for a detailed list and description of the risks involved (found here). Risks of surgery will be discussed prior to your consent. It is important to address all your questions directly with Dr. McInnes.