Body sculpting after you have major weight loss helps to get rid of sagging, excess skin and fat as it improves the underlying support tissue’s shape. The end result is smoother contours with a well-proportioned appearance.
Benefits of drastic weight loss are plentiful. However, after you lose a significant amount of weight because of lifestyle changes or weight loss surgery, your tissues and skin, once elastic, may lose their elasticity to harmonize with your reduced body size.
To understand what to expect with your body sculpting procedure and results, you first need to know what body sculpting does. In your body, you have a set number of fat-cells, making up who you are. After gaining weight, your body isn’t generating extra fat cells. Instead, your existing fat cells are just becoming larger and get smaller when you lose weight.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, for 2016, there were 55,245 total body contouring procedures done after massive weight loss procedures. That’s 5,080 more procedures done than 2015, which was a total of 50,165 body contouring procedures.
Some body contouring procedures may include:
- Tummy tuck: Fixes the excess skin that hangs over your abdomen
- Facelift: Corrects mid-face, neck and jowl sagging
- Buttocks sculpting: Improves the shape of your buttocks
- Liposuction: Removes body fat through suction
- Breast lift: Fixes flattened, sagging breasts
- Arm lift: Fixes upper arm sagging
- Medial thigh lift: Corrects inner thigh sagging
- Lower body lifts: Corrects buttocks, abdomen and inner and outer thigh sagging
Talk with your plastic surgeon to decide the body contouring procedure will help you the most.
Cost of Body Sculpting
Body contouring costs can vary widely. The plastic surgeon may base their costs for a body sculpting treatment off the procedure type, geographic location or their experience. For instance, liposuction may cost around $4,000 on average, whereas a tummy tuck may run $5,000 to $9,000. Many plastic surgeons will offer financing plans for their patients when health insurance doesn’t cover the procedure or related complications.
Body contouring costs may include:
- Medical tests
- Anesthesia fees
- Surgeon’s fees
- Surgical facility or hospital costs
- Surgeon’s fee
- Medication prescriptions
- Post-surgery garments
When deciding on a plastic surgeon, just as important as the body contouring costs is your comfort level with your surgeon and their experience.
Body Sculpting Treatment Procedure
You may receive body sculpting surgery in a hospital, licensed ambulatory surgical center or accredited office-based facility. If you have a body sculpting procedure done on an outpatient basis, you’ll need to pre-plan a ride from the facility you’re having your treatment done. You’ll also want someone to stay with you at least on the night you have your surgery done.
The surgeon will sit down with you in an initial consultation to define your goals of treatment and come up with a treatment plan.
When it comes time to have your body contouring procedure done, the steps in the procedure will include:
Anesthesia – Step 1
The surgeon will administer medications to keep you comfortable during your surgical procedure. Your choices may include general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. The surgeon will decide and recommend your best options.
The Incision – Step 2
Your plastic surgeon will need to make a large incision in order to eliminate excess skin. Often, these can be extensive incisions.
The pattern and length of the incision will depend on the location and amount of extra skin the surgeon will need to remove, the surgeon’s surgical judgment and your personal preference. The surgeon can place incisions in strategic areas that will hide any scarring underneath your clothes, thanks to advanced techniques these days. However, sometimes, this isn’t possible.
Body Sculpting Aftercare
Aftercare may involve instructions such as:
- Medications to take orally or apply topically to help with healing
- How to care for the site of surgery
- Specific concerns to keep an eye out for in your overall health and at the surgical site
- When you should follow up with the surgeon
Your surgeon may instruct you to avoid straining, lifting or bending for a few days to a few weeks.
If the surgeon performed thigh or abdomen tightening, they’ll also instruct you to avoid stressing any sutures while they’re healing, standing completely upright or elevating your knees by sleeping with pillows.
To avoid or reduce your risk of leg blood clots (DVT), you’ll need to get out of bed and walk around as soon as you can. You’ll also need to stay hydrated.
Results of your body sculpting procedure may be immediately visible, but it may also take a couple years before you see the final results.
Body contouring results typically last a long time if you maintain general fitness and stable weight. As your body goes through its aging process, you’ll lose some firmness, but you should keep most of your original improvements.
While you should expect good results from your body contouring treatment, there’s no guarantee. In some cases, optimal results aren’t possible with just one surgical treatment; therefore, additional treatments may be required. Regardless, it’s important for the success of your procedure to follow all instructions from your doctor.