Improving Your Body Contour After Bariatric Surgery

Congratulations! You’ve lost a lot of weight and can now experience the benefits of a healthier body contour. That’s no small feat! Unfortunately, you may not be happy with all that loose skin left behind. If you are unable to truly enjoy being lighter because of your appearance, there are several options available that can help you be happy with your appearance.

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    How to improve your appearance and maintain weight loss after bariatric surgery?

    Cosmetic surgery procedures that address loose skin, residual fat and separated abdominal muscles can improve your appearance while also positively impacting long-term weight loss goals.


    Bariatric surgery decreases the size of the the stomach by modifying its shape or removing a portion of it. By reducing the capacity of the stomach, less food is consumed making weight loss easier. Bariatric surgery includes gastric bypass (which is the most popular), sleeve gastrectomy and adjustable gastric band (which is less popular because it generally doesn’t achieve long-term success in weight loss).

    Bariatric surgery, particularly gastric bypass, is extremely effective in helping patients achieve massive weight loss faster than they with exercise and diet alone. Most patients lose about 50% to 80% of their excess weight and, as a result, experience a variety of positive health benefits such as the following:

    • decrease in migraines
    • resolution of Type II diabetes mellitus
    • resolution of depression
    • cessation of obstructive sleep apnea
    • a lowered risk of developing cardiovascular disease

    Despite these benefits, however, there is an issue that develops with massive weight loss. One of the most difficult problems that bariatric patients face after their surgery is the loose skin that’s left behind. You may be at a lighter weight, but you may not be able to appreciate it because of the loose skin that hangs off of your body, negatively affecting your appearance. You may even think that you look worse.

    Before your surgery, your skin was stretched out to accommodate your heavier weight. As you’ve quickly lost the weight after your surgery, your skin has been unable to retract. While it may retract with time, the rate at which it may is unpredictable and there is no guarantee that it will do so enough to reveal your leaner body contour. This sagging, excess skin may also be causing you discomfort, irritation and issues with hygiene.

    Show off your leaner body contour

    You’ve lost a lot of weight but are still reluctant to show off your body, because you dislike the appearance of the loose, sagging skin you’ve developed with your weight loss. And as you lose more weight, it only gets worse. In fact, some patients become so discouraged by their appearance that they no longer maintain their weight loss efforts, putting the pounds back on.


    *A recent study conducted by researchers at the Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan have found that men and women who had bariatric surgery then underwent a body contouring procedure were able to better maintain their weight loss than those who didn’t. Patients who underwent contouring surgery experienced an average decrease in BMI of 18.24 at 2.5 years after their bariatric surgery, compared to just 12.45 for those who didn’t.*


    Don’t let excess skin tarnish your joy on being thinner, or make you fail at maintaining your healthier body. Once you’ve reached your ideal weight, body contouring plastic surgery can tighten up loose skin, eliminate pockets of stubborn subcutaneous fat and correct abdominal muscle separation. It is best to wait until your weight loss has plateaued, generally at least a year after your bariatric surgery. Ideally, you should have a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or less before undergoing your body contouring cosmetic surgery.

    *Journal Citation

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    Weight Loss Toronto

    Tummy tuck

    When a significant amount of weight has been lost over a short period of time (usually a period of 12 to 18 months), the remaining skin loses the elastic properties it needs to “shrink back” to a your reformed, underlying shape. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, removes excess fat and loose skin. The procedure can also tighten and reposition lax muscles that have been stretched out due to being previously obese. You’ll have a flatter, smoother stomach and better-defined waist. In some cases, the cost of your tummy tuck may be partially covered by OHIP.

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    Circumferential body lift

    Excess skin and fat often extends all the way around the abdomen and back. This inhibits your movement and hygiene, as well as diminishes your self-confidence in social relationships. A circumferential body lift eliminates this excess skin and fat so you can reveal your leaner body contour, enabling you to finally reap the aesthetic rewards of your massive weight loss.

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    Breast lift

    Sagging breasts that flatten against the body and point downward can negatively impact your self-image and confidence. The elongated breast fold can also be a source of major irritation. A breast lift, or mastopexy, reshapes your breasts and areolae. You’ll have an aesthetically pleasing contour that is firmer, more proportionate and youthful. It can also be combined with breast augmentation, allowing you to have perkier and larger breasts.

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    Arm lift

    Sagging skin and stubborn fat deposits on the arms can cause chafing and irritation. An arm lift, or Brachioplasty, improves the contour of the arms from the elbow to the armpit, tightening loose skin. You’ll have smoother, sculpted arms.

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    Butt lift

    Your buttocks may be saggy and less defined. A butt lift, or gluteoplasty, reshapes your buttocks. You’ll have a smoother and firmer buttock contour. The procedure may also involve the placement of implants or transplantation of fat so you’ll have a rounder shape with enhanced projection.

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    Thigh lift

    Skin folds and bulges of fat on the thighs lead to mobility issues, chafing and irritation. A thigh lift, or thighplasty, removes excess skin and fat on your upper legs. You’ll have a leaner, more proportionate look.

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    One of the first places people notice changing as you lose weight is your face. With massive weight loss, you may find that your skin, once filled out with fat, becomes saggy. Aging worsens the problem since the depletion of collagen levels makes the skin less elastic and unable to retract. A facelift tightens sagging skin, particularly along the jawline and in the lower cheeks, to give you a more youthful look.

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