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Body Contouring After Weight Loss: What You Need to Know

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Johns Hopkins plastic surgeon Kristen Parker Broderick answers commonly asked questions about body contouring.

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Reaching your goal weight is a significant achievement, whether through diet and exercise or bariatric surgery. But after losing 100 pounds, you may notice some excess skin left behind.
Body contouring procedures, including tummy tuck, breast lift or lower body lift, may help improve your body shape and tone. Body contouring can also help with skin hygiene by reducing the incidence of skin rash and infection that can form between the folds of excess skin in some patients.

If you’re wondering if body contouring is right for you, consider these answers to some commonly asked questions, provided by plastic surgeon Kristen Parker Broderick:

How do I know if I’m a good candidate?

The best candidate for body contouring procedures has reached his or her goal weight and is committed to keeping it off. Patients benefit the most if they have excess skin in certain areas but minimal excess fat.
The ideal candidate also has realistic expectations for his or her results. While surgery can improve your overall appearance, every patient heals differently and with varying results. Talk to your doctor about the results you can expect.

How long will it take to recover?

Recovery times vary according to the type of surgery performed. In general, a full recovery can take several months.
You will likely be very sore during the first four weeks following the procedure. The use of drains and surgical garments may be necessary. To optimize your surgical outcome, follow your discharge instructions carefully. 

Will I have a scar?

The extent of scarring will vary depending on the type of procedure used. For example, the chance of scarring is greater with body lifts than with liposuction. Additionally, if there are issues with wound healing, the scars may be worse.

What are the surgical risks?

In addition to general surgery risks, the main risks of body contouring include wound-healing difficulties, scarring, fluid accumulation, asymmetry and persistent contour deformities. Results and surgical risks for body contouring procedures vary according to the individual. Talk to your doctor about which approach is right for you.

Visit the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or call 443-997-9466 to schedule a consultation.
 

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