Congratulations! You have lost a significant amount of weight and you look great — in your clothes. You may find that despite all of that weight loss, though, your body contour is still far from ideal. Now you want to take that next step and lose the excess skin. Mild skin or fat excess may be treated appropriately by procedures such as abdominoplasty or liposuction. However, more significant excess requires a more extensive body contouring procedure called a lower body lift. Reno and Carson City residents who have undergone massive weight loss may also require other procedures such as a facelift or breast lift in order to complete their desired look.
Risks of Body Contouring Surgery
Although body lift, abdominoplasty, and other contouring techniques are regularly performed by cosmetic surgeons in Reno and elsewhere, there are risks involved with these procedures, as with all surgeries. Infection and blood clots are rare; however, if an infection does occur it can be treated with antibiotics and drainage which will prolong your recovery. The risk for developing blood clots can be minimized by moving around or walking as soon after surgery as possible. Poor wound healing may result in a conspicuous scar that could require a second revision operation. Smokers are advised to discontinue smoking three weeks prior to surgery, as smoking increases the risk of complications and delays wound healing by altering the circulation to the skin. During your preoperative visit, Dr. McCormack will discuss other complications that may occur.
Before Your Body Contouring Procedure
A full medical history is required prior to surgery. This helps to ensure that anesthesia and the stress of surgery are well tolerated. If you have significant medical problems, a consultation with other specialists may be required before surgery. You may also require specific laboratory tests. A full weight loss history is also important. This includes any prior surgeries and how long your weight has been stable. If you are continuing to lose weight it may be wise to wait until your weight stabilizes for 6-12 months before embarking on body contouring surgery to maximize your results.
Dr. Tiffany McCormack of McCormack Plastic Surgery performs full physical exams to determine which body contouring procedures are best for patients in and around the Reno and Carson City area. Photographs are also an essential part of the process.
Out of Town Patients
We try to accommodate out of town patients by accomplishing as much of the preoperative work up as we can prior to the patients arrival in the Reno, Carson City, or Lake Tahoe area. Patients can fill out our online medical questionnaire and supply us with pictures through this website or by regular mail. Patients are asked to arrive at least 2-3 days prior to surgery for a full physical evaluation and to complete the final preoperative workup. We ask that patients spend at least 10-14 days locally, assuming that no complications occur. We can assist you with arranging to stay in a nursing care facility or local hotel after your discharge from the facility. We recommend that you put us in touch with a physician from your hometown that is willing to help take care of you until you are completely back to normal. Frequently, you will see your primary care physician ahead of time so that labs and any necessary tests for medical clearance can be obtained.
Who Is Not a Candidate for Body Contouring
If you are still massively obese you are not a candidate for body contouring. This is because your contour will not improve and the surgical risks are much greater. If you have significant medical problems that put you at greater risk while under general anesthesia, then this type of surgery is not safe for you.