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close up of a white woman's flat stomach wearing jeans and white top

When is the time right for body contouring after major weight loss?

Achieving a major weight loss goal is a huge success by itself and certainly a milestone to celebrate. Yet, even after having achieved their weight loss goals, many men and women struggle with excess skin after significant weight loss that can hinder their final results.

Therefore, many people plan post-weight lossĀ body contouring procedures as part of their health and fitness journey. The key is to plan your procedure just right to maximize your results. These four factors are important to consider when deciding when the right time for body contouring could be.

Are you able to maintain a stable weight?

Whether you’ve achieved major weight loss through bariatric surgery or through diet and exercise, it is crucial that you’re able to maintain a steady weight long-term before deciding to move forward with body contouring surgery. The exact weight itself is less important than the ability to remain at a weight long term.

Significant weight fluctuations can negatively affect your outcome and may increase the risk of complications during or after body contouring. Even if your body contouring treatment includes liposuction to help remove small, isolated areas of exercise-resistant fat, remember that plastic surgery isn’t meant to serve as a method of weight loss. Thus, the ideal candidates should have already reached (or come as close as possible to reaching) their target weight first.

Are you in generally good health?

Most people who are in general good health and who can maintain a stable weight can be good candidates for body contouring after weight loss. However, if you’ve recently had bariatric surgery and are adjusting to a new diet plan, you may want to give your body some time to acclimate before your body contouring surgery.

Additionally, it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits, so you’ll need to make sure that you’re fueling your body with the nutrients it needs to properly heal and recover. You shouldn’t worry about “dieting” during your tummy tuck recovery, but rather focus on providing your body with enough of the right foods.

Do you have clear and realistic goals?

For most people, the primary goal of body contouring surgery after major weight loss is to remove uncomfortable and unsightly excess skin. With the addition of liposuction, your procedure could also address small areas of stubborn fat that often accumulate in areas such as your hips, waist and love handles.

However, body contouring procedures do have limitations. For this reason, it is important that you have clear, realistic goals about what body contouring can and cannot do for you before moving forward with plastic surgery.

Typically, the transformations can be drastic, especially in those who have lost the most weight and have the most skin. The trade-off of course is the degree and length of scarring that is necessary. More scars typically equal longer recover or in some cases, more individual operations. Ask your surgeon what is reasonable and safe in a single surgical episode.

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