It can often be hard to decipher fact from fiction, especially when you are researching surgical procedures online. Dr Hunt addresses some of the most common myths associated with surgery after weight loss, also known as body contouring surgery.
Fat moves to different areas after liposuction
Liposuction will remove fat cells permanently from the body and these fat cells will not come back.
If a patient continues to have a high calorie diet after their liposuction then the body will still need to store the extra fat. As a result the fat will now be stored in different fat cells in the body and these may become enlarged if calorie intake is not reduced.
This often creates the myth that the fat has moved to a different area of the body, which is not necessarily the case.
Skin will tighten with exercise
After extreme weight gain and consequent weight loss, the skin can lose its elasticity and is unable to return to its original state, usually resulting in large amounts of excess, sagging skin. Many people assume that regular exercise will be able to tighten this excess skin, however this is not the case. Regular exercise will increase muscle tone and it will also burn calories and decrease fat volume. However exercise will not tighten the skin.
Tightening of skin will usually require a surgical intervention to achieve a significant result, however there are some non-surgical devices that can tighten small areas of skin such as the neck.
Body contouring is a cosmetic procedure
Body contouring is regarded by Medicare and health funds as a medical and reconstructive procedure in most cases of significant weight loss.
There are potential health benefits from removing excess chafing skin that is prone to rashes and potential infections.
Medicare and health funds recognise this and depending on the level of your health fund, it is likely that the procedure will be deemed medical not cosmetic.
Each patient is different and needs to be assessed on an individual basis to determine if this is the case.
Surgery after weight loss is simply the removal of skin
This is not necessarily the case as skin removal will often create a flat and poorly defined result.
Surgery after weight loss, or body contouring surgery, can involve the tightening of loose muscles, liposuction of disproportionate fat and also the tightening or removal of excess skin to create a 360° re-contouring of the area being treated.
Surgery after weight loss is just about abdominoplasty
Patients who experienced weight loss will notice that they have lost weight over the entire body, which can lead to excess or sagging skin around the abdomen, arms, legs, breast for female patients and chest for male patients.
For this reason, surgery after weight loss will often involve procedures to address loose skin and fat deposits on the abdomen in the form of a tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty. However, it can also encompass area such as the hips, flanks and lower back with 360° procedures such as the lower body-lift.
Other areas that can be treated include the arms, thighs, breast for female patients and the chest area in males. Patients may also lose volume in the face and neck and require facial rejuvenation such as a face-lift or neck-lift.
Each patient will have their individual needs and desires and these need to be formulated into a treatment plan for each individual to achieve the best results possible.
If you have achieved your weight loss goal and are now looking to have surgery, book your one-on-one consultation with Dr Hunt to see how he can help you.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.