Contemplating Body Contouring? (photo)

I am a 23 year old female and over the last 3years I have lost around 115 pounds through exercise and healthy eating. I went from being a size 22 pants to a 6 in womens, but I have some excess skin in the upper/lower abdomen and some skin(possible fat) in the upper thigh, so I have decided to look into body contouring to get the results I want. I was wondering if surgery is the only option, because it seems the skin isnt naturally retracting. I'm concerned about scarring and the realistic results.

Doctor Answers 10

Massive Weight Loss Surgery

It's not unusual for women to have loose saggy skin following a 115 pound weight loss. This loose skin can affect almost any area of the body. Although it's difficult to make a specific diagnosis without a physical examination, your pictures suggest several problem areas. These include redundant medial thigh skin and redundant abdominal tissue with a roll of tissue that extends circumferentially around your back. This is most likely associated with buttock sag.

Under these circumstances, there's no non-surgical method to treat this type of problem. For this reason, it will probably be necessary to perform a medial thigh lift and lower body lift to correct this problem.

The medial thigh lift removes excess skin and fat in both the transverse and vertical dimensions. This involves an incision in the groin crease which extends downward along the medial thigh towards the knee. The posterior body lift removes excess skin and fat circumferentially from the lower abdomen and back while simultaneously lifting the buttocks in a superior direction. Both procedure are associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.

If you're considering massive weight loss surgery, it's important to consult a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in this area. This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Non-Surgical options after massive weight loss

Great job!! Unfortunately there is no effective non-surgical method.  However, a body lift can truly change your life. Excess abdominal fat  and skin is removed, the abdomen and your core is tightened, your hips are raised and defined and your buttock has new definition and shape.  The combination is powerful and the results are immediate. I would do the body lift first, then stage procedures every 4-6 months. Healing time is 2-4 weeks. The most important thing is safety. Please don't compromise on this! See a board certified plastic surgeon.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Weight loss and surgey

Congratulations on your weight loss!  With all the loose skin, I think that most likely best thing would be to have the excess skin removed surgically.Non-surgical methods would not be adequate.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Body Contouring after Weight Loss

-Congratulations on losing so much weight!

-Your concern about scarring is understandable, but with all of the excess abdominal skin that you appear to have, an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) is really the only treatment.  The trade-off for an improved abdominal contour is a low scar that can be hidden by underwear or a swimsuit. 

-Definitely meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon and he/she will be able to demonstrate where your scars will be located.  

Best of luck to you!

Joshua Cooper, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Surgery after weight loss

The only treatment for excess skin after weight loss is surgery.  Procedure like an abdominoplasty or a body lift can help you improve your contour and shape.  The basic principle behind any contouring procedure is that you must accept some degree of scar to achieve that better form.  Please visit with a board certified PS to learn more about your options.  Best wishes.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Surgery After Weight Loss

There really is no alternative even close to the results you get with surgery. I have a large number of weight loss patients in my practice and we can almost always get a very good result in your type tummy with an abdominoplasty that leaves a very light scar around the belly button and another horizontal scar that can be hidden under most swim suits. Get several consultations before you decide.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Extra loose body skin after weight loosing always needs surgery/ la piel colgante despues de perder peso siempre es quirurgica

the modern equipments like cavitation, external ultrasound, thermogenesis, laser-lipolisis,mesotherapy etc only improves  less than a 20 % and besides multiple session and you end up paying more  by these conservative treatments than with surgery, scar tissues resulting. you can not avoid it. but  they are strategically hidden done, by experts plastic surgeons

los modernos equipos de cavitacion, teermogenesis, laser lipo, ulttrasonido externo, mesoterapia solo mejora  en un 20 % y tras multiples sesiones y acabas  pagando mas dinero que con la cirugia, las operaciones  siempre dejan cicatrices pero ocultas estrategicamente  cuando son realizadas por cirujanos plasticos

Ramon Navarro, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Skin Tightening

Only surgery can tighten skin, only liposuction can remove fat. Everything else is a gymick.

There are no non surgical skin tightening of the abdomen. The fat on your thighs can be reduced with continued weight loss.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Abdominoplasty is often inadequate after massive weight loss

The problem after such a large amount of loss is that you have not just a vertical skin excess, but, and this is key -- a circumferential excess. After a traditional tummy tuck, you will still be left with loose skin in the upper abdomen, and not have tightness around the middle. 

Fortunately there is a great solution, the Corset Trunkplasty, which addresses the excess in three dimensions. I involves more scarring, but this is very well tolerated, and since there is no undermining and no liposuction, the recovery is pretty much the same as with an abdominoplasty.

Verne Weisberg, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Contemplating Body Contouring

Congratulations on the accomplishment so far!! Unfortunately there is nothing that will restore the lost elasticity to your skin other than surgery, and I would anticipate a dramatic improvement with a tummy tuck. Sometimes, because of how tightly we close the abdomen there may be some tightening of the inner thighs, occasionally with enough improvement to bypass the need for thigh surgery. 

There are unrealistic expectations, there are scars. But the improvement usually justifies those risks.

You seem ready for an in person consultation. RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.