Results of body contouring are long-lasting; however, that does not mean that they are permanent. As much as patients want to believe that the effects of their surgical procedure(s) will be with them forever, it is not always that way. Your physique is just as sensitive after your surgery as it was before, and you have to take care of it. Fortunately, this is not nearly as challenging as it sounds, and it can be accomplished with a few small and healthy changes to your lifestyle.
What Is Body Contouring?
Body contouring or body sculpting is a surgical procedure or a combination of procedures that target hanging skin, excess fat, and/or loose tissues. Body sculpting includes:
- Liposuction to remove excess pockets of exercise and diet-resistant fat. This is used to remove localized pockets and is not designed for significant weight removal or skin tightening.
- Tummy tuck surgery to tighten loose or separated abdominal muscles and to trim hanging skin on the abdomen below and above the belly button. An incision is made along the bikini line from hip bone to hip bone.
- Body lift surgery to remove unwanted skin and fat circumferentially around the midsection. This can return a trim and sculpted appearance to the waist, hips, lower back, thighs, and buttocks. The incision encircles the midsection at the bikini line. Body lift surgery is common after significant weight loss.
- Thigh lift to improve skin laxity on the upper thighs. An incision is made on the inner leg between the groin and the knee or vertically on the inner thigh. The length of this depends on the extent of skin laxity.
Your body contouring outcomes are dependent on several factors, and not all of them are out of your control. While the natural progression of age will eventually affect the tightness of the skin and muscles, you can help postpone this by maintaining a stable, healthy weight. This can be achieved through several practices.
Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy diet, and that diet will do wonders in maintaining your body contouring results. Healthy eating includes focusing on nutrients that will keep excess weight at bay and give your tissues the nutrients they need to maintain elasticity and strength. A healthy diet includes eating protein in the way of poultry, fish, eggs, and protein-rich vegetables as well as getting adequate amounts of vitamins through vegetables and fruits.
Postpone Until Your Family Is Complete
Many women turn to plastic surgery after they have their first or second child. Pregnancy changes the genetic makeup of your body, and you will see fat pop up in new places and skin laxity develop where there wasn’t any before. As appealing as it sounds to undergo surgery as soon as your child is born, you should reconsider. Pregnancy is what caused these changes initially, and if you think that additional bundles of joy could be in your future, you may want to wait on those surgical dreams. Further pregnancy puts your results at risk, and revision surgery is not only financially costly, but it also includes an additional round of potential complication risks.
Keep the Sun at Bay
While exposure to the sun will not affect your weight in the way that diet and pregnancy do, it can weaken the skin and underlying tissues. UV rays speed the rate in which a patient loses skin elasticity and structure, and when there is enough breakdown, laxity can recur. Protecting every inch of your skin with sunscreen (at least SPF 30), avoiding peak sun hours, and covering your skin with clothing when possible will keep your skin firm and healthy.