Congratulations! You have lost a significant amount of weight and you have regained ease of mobility and strength. Not to mention you are breathing easier and your heart is much healthier. The unfortunate side effect from dramatic weight loss is the amount of stretched skin draping your smaller frame. When it comes to dealing with your post-dramatic weight loss body, Dr. Schlechter will meet with you during your complimentary consultation and help you prioritize the cosmetic surgery procedures that will contour your skin and tighten your muscles for a better fit for your post dramatic weight loss body frame.
This plastic surgery category includes face and neck lift, brachioplasty (arm lift), medial (inner) and outer thigh lifts, monsplasty (pubic lift), abdominoplasty or corset trunkplasty, and mastopexy (breast lift). Each of these procedures involves excising sagging skin. All but the mastopexy and monsplasty involve muscle tightening for optimal contouring.
Each procedure in this category is performed at North Shore Aesthetics’ licensed surgical suite under IV sedation or general anesthesia. The type of anesthesia is your doctor’s preference depending upon the procedure. The goal of each of these procedures is to excise the skin that has lost its elasticity by making the incisions in natural creases and other areas that will camouflage the appearance of scars, and to tighten the underlying muscles wherever possible. The length of time for each procedure varies, and some procedures may be performed during the same surgery appointment. Because each patient’s procedures are prioritized differently, the combination of procedures is exponential.
Am I a Candidate?
First, it is important that you have reached or are close to reaching your goal weight. If you begin the process of post dramatic weight loss surgeries prior to meeting your goal weight, it will result in you having to have revision surgeries. In addition to being at or near your goal weight, you must be a non- smoker, and in overall good health.
After any of the procedures included in the post dramatic weight loss category, you will have steri strips covering your sutures. It is important to keep those steri strips over your incisions as long as possible because they also protect your dissolvable sutures and keep the incisions clean. Your doctor will prescribe a prophylactic antibiotic and a pain medication, which you will take as directed. With some of the procedures, you may have drains in place to help rid the body of excess fluid. Typically, you will have your drains between 7 – 14 days; again, each patient and procedure is different. With most of these procedures, you can expect to be away from work for approximately two weeks, although we do have patients that heal rather quickly and return to work after one week post-op. You will return to North Shore Aesthetics to see your doctor many times in the weeks and months that follow your surgeries, as he wants to monitor healing closely.
Terms to Know
Monsplasty – also called Pubic Lift is a surgical procedure used to reduce and tighten the Mons Pubis and it is performed for both cosmetic and functional reasons.
Mastopexy – the procedure for raising sagging breasts upon the chest of the woman; by correcting and modifying the size, contour, and elevation of the breasts.
Corset Trunkplasty – the procedure for removing sagging skin and fat from the upper and lower abdomen resulting tin a flatter profile and sleeker waistline.
Is it safe to have all of the surgeries in this category?
While you may not undergo all of the surgeries at the same time, your plastic surgeon will prioritize the surgeries based on your desired results and the recovery process for each of the procedures. It may take a few months or longer for you to transform your post dramatic weigh loss body through these surgeries.
Will additional surgery be necessary for any of these procedures?
Because your skin had stretched so much to accommodate your weight gain, its elasticity quality may be very poor. If that is the case, your skin may relax after your initial surgery and you may want to opt for a secondary procedure to excise more of the loosened, relaxed skin. Not everyone needs additional surgery, but that depends on the quality of skin’s elasticity.
Is it true that I can have an abdominoplasty covered by insurance?
Many people ask just what you have asked, “Does insurance sometimes cover a tummy tuck?” In answering your question, I have to distinguish the difference between a tummy tuck, also called an abdominoplasty, which is strictly cosmetic, and a lipectomy, also called a paniculectomy, the procedure that is covered by insurance. It can be confusing. Abdominoplasty and other elective surgeries are not covered by insurance because they are not considered medically necessary. You may have heard that you can get a tummy tuck covered by insurance, but that is misleading. Insurance will cover a paniculectomy, which is just the removal of the excess skin, called the pannus if it hangs below the pubic bone. It will not cover abdominoplasty, which involves removing excess skin and subcutaneous fat, the cosmetic contouring of the abdomen and belly button along with rectus plication or tightening of the abdominal muscles. Many patients who are approved for the paniculectomy opt to pay out of pocket for the cosmetic component to the surgery so that they get the tight abs and contoured abdomen. Please let me know which insurance carrier you have. If we participate with that provider, we can schedule you for a medical consultation. From there we will submit a claim to your insurance company.