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Weight Loss and Plastic Surgery; What Comes First?

Posted February 09, 2022 in Plastic Surgery and Weight Loss, Plastic Surgery Safety

3 Minute Read: 

Now that 2022 is here, and we are looking toward a new normal, it isn’t surprising that many of us are thinking about ways to look and feel better in the new year. For some, these changes may include plastic surgery.

When making aesthetic improvements to our face and body, it’s sometimes wise to do things in a particular order. Generally speaking, if you plan to have any plastic surgery performed, it is important to get as close to your optimal weight before undergoing the procedure.

Silhouette of a woman against sunset, showing weight loss concept

What Happens to Our Skin When We Lose Weight?

Losing weight causes our fat cells to shrink but not necessarily our skin. When a considerable amount of weight is lost (sometimes as little as 30 pounds), you may notice some skin laxity (looseness). Since people carry weight differently, it can be hard to predict where this laxity will be most noticeable. 

If you are overweight, your doctor will most likely instruct you to lose weight before any surgery, as doing so will lower your risk of complications. 

This recommendation applies strongly to plastic surgery, especially in procedures that tighten skin, like neck lifts and facelifts.

What Happens If I Lose Weight After Plastic Surgery?

Many plastic surgery procedures are designed to remove excess, sagging skin, resulting in taut, smooth skin. If you were to lose weight after one of these procedures, the additional loss would impact the newly provided tightness of this skin, once again resulting in laxity and requiring an additional skin tightening/removal procedure.  

Depending on the procedure, weight issues and loose skin may play a role in achieving long-lasting, successful results. Another major factor is age; the older we get, the more skin laxity we experience.

  • Liposuction Surgery

If you have liposuction surgery, after the swelling subsides, you may find some mild skin loosening around the area(s) worked on. Most reputable doctors will not remove enough fat to cause noticeable laxity without a plan to address it. If loose skin exists prior to the procedure, surgical skin tightening may be performed when liposuction is complete. Further weight loss should not cause a serious issue with laxity, as long as you are not losing too much, too fast.

  • Breast Enhancement Surgery

Breast tissue includes fat that surrounds a network of mammary glands. Because they are primarily fat, your breast size can decrease significantly with weight loss. If you are interested in breast implants or a breast lift, you’ll want to be at a stable weight that you are happy with before the surgery.

  • Facelift Surgery

Because there is typically less fat in the face and neck, smaller amounts of weight loss can lead to skin laxity there. Make sure you are satisfied with your weight before having a neck lift or facelift.

Surgical Skin Tightening 

If loose skin is your primary concern, you can opt for one of the following procedures to correct it:

It is important to note that the faster you lose weight, the more it impacts skin laxity. If you decide to lose more weight after plastic surgery, do it slowly, preferably under a doctor’s care.

If you need help losing weight, bariatric surgery can help. However, you can expect to have loose skin once you reach your ideal weight since this procedure often initiates rapid weight loss.

Plastic Surgery in Baton Rouge, LA

Dr. Mary Ghere is an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who offers a wide range of aesthetic treatments and surgeries, including body contouring, facelifts, and more.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghere by calling 225-412-4774 today. Her helpful staff is always happy to help.

Learn more about medical weight loss and skin laxity from the ASMBS (American Board of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery). 

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A little can go a long way, and it is never too late to make a change.

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5049 Bluebonnet BLVD
Baton Rouge LA 70809

Phone: 225-412-4774

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