Atlanta Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss

When it comes to body contouring at her Atlanta practice, Dr. Amy Alderman considers it an honor and privilege to care for patients who have lost a lot of weight through either surgery or diet and exercise.  These patients tend to have a lot of excess skin on their arms, abdomen, and legs that won’t snap back.  Patients can get frustrated that their outward appearance does not match how they feel.  Body contouring surgery can remove and tighten the excess skin so that patients can fully experience all the benefits of their weight loss.

Body contouring is an amazing journey for the patient, and Dr. Alderman loves being a part of the process.  If you have questions about post-weight loss plastic surgery, please contact our team today for a consolation.

The Life-Changing Benefits of Excess Skin Removal

For many patients dealing with physical changes after bariatric surgery or significant natural weight loss, their body can feel like it’s not their own. The extra skin and lack of elasticity can sometimes fail to present the image they hoped to see, which impacts confidence and well-being. Dr. Alderman has helped patients dealing with these issues, and they often cry tears of joy at their follow-up visits.  For the first time in their lives, what they see in the mirror matches what they felt inside.

After trimming and shaping excess skin on common areas like the stomach, thighs, and arms, patients transform; their clothing, posture, and attitude change, along with their confidence and personal relationships.  Dr. Alderman feels truly blessed to be a plastic surgeon and be able to help patients live the life they want to live.

Choosing Body Contouring Procedures in Atlanta

Losing 60, 100 or more pounds often results in excess skin throughout the body.  Patients may experience laxity in their neck, arms, breast, abdomen, and legs.  Skin tightening procedures are available for all areas, but patients are encouraged to prioritize their concerns.   Depending on the extent of laxity, generally, two to three areas of concern can be surgically corrected at one time.  This staged approach allows for a safe correction of the areas of most concern.

By removing the excess skin, patients can enjoy the ability to wear all types of clothing, whether its exercise clothes at the gym, bathing suits at the pool, or more fitted professional clothes at work.   In general, it is best to wait a year after weight loss surgery before body contouring to ensure that weight is stable and cosmetic results will be optimized.

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If you’re in the Atlanta area and have any questions about Post-Weight Loss Surgery or wish to schedule a consultation on a Breast Augmentation with Dr. Alderman, please contact our office.

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Neck Lifts – Removing Excess Tissue below the Chin

Patients who are concerned about facial laxity are often good candidates for a neck or facelift.  With weight loss patients, the neck is often a primary area of concern.  Facelifts and neck lifts are aimed at restoring the natural contour of the chin, neck, and jowl area using well-hidden scars around the ear and hairline.  Patients may also benefit from restoration of volume in the cheek and mid-face, as weight loss can result in a hollow appearance of these areas.  Volume can be restored non-surgically with facial fillers or with fat grafting during facial surgery.  A youthful appearance can be addressed through both skin tightening and volume restoration. 

Achieve a Flat Stomach with a Tummy Tuck or Lipectomy

Significant weight gain and loss can stretch the abdominal (stomach) wall and skin, resulting in excess skin and muscle separation. Patients are often frustrated by the rolls of skin in their lower abdomen that make exercise difficult, are associated with rashes in hot weather, and limit certain styles of clothing.  Surgery is aimed at correcting any muscle separation (rectus diastasis) and removing excess skin. The surgical approach is patient dependent and varies by the extent of skin laxity.

For most patients, a traditional abdominoplasty using a lower abdominal incision is sufficient to re-contour the abdomen. For some, a belt lipectomy is required whereby the incision starts in the back above the buttocks and excess skin in the hip/flank region is removed along with the abdominoplasty. And for others, a fleur-de-lis incision is required for optimal skin tightening in both the horizontal and vertical skin dimensions.  This approach requires a more visible scar in both the midline of the abdomen and lower abdomen but optimizes skin tightening.  A thorough exam and discussion with the patient addressing all of these surgical options will allow for an individualized surgical approach to optimize outcomes. 

Post-Weight Loss Breast Enhancement: Lifts and Augmentation

Women’s breasts are made of both fatty tissue and glandular tissue.  Weight loss will result in loss of breast volume as the fatty tissue diminishes.  Unfortunately, the skin of the breast often does not shrink to match the now smaller breast volume.  The result is a mismatch between too much skin and not enough breast volume. Patients can be frustrated with deflated breasts, especially with different types of clothing.  Summertime apparel, such as sundresses, camisole tops, and bathing suits can be nearly impossible to pull off when breast skin has been stretched and is no longer resting on your chest but hanging near your stomach.

Many surgical options exist to help correct and restore breast shape and volume.  A breast lift (or mastopexy) will tighten the skin envelope and reposition the breast on the chest wall.  Breast volume can be restored with an implant.  Both of these procedures can usually be done at the same time using a short-scar technique that maximizes ideal breast contour while minimizing scars.

Meet Dr. Alderman

Dr. Amy Alderman is a nationally known, board-certified plastic surgeon located in Buckhead near Atlanta. As a female surgeon and mother of two children, she provides a unique perspective to patient care. Each surgical plan is individually tailored to each patient’s needs and lifestyles and is aimed at enhancing her patient’s natural beauty and restoring confidence. She is known for her personal approach to patient care and has unparalleled commitment to patient safety, which can be attributed to years of education, professional experience and involvement in national patient safety initiatives.

Meet Dr. Alderman

I’ve Lost Weight but Now I Have Batwings! How Can I Get Rid of them?

Patients can be frustrated with the appearance of their arms after weight loss.  Arm muscles can be made strong and tone in the gym, but the excess skin covers up all of the hard work.  Excess skin in the arms can also make patients self-conscious about wearing short sleeve clothing, which is especially difficult in warm climates.  A brachioplasty or arm lift will remove all of the excess skin around the upper arm.  The procedure is easily tolerated with limited discomfort, and patients are able to enjoy seeing their underlying muscle tone and have the confidence to wear short sleeve shirts again.

Feel Confident wearing Shorts with a Thighplasty

Thighplasty (or leg lift) can help tighten leg skin, improve contour and restore patient confidence.  A thighplasty can be performed through a well-hidden scar in the upper leg (groin) crease or can extend towards the knee in the inside of the leg for patients with extensive skin excess.  For most patients, the procedure is well tolerated with just short-term discomfort similar to the arm lift procedure.  Removal of excess skin and tightening the leg contour restores patients’ confidence to wear bathing suits and shorts and motivates patients to continue with muscle toning exercise.

Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery after Weight Loss

Often, the skin and soft tissues above the genital region can become stretched during the weight gain and the skin may not tighten with weight loss.  A couple of different options are available.  If a patient has excess abdominal skin, an abdominoplasty will tighten both the abdominal skin and also the skin above the genital region.  If the abdomen is fine, a limited incision can be made in the lower abdomen to reduce the fullness and lift the tissue in the mons pubis region (just above the genital area).  Reducing fullness in this area will make a big impact on a patient’s clothing flexibility, especially with bathing suits and tighter fitting clothes.

Are you dissatisfied with the appearance of your arms, abdomen, legs, or neck after significant weight loss? Call us today to schedule a consultation to find out more about your body contouring options in Atlanta and Buckhead with Dr. Alderman.

Dr. Alderman’s National Efforts on this Topic

Chairperson of the Body Contouring Section for Aesthetica, a national cosmetic surgery meeting sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgery

American Society of Plastic Surgery Patient Safety Committee

ASPS Aesthetic Surgery Advisory Committee

Vice Chairperson, ASPS Education Aesthetic Council

Advances in Post-Bariatric Body Contouring, December 20, 2007, University of Michigan Bariatric Program.

Managing the Unfavorable Scar: When to Perform Surgical Revision.  Challenging Complications in Plastic Surgery Symposium: Successful Management Strategies.  Washington, DC, July 2012.

VTE Prevention in Cosmetic Surgery.  Georgia Society of Plastic Surgery Annual Meeting, Aug 2013, Brasstown Resort, GA.

Patient Safety: Prevention of VTE in Cosmetic Surgery.  QMP Aesthetic Surgery Symposium, Nov 2013, Chicago, IL

VTE Prophylaxis and Body Contouring: What is the Evidence?  Aesthetica 2015, Las Vegas April 30-May 2, 2015.

Combining Multiple Abdominal Procedures and Related Complications. Aesthetica 2015, Las Vegas April 30-May 2, 2015.

Thunderdome: Risk/Reward of Combined Surgical Procedures: What’s Too Much?  American Society of Plastic Surgery, Oct 20, 2015. 

The Complex Scar: New Strategies to Improve Appearance.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

How Long of Surgery is Too Long?  Length of Surgery and VTE.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

The Complex Scar: New Strategies to Improve Appearance.  Aesthetica, June 2016, Washington, DC.

VTE Prophylaxis: What are our options?  Aesthetica, March 2017, New Orleans, LA.

Alderman, AK. Body contouring. In The Michigan Manual of Plastic Surgery. Ed Brown & Borschel, Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2004.

Pannucci, C, Alderman, AK.  Venous Thromboembolism and the Aesthetic Surgery Patient.  Essentials of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Alderman, AK, Kerrigan, CL, Lemaine, V, Pusic, AL, Vidal, DC.  Evidence-Based Medicine &Health Services Research in Plastic Surgery.  In Plastic Surgery  1stEdition

Alderman, AK, Chung, KC.  Outcomes for Surgical Guidance in Plastic Surgery: Measuring Outcomes in Aesthetic Surgery.  Clinics in of Plastic Surgery, 2013:297-304.

Alderman, AK, Kerrigan, CL, Lemaine, V, Pusic, AL, Vidal, DC.  Evidence-Based Medicine &Health Services Research in Plastic Surgery.  In Plastic Surgery 4th Edition

Kassen, AF, Cano, SJ, Alderman, AK, et al.  The BODY-Q: A Patient-Reported Outcome Instrument for Weight Loss and Body Contouring Treatments.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Glob Open 2016;4:e679, April 13, 2016.

Murphy, RX,Jr, Alderman, AK, Gutowski, K, Kerrigan, C, Rosolowski, K, Schechter, L, Schmitz, D, Wilkins, E. Evidence-Based Practices for Thromboembolism Prevention: Summary of the ASPS Venous Thromboembolism Task Force Report. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: 130: 168e-175e, 2012.

Pannucci CJ, Alderman AK, Brown SL, Wakefield TW, Wilkins EG. The effect of abdominal wall plication on intra-abdominal pressure and lower extremity venous flow: a case report. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: 65(3):392-4, 2012.

Alderman, AK, Collins, ED, Streu, R, Grotting, JC, Sulkin, AL, Neligan, P, Haeck, PC, Gutowski, KA.  Benchmarking outcomes in plastic surgery: national complication rates for abdominoplasty and breast augmentation.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2009;124:2127-33.

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