The success of plastic surgery after weight loss is determined by several factors such as patient selection, surgical planning, doctor’s skills and qualifications, postop care, and long-term weight management through healthy lifestyle choices.
Dr. Smaili explains the basic ways to prepare for body contouring surgery after weight loss, which typically involves combining two or more procedures (e.g., tummy tuck and thigh lift) to achieve a near normal appearance or to address non-healing irritations caused by the redundant skin.
- Reach your ideal weight first. After reaching your ideal body weight, it remains helpful to wait at least six months to ensure that you can sustain your lifestyle long-term, meaning no yoyo dieting and “unbearable” exercise routine.
- Make sure you are not suffering from nutritional deficiencies. It is not uncommon for massive weight loss patients to have anemia and other similar conditions due to the sudden change in their diet and calorie intake, level of physical activities, and other aspects of their lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, most MWL patients are instructed to take vitamin supplements, change their diet (daily protein intake should be at least 50-70 grams), and work with nutritionists and behaviorists to prepare them not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically.
- Stop smoking. If you are a smoker and/or using smoking cessation products such as “the patch” and nicotine gum, avoid them for at least four to six weeks to reduce the risk of complications such as skin necrosis (death of skin tissue), poor healing, unfavorable scarring, and less-than-optimal results.
- Establish a reliable support network. In the first few days of your recovery, you will need someone to help you with your basic needs and allow you to focus on your healing rather than stress over your daily responsibilities such as house chores and childcare.
- Make the necessary preparation. Take note that you will need at least a three-week off, or sometimes even longer if your surgery is quite extensive. For this reason, it might be ideal to clean your house, buy your medical supplies and easy-to-prepare meals, do the laundry, etc. days before your operation.