Post-Bariatric Body Contouring in St. Louis
With the successful surgical (“bariatric“) management of the epidemic of obesity in our country, more and more patients have attained marked weight loss through surgery, improving their health and life, but then are finding that they have excess sagging skin, which the body does not reabsorb as it does the fatty deposits, in virtually every area of the body. And for the patients with massive weight loss, this can mean troubling tissue excess “hanging” from the abdomen and arms, and unwanted fullness in the neck and thighs, and loss of support and contour in the face, breasts and buttocks. So, obviously, “post-bariatric” body contouring covers a lot of ground, and can include face/neck lifts, arm “lifts” (brachioplasty), and upper and/or lower body lifts, and breast lifting (mastopexy) and/or augmentation (as loss of fat occurs within the breasts, and can lead to significant loss of breast volume in the “bariatric” patient–or even in women who lose weight on their own, without weight-reduction surgery).
For a discussion of the face/neck and breast surgeries, please refer to the sections on our website specific to those procedures. Also, the lower body lift is explained separately, but here, the highlights of the arm lift (the “brachioplasty”), and the upper body lift are featured.
Brachioplasty for Body Contouring in St. Louis
The contours of the arms can change markedly with a lot of weight loss, with excess soft tissues “hanging” down when the arms are stretched out. The excess tissue here is mainly skin, and, therefore, the only way to address this excess is with surgical excision, and that procedure is called the “brachioplasty”. This entails the removal of the excess skin (and the underlying fat down at the bottom of the “hanging” part of the arms), and then closure of the defect, which leaves a scar on the inner surface of the arms, from the armpit (axilla) all the way down to (or, in cases of extreme tissue excess, below) the elbow. Dr. Scheu almost always combines some liposuction with this surgery, to define the arm contouring better, and these procedures, if done by themselves, are done as an outpatient. Certainly, the “downside” of this procedure is the long scar, even though it is usually not visible from every angle; the options for placement of the scar at slightly different sites on the arm [to camouflage its visibility in certain views of the arm] are discussed thoroughly before the surgery.
Upper Body Lift
Just as with the lower body, the upper trunk can look “saggy”, with a fold of excess skin (the “bra roll”) on the lateral-posterior chest wall resulting after massive weight loss; this “fold”, or “roll” of skin can be excised, and the closure line can then be made confluent with the inframammary fold in both women and men, and can even be combined with removal of excess anterior chest wall skin (a “mastopexy” in women, or “gynecomastia” procedure in men), which re-locates the nipple as well. If the combined procedure is done, this surgery can be as long as the lower body.
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