There are many reasons a person may choose plastic surgery, and specifically body contouring. Whether someone wants to do something about a pesky double chin before taking a new social media profile pic or is looking to address the toll taken by giving birth to three kids via a Mommy Makeover, St. Louis’ West County Plastic Surgeons of Jefferson County has seen it all.
The team there has found commonality among patients, who typically fall into one of several categories when choosing body contouring. While the decision is entirely personal and can be driven by any number of factors, here are three situations that are frequently cited as the reason someone has decided to get help from a plastic surgeon.
Significant Weight Loss
Lifestyle changes—meaning sticking to regular exercise and healthy eating habits—can make a big beneficial difference to the heart, as well as the waistline. While many advantages of clean eating and physical activity may be great for the inside, the most visible positive effect is typically seen in new body contours.
Unfortunately, fat cells don’t grow or shrink in uniform, predictable ways. While weight gain may appear in certain areas of the body, weight loss may favor others, leaving stubborn bulges where they aren’t wanted. These pockets of fat can detract from the visible changes elsewhere on the body, with a double chin drawing attention away from a flatter belly and lack of love handles.
Body contouring—surgical or nonsurgical—can address these diet-resistant collections of fat cells so the results yielded by lifestyle changes look more consistent.
Massive Weight Loss
Some patients have tried menu overhauls and grueling workout sessions—all to no avail. Genetics and other factors may prompt certain women and men to turn to surgery for massive weight loss, such as gastric bypass, which can be quite effective. In many cases, patients find that they can lose scores of pounds, sometimes rapidly taking them down to a weight not otherwise achievable.
Rapid weight loss can bring many positive changes to a person’s body, but it can also leave behind telltale signs of the weight that once was there—namely in the form of sagging, excess skin.
Body contouring in this case generally takes the form of a lift, which typically refers to removing redundant skin and re-draping the rest so that it sits more tightly against the body’s newer, slimmer contours. Common areas to address after major weight loss are the belly, limbs, breasts, buttocks, and face.
Body contouring procedures are customizable to the patient, meaning that if the arms and thighs are where excess skin sits, that’s where the surgeons will focus their attention. It is common, however, for signs of massive weight loss to be found all over. A lower body lift can address everything from the belly down, while a total body lift involves exactly what it sounds like: everything.
Women who have seen their belly expand to accommodate a baby, as well as watched their breasts change size and shape as they prepare to provide milk, may later grow frustrated at these parts’ apparent reluctance to go back to the state they were in prior to pregnancy. Body contouring options in this case are the same as those employed for weight loss, mainly because the post-baby results are so frequently the same: stretched-out skin and pockets of unwanted fat. When chosen to reclaim a pre-baby figure, the combination of procedures and techniques is known as a Mommy Makeover.
The Mommy Makeover tends to focus on the areas most associated with pregnancy, birth, and nursing. That means possibly sculpting and tightening the abdomen where the baby grew, adding volume to or lifting the breasts, and rejuvenating the vaginal area.
Learn more about the body contouring options available to men and women by contacting the St. Louis team at West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. Call (314) 996-8800 or send a message online.