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Body Contouring


There are a number of ways to combat our aging bodies. As we age, fat deposits itself in storage locations throughout the body, leaving many of us with a less than desirable body shape. Many men and women are turning to body contouring to achieve their body goals.

Body contouring encompasses a number of different body sculpting techniques and surgeries used by cosmetic surgeons to reshape almost any area of the body. Surgical body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue. The result is a more normal appearance with smoother contours.

Diet and exercise leading to dramatic weight loss have many benefits. But after losing any substantial amount of weight or after weight reduction surgery, the skin tissues often lack the elasticity to conform to the reduced body size.

At Coastal Plastic Surgeons, our surgeons employ a variety of body sculpting techniques to help our patients achieve lean and toned figures.

What Procedures Are Included in Body Contouring?

  • Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
  • Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
  • Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
  • Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
  • Arm lift: sagging of the upper arms

Who are good body contouring candidates?

In general, good body contouring candidates are:

  • Adults whose weight loss has stabilized and are within a few pounds of their idea weight
  • Healthy individuals without medical conditions that could impair healing or could increase risk of surgery
  • You may not be a good candidate for surgery if you have serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, a bleeding disorder, heart disease or depression.
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and have realistic goals
  • Individuals that are committed to leading a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness
  • If you smoke or drink too much alcohol, you may not be a good candidate for surgical body contouring procedures

How Much Time Should Be Allowed for Recovery and Healing?

For many patients, four to six weeks is the average recovery period. Typically, body-contouring procedures require at least three months for the overall cosmetic results to be fully apparent. Dressings and bandages will be applied to your incisions following the procedure.

  • This allows enough time for all residual swelling and bruising to resolve and for soft tissue to soften.
  • You will be given specific instructions on how to care for surgical sites and specific concerns to look for
  • Scars typically require 12 months to go through the healing process, they are often apparent during this period
  • To minimize the risk of developing blood clots in the legs, you will need to be up and walking as soon as possible
  • You may need help. It’s a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you for the first several days following your surgery

When Will I See Results?

The results of body contouring surgery following aggressive weight loss are visible almost immediately; however, it can take up to one year to see the final results.

  • Results of body contouring surgeries are generally long lasting, provided you maintain a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Following your surgeon’s instructions is critical to the success of your surgeries

What Can I Expect During My Body Contouring Consultation?

The body contouring consultation serves two main purposes. It allows the patient to meet the surgeon and express their goals for the body contouring procedure. It also allows the patient to understand the process of staging procedures.

  • The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s overall medical health and assess any potential coexisting medical conditions that may affect the procedures desired
  • The surgeon will asses the patient’s concerns and goals to create a plan
  • Often, patients will require multiple procedures, which are usually staged
  • Stages and timing can be planned our and reviewed during the consultation

How Does One Prepare for Body Contouring Surgery?

Your surgeon may ask you to:

  • Get a lab test
  • Get cleared by your primary care physician
  • Take certain medications or adjust your medications
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
  • If your procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for several days
  • Make sure you can get enough time off work for your recovery. It could take four to six weeks depending on the procedures
  • Establish a reliable support network to help during your recovery

Men and women that are interested in a fast and efficient way to get red of excess skin or unsightly rolls are encouraged to set up a consultation with us at Coastal Plastic Surgeons. Coastal Plastic Surgeons is highly regarded as one of the premier plastic surgery practices in Southern California and nationally.

We have four convenient areas serving the greater San Diego region. We have offices located in Del Mar, Murrieta, Mesa and Vista in the North County region of San Diego. Call us at (858) 365-3558.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, body contouring following major weight loss removes excess sagging fat and skin, while improving the shape of the underlying support tissue.

Body Contouring Procedures may include:

  • Facelift: sagging of the mid-face, jowls, and neck
  • Breast lift: sagging, flattened breasts
  • Tummy tuck: apron of excess skin hanging over the abdomen
  • Lower body lifts: sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
  • Medial thigh lift: sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh
  • Brachioplasty (arm lift): sagging of the upper arms

Coastal Plastic Surgeons is nationally recognized for Gastric Bypass Reconstruction or GBRx™.

Dr. Batra’s GBRx article in Bariatric Times describes his staged approach for achieving a well-contoured shape.

Click here to review Body Contouring San Diego before and after pictures.

The following is a GBRx case study from our video gallery:

Consultation Phase:

Excerpts from Dr. Batra’s Body Contouring article:

While there are certain commonalities between these patients, such as their desire to “look and feel better” about themselves, there is considerable difference between their expectations. There has been shown to be an increased risk of postoperative complications with increasing BMI before body contouring surgery.

This increased risk along with the patient’s expectations have to be set and reinforced during the preoperative appointments. There are at least 2-3 preoperative visits before surgery. During these visits, patients and I discuss their goals and expectations. If both the physician and patient are not upfront about realistic goals and expectations, then both may face disappointment. I ALWAYS discuss the potential for some relapse of their skin postoperatively. No matter how much tightening is done during surgery, at about 6-12 weeks there is some relaxation of the skin, whether it be in the arms, neck or abdomen.  Therefore, at the consult I show pictures of patients that are 6-12 months out of surgery and that patient’s degree of relapse. The resulting scars are also shown. Also discussed in the preoperative visits is the timeline for recovery and potential complications. 8 If both the patient and I feel that the goals are realistic, then consideration is given to move forward with surgery. GBRx™ is not considered unless the patient is at least 1 year from time of last bariatric surgery and has 3 consecutive months of stabilized weight.

Preoperative Preparation

Preoperatively, the patient’s blood work is checked and an EKG is performed. Patients are also given information on how to prepare themselves nutritionally before surgery. We make sure they are taking their multivitamins and increase their protein intake to 1.5 gram/kilogram body weight two weeks before surgery and after surgery for at least 6 weeks post-operatively. The day prior to surgery the patient is brought in for
marking, which can take up to 30-45 minutes. This saves time the following day. The anesthesiologist typically calls the patient the evening before surgery and meets them in the preop waiting room.

Stage 1

Stage 1 typically involves addressing the abdominal and chest wall regions. Almost invariably, the loose skin and abdominal wall weakness with bulging are the primary concerns for the patient. An extended abdominoplasty is planned.

Stage 2

The second stage addresses the laxity of the upper and lower back, the buttocks, and the medial thighs. I address the upper folds of the back through an incision that is made along the side of the chest pulling the upper back skin forward and excising it. This results in a scar on the side of the chest which is camouflaged with the arms down. The lower back folds are addressed as part of the back and buttock lift. Both of these areas are addressed with the patient placed face down on the surgical table. The upper back and lower back generally takes about 2-3 hours. Afterwards, the patient is then turned onto his or her back and the medial thighs are addressed.

Stage 3

The third, and usually the final stage, addresses the face, neck, brows and eyes. At this stage, a facelift, neck lift, brow lift, and upper and lower blepharoplasty is planned. This procedure typically takes 5½ – 6 hours and perhaps has the most dramatic impact on the patients’ sense of wellbeing and his or her overall psychological outcome. Once again, an overnight stay is required not so much for pain control, but to monitor for any bleeding from the facelift procedure overnight. Contrary to popular belief, facelifts are not very painful procedures and this is perhaps the easiest recovery for the patient.

Body Contouring Complications

Our practice has employed these reconstructive options in over 200 patients (at the time of the article publication) without a single incidence of Deep Venous Thrombosis, and only one patient requiring blood transfusion after a GBRx™ surgery. There has been approximately a 10% incident of Seroma of the abdomen, and 13% incident of Seromas of the thighs. Overall, our patients’ satisfaction rate has been extremely high and over 87% of our patients have reported that they have been either very satisfied or extremely satisfied with their out comes.

These patients comprise the most satisfied and realistic patients in our practice. They tend to be a very tight knit and thoroughly researched group of patients also. They are for the most part extremely grateful as evidenced by their loyalty to the practice and their referral of other members of the support group.