The obesity epidemic across the United States and the rest of the world has led to many programs centered on lowering Body Mass Index (BMI) for the well-being of the individual. However, significant amounts of weight loss cannot ignore the physics of the real world. Bodily entities like the skin and fat deposits that have made huge changes in tension and size from the loss of volume do not always adjust themselves accordingly after weight loss. Bariatric (weight loss) surgery has caused many individuals to meet their BMI goals and develop healthier lifestyles, but it has also created the need for much of the body contouring necessary from weight loss.
As individuals metabolize their fat, they begin to not only weigh less but also occupy much less physical space. This loss of volume, especially when rapid, is not responded to by the body. In most cases, severe and swift weight loss results in loose skin and fat that literally hangs off the body because the mass upon which it rested has been suddenly removed.
The aim of body contouring is to rearrange and excise this surplus tissue for both cosmetic and functional purposes. Aesthetically speaking, large surface areas of skin hanging off a conversely small frame could be considered just as unsightly as the taut surface of a morbidly obese individual. Daily activity can be hampered by this misshapen body due to frequent chafing between the functional skin and excess skin. This can cause significant discomfort and possible skin infections from excessive irritation. The patient’s hygiene also becomes an issue because of the ease at which moisture is retained between flaps of loose skin; this moisture presents an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Although it is possible to perform a full body lift in one lengthy session, most doctors prefer to break up body contouring surgeries for the safety and comfort of the patient. The body contouring procedures are split up into a few of the most common areas operated on:
Also called belt lipectomy, torsoplasty and panniculectomy, the circumferential body lift is performed to remove excess skin from the torso and upper legs.
Candidates for body lifts typically suffer from loose (inelastic) skin on many or most areas of the body as a result of age, childbearing or significant weight loss due to diet, exercise or bariatric surgery. Because of this, the procedure is often combined with others such as breast lifts, arm lifts and liposuction to retain a proper body proportion. Body lifts tighten and tone the abdomen, back, buttocks, hips and thighs.
During the procedure, skin is lifted from underlying tissue, muscles are tightened and stitched and fat is removed where necessary, and the skin is sutured closed. The navel is often removed and replaced in its new position. Surgical tubes may be needed for a few days to drain any fluid, and patients may need to wear compression garments for a few weeks to facilitate faster healing.
After surgery, patients are encouraged to walk as soon as they are able, although strenuous activities must be limited for about a month. Results are visible immediately.
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Many women suffer from enlarged labia minora (the inner genital lips). Some may not like the appearance of their large, uneven or thick labia, which can sometimes extend beyond the labia majora. Others may be bothered by labial irritation while conducting normal activities, or may find it difficult to keep the labial area clean. Still others may experience pain during sexual intercourse, sports or other vigorous activities.
Labiaplasty reduces large labia or reshapes uneven labia, improving their appearance and reducing associated discomfort. During the labiaplasty procedure, the surgeon trims excess labial tissue and recreates the edges of the labia with a natural-looking color and shape. The results of labiaplasty can:
If you want to enlarge or re-shape your buttocks and have discovered that they do not respond to diet or exercise, buttock implants may be the solution. Implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are made of soft silicone, which provide a firm, smooth yet natural feel. They are placed away from the bony area on which you sit. The procedure takes about two hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Incisions are made inconspicuously in the depression between the buttocks. It may be performed in conjunction with liposuction for a more dramatic change in contour.
Buttock augmentation with fat transfer, also known as the Brazil Butt Lift in honor of the country in which it was developed, involves two steps. First, the patient's own fat is collected through liposuction. The most popular areas for liposuction before buttock augmentation are the lower back, waist, flanks (love handles), thighs and stomach. This not only provides the raw material for buttock enhancement, it also contours the areas around the butt for a more dramatic result. The liposuctioned fat is then purified in a special process so that the best fat is ready to be reintroduced to the body.
In the second step, the donor fat is added to the buttocks with hundreds of tiny injections at different depths to ensure an even, attractive augmentation. This method of fat injection lends a shapely contour to the buttocks that lasts a long time. Special attention is given to the upper buttocks so the entire rear looks youthfully and naturally lifted.