Plastic Surgery after Bariatric Surgery (Lap Band, Gastric sleeve or Gastric Bypass):
I know many individuals are attracted somehow by the idea of starting over. It’s important for an individual to discover what they did wrong, how we can change what went bad, there is a need to lose weight or to keep the weight off successfully, to change your diet, to do some kind of exercise, to get fit and to stay fit by increasing your activity, to look younger, to have a total new body so you can improve your body image.
We are kind of dissatisfied or discontent with what we have and especially with our appearance, we want more or we want to look better!
Plastic Surgery has become almost a need for patients that have had a Bariatric procedure as lap band, gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.
Bariatric patients who have undergone either Lap Band, Gastric sleeve or Gastric Bypass and are looking for Plastic Surgery should know they will need more Reconstructive Surgery than just the normal Aesthetic Procedures such as Liposuction, this means that Liposuction (the most frequent Plastic Surgery among all the population) or a Tummy Tuck would not be enough and in most cases they will need a Plastic Surgeon who has experience working with patients that have undergone a Bariatric procedure.
Patients that have lost a lot of weight after a Bariatric procedure have different personal image concerns and Plastic surgery needs. Your doctor has to take into considerations before performing any procedure your age, the muscle tonicity, the weight loss, the skin laxity or elasticity, the skin excess and the hygiene difficulty.
Frequent questions among Lap Band patients:
Q: When is the best time to have a Plastic surgery after my Bariatric procedure?
A: The best time for Plastic Procedures for Lap Band patients is after reaching 60% of excess weight loss.
Q: Where to start?
A: You should discuss your needs first, the surgical options and the cost of each procedure with your Plastic Surgeon and at that point, start planning a Plastic Procedure on what you can afford, what you want to improve or what bothers you most.
Q: Should I have all plastic surgery done at once?
A: As a Surgeon I recommend to my patients to schedule plastic surgery in phases and not to have Plastic surgery done all in one procedure. You have to consider that most of the Plastic surgery completed on a Bariatric patient take a lot longer than in non-obese patients and this means that the surgery will be 6-8 hrs in the OR under general anesthesia. There is also more blood loss and many times the patient may need to have a blood transfusion if there is a lot of work needed.
Q: How long does it take?
A: The Tummy Tuck takes 2.5 to 6 hrs depending on the patient needs.
The breast Lift takes 3.5 hrs.
Lower body lift takes 3 to 6 Hrs
Q: What is the cost?
A: The cost varies from doctor to doctor but each procedure can cost from 6 up to 10 thousand USD
What to expect after Plastic Surgery in Lap band patient?
Most of the procedures require one or two night hospital stay.
You will need to be out of work for about 10 days after surgery and you will also have drains for 5 to 7 days and the patient must wear a compression garment for several months.
While the scar is healing you will be administered oral antibiotics.
Arturo Rodríguez, MD