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Body Contouring

Body Contouring following dramatic weight loss.

Unfortunately, the problem of obesity is rapidly rising all around the developed countries. When it comes to Greeks, the problem developed rapidly during the past years. As a result, our country now ranks 9th among the world's most obese peoples!

However, there are many obese people who are strong enough and determined to loose much of their excess weight through diet or bariatric surgery (e.g. gastric band, gastric bypass etc). Unfortunately, however, that is not where their misfortune ends, since, after loosing a great amount of weight, these patients are faced with another problem: extended laxity and excess skin in body areas such as the abdomen, waist, inner thighs, arms, breasts and face.

Apart from disfiguring, excess skin does not allow these individuals to dress up, move around and of course feel like they have really managed to escape their previous condition. This is the target group for Body contouring

See photos after dramatic weight loss - Body Contouring

What can we promise? What are our goals?

As mentioned above, the goal is to provide the patient with an acceptable, in terms of appearance, and functional figure in order to reinstate the psychological, social and emotional health of the patient that has certainly being affected since the years of obesity.
This category of patients who have managed to almost regain normal weight deserves to be treated in an effective and safe manner.

How do we do it? (procedure - methods, classic and new, - most popular techniques)

Body Contouring is a group of plastic surgery procedures addressed to bariatric patients who have undergone significant weight loss.  They can be categorized as those targeting the lower part of the body and those targeting the upper part of the body.

The first category includes brachioplasty, breast lift, facelift, and liposuction while the second category includes thigh and buttocks lift and of course belt lipectomy which is the most frequent of these procedures performed and will be further analysed below. This procedure targets excess hanging skin around the abdomen as well as the back.

After meticulous planning, the surgeon removes excess skin from around the abdomen and the lumbus. During surgery we need to turn the patient around on the operating table to treat both areas after closing the incision on the abdomen and the back.
At the end of the surgery the only incision left is circumferential, extending around the body and concealed by regular underwear. Apart from the areas of the abdomen and waist this procedure also improves the surrounding areas, i.e. buttocks, outer thighs and back.

Before surgery

These patients belong to a special category, that of the bariatric patients, and must be submitted to thorough testing before surgery as they usually have other health problems that must be taken into account (diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure etc).
A general pre-operative check must include: full blood count; biochemical tests; albumin; iron; vitamins; uric acid and coagulation test; heart and kidney tests; chest x-ray. Patients are advised to refrain from vitamin preparations, smoking and alcohol and of course not to take any aspirin for 1-2 weeks before and after the operation. A healthy diet and everyday habits without exaggerating practices may contribute to a better and faster recovery.

Type of anaesthesia (local - general)

Procedures on bariatric patients are performed under general anaesthesia.

How long does the procedure last?

In case of a combination of surgical procedures (such as body contouring) it is very important that a team of plastic surgeons undertakes to perform the operations. This way the overall procedure time is reduced. This is very important particularly for these encumbered patients. Circumferential abdominoplasty usually lasts about 4,5-6 hours..

Recovery time

Straight after surgery the patient will experience oedema and bruising that will subside in 7-10 days. The pain resembles more to a stretching feeling and is satisfactorily treated with analgesics per os. The patient may gradually resume daily activities within 3-4 weeks.

Scars

At the end of the surgery the only incision left is circumferential, extending around the body and concealed by regular underwear. If all goes well during the healing process, scars will resemble thin lines 6-12 months after surgery.

Duration of the result (e.g. 5-8 years, lifetime etc.)

Apart from a minor laxity that might develop during the first year after surgery, the result will last for a lifetime.

Possible complications

A candidate patient must be informed about complications even if these are rare. More specifically, an average of <1% may experience haematoma or inflammation, hygroma, hypertrophic scars and, rarely, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.