Q: Dr. Eppley, I weighed around 95 pounds before I had ovarian cancer. After my cancer treatments, I gained 130 pounds. I ended up have gastric bypass surgery and now have lose skin that needs to be taken off. Had a tummy tuck in 2001 so, don’t have too much loose skin in the tummy area. I am interested in my butt, arms and legs…can you help me with this?
A: Thank you for your inquiry. I am going to assume that you need a traditional arm lift (brachioplasty) and an extended inner thigh lift, which would be standard for many extreme weight loss patients after gastric bypass surgery. While every patient is different, I will assume these issues as a starting point. Your butt concern is harder to figure as I am uncertain whether an upper buttock lift or a lower buttock tuck tuck needs to be done. I will assume for now that an upper buttock lift (lower back lift) need to be done as this would be most common in the bariatric surgery patient. It is also a way to finish off a circumferential lower body lift as a second stage procedure to your initial tummy tuck done previously.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: I am interested in getting an inner thigh and knee lift procedure but am concerned about the scarring. I have looked on the internet but pictures of these type of scars seem hard to find. Do you have any suggestions about how I should make the decision for this kind of surgery?
A: Body contouring of almost any kind always results in scars. Short of scars on the face or breasts, most scars that result from body contouring procedures will not look as good as they do on these two areas. Regardless of even seeing good scar outcomes from these procedures, that does not mean that yours will turn out as well.
Therefore, the decision to go forth with any type of ‘leg lift’ should be based on the acceptance that the scarring will not be as good as you would like it. Scars are the lower extremities are never great. They are faced with too much tension and movement after surgery that always stretches them out to some degree. You have to decide which is more acceptable, the loose skin or the scars. If you can not accept the concept of scars or have any hesitancy about them, then you should not do the procedure.
My approach to scarring in body contouring surgery is…it is always about trading off one problem for another. The operation is good one for you if the trade-off into scars is better in your mind that the excess skin problem that you had before.
Quite frankly, mentally going through this thought process is better than looking at pictures of scars from the procedure. The people that are truly happy with the results from this type of body contouring procedure don’t care what the scars look like because they hate what they have now. That is the attitude to have the scarring, no matter how it looks it is better than this loose hanging skin that I have now.
Dr. Barry Eppley