Why do some people choose weight loss surgery over diet and exercise? The answer has a lot to do with metabolism. For some of us, weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in and calories out. Unfortunately, some people have worked tirelessly for years towards their diet and exercise with little results to show for it. Everyone’s body reacts differently to the traditional diet approach of consuming less food and for some it causes the metabolic process to slow down. The result? Your weight loss plateaus, or you may even regain the pounds. Weight loss surgery sidesteps this pitfall by helping patients feel sated, even with very small amounts of food.
But weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, isn’t quite a panacea. After the pounds are shed, which often happens quickly, patients can be left with layers of loose, empty skin. While skin often bounces back on its own after a moderate weight loss, the fast, significant loss often causes skin to lose its elasticity.
Once bariatric patients have reached their ultimate goal weights, they often turn to plastic surgeons to put the final touches on their hard-won bodies. Surgical removal is the only way to reduce empty skin, and most procedures can be easily customized to suit an individual’s needs:
- Body lift: According to Dr. David Stoker, a Los Angeles-area plastic surgeon, body lift surgery can treat multiple sites at once, on the upper or lower body, making it especially useful for patients who have lost a lot of weight. A lower lift focuses on areas below the navel, while an upper body lift can treat arms, breasts, and back.
- Thigh lift: Sagging thighs can be unsightly and uncomfortable, often causing mobility issues and making patients feel self-conscious in anything but loose-fitting pants and skirts. Thigh lift surgery removes skin on the inner or outer thighs for attractive, sculpted legs.
- Arm lift: “Bat wings” are a common complaint among patients, and no amount of curls can tone them if they’re caused by extra skin. Surgery removes the extra skin via an incision on the inside of the upper arms.
- Breast lift: After a massive weight loss, previously full breasts may take on a saggy, “deflated” appearance. Breast lift surgery can be performed with or without implants for an improved look.
Some of these procedures may be deemed medically necessary by insurance companies — which means the insurance carrier may cover it, at least partially. Bariatric surgery has been a game-changer for thousands of people across the country, and knowing what to expect after it’s over can ease your transition into a beautiful body.
As for the effectiveness of weight loss surgery, NPR reported on a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that validates what a lot of weight loss surgery patients already know: Long-term maintenance is more probable than with diet and exercise.
For more information or questions, contact a professional:
David Stoker, MD
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292