One of the side effects of bariatric surgery is the potential, depending on age and skin elasticity, of excess skin. This is especially true for the arms, neck, thighs and in the abdomen. This excess skin occurs in about 40 to 50% of patients. Luckily, many bariatric patients are also candidates for cosmetic surgery. Relatively routine procedures such as tummy tucks, arm lifts, neck lifts and thigh lifts are able to help with the sagging skin if it should present itself.
Remember that cosmetic surgery is still considered major surgery and although these procedures are performed every day, it is important to choose your surgeon and procedure appropriately. It is also important to allow for enough time to heal from the bariatric procedure before undergoing a subsequent cosmetic procedure. Not every patient will be a candidate for cosmetic surgery, especially those who may be in poor health. In these cases, patients should dedicate themselves to renewed health so that they can reduce their surgical risk to the point where cosmetic surgery is appropriate.
Note that a cosmetic procedure is not a medical necessity, which means that insurance policies will likely not cover the procedure. While some can pay out-of-pocket for a cosmetic procedure, many will opt for payment through a third-party financing company. No matter how you intend to pay for cosmetic surgery, make sure that you understand the payment terms.
Also remember that it is imperative to maintain a relatively constant weight for several months before and indefinitely after you’ve undergone a cosmetic procedure. Significant weight fluctuations can nullify the benefits of the cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery can be very helpful, physically and psychologically, to qualifying bariatric surgery patients. In order to learn more about cosmetic surgery, please speak to our office. We will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery as well as offer some guidance as to choosing a surgeon.