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By: Dr. Michael Zwicklbauer

“Wegovy butt”. “Ozempic face”. These terms have been trending to describe the effects of rapid weight loss from diabetes medication. Whether you’ve lost weight through these drugs, had bariatric surgery, or adhered to a rigorous diet and exercise program, you’ll likely share the same side effects – saggy or loose skin.

So, when is the right time to address skin laxity after major weight loss? As a board-certified surgeon with Plastic Surgery Centers of Hampton Roads, I’m sharing my thoughts on when the right time for considering plastic surgery.

Giving Your Weight Time to Stabilize

After achieving significant weight loss, it’s important to let your body stabilize before considering plastic surgery. I recommend that patients who have weight loss surgery wait about a year after their weight loss. This means maintaining your new weight for at least three months.  Patients that lose the weight through diet and exercise can proceed with plastic surgery whenever they are ready.

It would be senseless to go through the surgery only to lose more weight that may require a second surgery. Taking time to ensure your weight is stabilized, increases the likelihood of getting the best results from plastic surgery.

PSCHR - Weight Loss Surgery TimingProcedures to Enhance Your Transformation

Once your body has had time to stabilize, there are different procedures that can help you achieve the body you have worked so hard for. For example, if you’re bothered by excess skin and weakened abdominal muscles, a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can address these concerns. It removes extra skin and tightens abdominal muscles, giving you a more toned and sculpted abdomen. Another common concern after weight loss is sagging breasts. In this case, a breast lift can help restore their shape and symmetry, boosting your confidence. Brachioplasty or arm lifts can address the laxity in skin in the arms and create a more chiseled look. These procedures can be completed together or separately, depending on the health of the patient. Combining procedures in one surgery extends the time that a patient is under anesthesia and should be cleared by your primary doctor.

Recovery: What to expect

Understanding the recovery process is crucial to a successful outcome after plastic surgery. While each person’s recovery time and discomfort varies, abdominoplasty, breast lift, and brachioplasty can require a minimum of two to six weeks recovery time. For an abdominoplasty, the first two weeks are typically the most challenging when the patient requires assistance for daily activities like walking and getting up from a seated position. It’s important to discuss this recovery process prior to committing any surgery to ensure you are physically and mentally prepared to slow down and take it easy for a few weeks.

Alicia’s weight loss journey

I recently performed surgery on a weight loss patient named Alicia. She lost more than 200 lbs from a combination of gastric sleeve procedure and a disciplined diet and exercise program. We discussed her goals, her recovery, and the journey through her transformation. Her primary concern was her abdomen. A fleur de lis abdominoplasty was performed to remove as much of the loose skin on the abdomen as possible. A breast lift was combined with the tummy tuck, removing eight pounds of loose skin. She has a long journey still to heal from the surgery but she’s doing great so far.


How do you choose a plastic surgeon?

Selecting a surgeon or a facility based on cost can be short-sided and can lead to complications when safety is overlooked. Make sure to look for a plastic surgeon that is board-certified and operates in an AAAASF accredited facility. Ask about their experience with your specific surgery and patients at your weight. Look at their patient reviews and before and after photos to visualize your potential results.

Have you finally lost those extra LBS from the pandemic? Or have you undergone a significant weight loss due to bariatric surgery? Congratulations on your weight loss milestone! The benefits of a healthy weight go far beyond the physical desire to fit into our favorite clothing or swimsuit.

When you’ve reached your desired weight, consider Plastic Surgery Centers of Hampton Roads as the next stop on your weight loss transformation journey.

Contact Us 757.873.3500