Body contouring is a term that’s been steadily gaining attention as major weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, becomes more prominent in our society. And that’s because the two commonly go hand-in-hand.
There were 228,000 bariatric procedures were performed in the United States in 2017—and most of them were done right here in the Northeast. And yet that amount only accounts for one percent of the eligible population.
In other words, we may be standing at the very beginning of what’s likely to become a pretty significant trend over the years ahead.
Weight-loss surgery assumes several different forms. Body contouring can, too. It refers to the surgery to remove excess skin and fat following a major weight-loss surgery, improving the tone of the underlying tissue in the process. It can be done on your lower body (tummy tuck, lower body lift), upper body (breast lift, back lift), and extremities (arms, thighs, and buttocks).
And, depending on the extent of your weight loss, it may entail several procedures. Which is why the decision to have this surgery is often a deeply personal one. While there are lots of benefits (more on those in a moment), it’s a process that can require months of commitment.
It’s not the daunting obstacle it may seem at first glance, though. After all, a new you is waiting for you on the other side.
There are more immediate rewards, too. As you shed your excess skin, you’ll lose even more weight. And while it’ll take some time to heal, you’ll start gaining confidence in your appearance right after the surgery.
But this isn’t purely about aesthetics. Excess skin will encumber your daily life in any number of ways, from the basic stuff, such as walking, to the things that should be entirely pleasurable, like sex. So, body contouring should really be seen as a means to improve your quality of life.
The results of body contouring are generally long-lasting as long as you stick to a balanced diet and a challenging exercise regimen. That’s what the textbooks say. It’s not inaccurate, but it only tells part of the story. Recent research has indicated that body contouring often becomes a springboard.
Here’s an example: In a study that compared the progress of those who had weight-loss surgery and body contouring with those who only had weight-loss surgery, the weight-loss surgery and body contouring patients lost more weight and had a lower body mass index five years later.
In another study, patients who had body contouring had a better body image six and 12 months after their procedures.
So, for all the anxiety that may precede it, body contouring frequently proves to be the right choice.