Published April 15, 2020 By Dr. Adam Lowenstein

Weight loss

Losing weight is always a significant accomplishment. For those who have dropped many, many pounds, whether, through surgery or diet and exercise, a new problem may occur. Massive weight loss can often result in so much loose, sagging tissue that the ideal shape is hidden beneath it. The final hurdle to cross to get the body that you’ve worked so hard for is to eliminate this excess tissue. Your plastic surgeon can help.

How Weight Loss Affects the Body

Extreme weight loss of 50 pounds or more is what we’re talking about here. Losing less than that may not incur the cosmetic downside of loose skin. Of course, this does depend on several factors, including age, past weight fluctuations, general body shape, and genetics. These are just a few of the factors that influence tissue elasticity; how well the skin will bounce back after stretching. Additionally, weight loss is not a guarantee of proportions and general shape. Many people who lose weight do so in a unique fashion that creates disharmony. For example, some people may lose much more weight in their upper body, resulting in sagging breast tissue, and still hold a few extra pounds on the lower body. These issues can all be addressed with plastic surgery.

What is Included in Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss?

Many people who lose a lot of weight can benefit from customized body contouring. No two treatment plans look the same. Our goal in treating patients is to listen to their concerns and develop a plan to address them in a way that achieves symmetry, proportion, and beauty. We may do this with a combination of the following: 


Just because you lose a lot of weight doesn’t mean that every part of your body has responded the way you’d like. Liposuction can be performed to remove stubborn fat that is creating asymmetry across the body. The procedure may be performed on men who retain fat in the chest or other areas, and in women who may struggle with stubborn fat on the backs of the arms, hips, thighs, or other areas. As we said, each plan is tailored to the individual.


Abdominoplasty, or tummy tuck surgery, helps patients rediscover what it feels like to have a flat, tight stomach. Tummy tucks restore the integrity of the abdominal muscles as well as overlying tissue. This procedure also involves trimming of the skin, which may help reduce or eliminate stretch marks.

Breast Lift 

The breasts can change significantly when a person loses weight, becoming deflated and droopy. A breast lift restores the natural breast mound to a higher position on the chest wall by creating a new envelope of skin to hold the breast tissue. This procedure can also reposition the nipple to project forward rather than downward. Don’t mistake the breast lift as only for women. Men whose weight caused their breasts to enlarge (gynecomastia) can also benefit from proper breast procedures.

Arm, Thigh, or Buttock Lift

It is not uncommon for weight loss patients to experience significantly redundant skin on the thighs, buttocks, and arms. These areas can be lifted in the same way the breasts are; by making an incision and joining tissue to recreate smooth, tight contours.

Dr. Lowenstein is an experienced plastic surgeon serving Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas. To schedule a consultation, call 805.969.9004.

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