Body contouring surgery is performed to correct excessive skin folds that result from a large amount of weight loss. After this weight loss the extra skin persists, causing skin breakdown, difficulty fitting into clothes, and a deflated appearance. Different body contouring procedures address specific areas of the body, including the abdomen, back, thighs, and arms.
The recovery from body contouring depends on the type of procedure(s) undertaken. For example, recovery from contouring the upper arms is very different from the legs or abdomen. Regardless, the main goal of recovery is to optimize incision healing, manage post-operative discomfort, and slowly increase your activity as you return to a normal routine.
Surgery is done either as an outpatient (meaning you will go home the day of your surgery) or as an inpatient (meaning you will be admitted to the hospital following the surgery). This depends on the type of surgery you undergo and your general health. After surgery your pain is controlled by prescription pain medication. You will also have one or more drains in place in the treated areas to reduce the risk of developing a fluid collection. These drains typically are removed one to two weeks after your surgery, but can sometimes need to stay in longer
For several weeks after surgery, your activity will be limited from lifting anything heavy or performing excessively strenuous activity. However, you will be encouraged to maintain a baseline level of light activity, such as walking around and performing basic daily activities. You will have swelling afterwards, and your incisions may have a small amount of bleeding from them. The scars are permanent, and will at first be noticeable, but should fade with time. Your incision will be covered with Steri-Strips, or white surgical bandages, which will either fall off on their own or which Dr. Shore will remove later in the office.