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Summary: Massive weight loss is often advertised as a complete journey on its own, with flashy before and after photos. But that’s not the whole story. In fact, most massive weight loss stories end with some type of body contouring procedure—that is, with plastic surgery. The problem is that many bariatric surgery patients either don’t plan sufficiently for body contouring surgery or grossly underestimate the cost. On the brighter side, body contouring surgery is usually incredibly effective, helping patients discover the confidence to complete their transformation.

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A Life Saver

For many, bariatric bypass surgery is a lifesaver. The resultant loss of weight often leads to better lifestyles and better health outcomes, as well as an escape from chronic obesity—possibly even heart disease. But for many, the journey doesn’t end there. The rapid weight loss that accompanies bariatric surgery often leaves behind a good deal of excess skin. Many of those who patients who have lost that weight suddenly feel self-conscious about this excess skin.

Got Elasticity?

The skin is created because, by that point, there simply is not enough elasticity left in the tissue to bounce back. So even though you’ve finally made that healthy switch and started living a great lifestyle, you may still feel trapped in your clothes, too self-conscious to wear shorts or a bathing suit. The only solution to this excess skin is something called body contouring, a broad term that in this context usually means some kind of tummy tuck or lower body lift. Because of the delicate work involved in anticipating the way your tissue will behave, you’ll want to find a plastic surgeon that has experience with the procedure, such as the Minneapolis plastic surgeons at Twin Cities-based Minneapolis Plastic Surgery.

Road Blocks

Unfortunately, new research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery indicates that there are some road blocks for patients on this last leg of their journey. Specifically, health insurance doesn’t cover all body contouring equally—in fact, it may not cover body contouring at all. The study also noted that while most patients do indeed elect to receive body contouring surgery of some kind, so it’s likely that many of those patients were happy with the last effects of that surgery.

Cost

However, the study also pointed out that many patients grossly underestimated the cost of the body contouring surgery, by as much as 18%, or roughly $2000.00. As with any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to discuss the final costs with your doctor, so you can fully assess whether the procedure is worth any hardship the cost might inflict. Additionally, you’ll want to discuss recovery with your doctor, as body contouring surgeries, especially lower body lifts, can often have some very intense recovery periods.

That said, many patients feel as though a lower body lift is the last step in their weight loss journey. Once you recover from the procedure, you can enjoy all of the freedoms you underwent bariatric bypass for: you can go outside in your shorts, or even in a bikini. And you’ll do all that with a renewed confidence.

If you’ve undergone a significant weight loss, talk to your cosmetic surgeon today about completing your journey.

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