Body Contouring (Surgical Skin Tightening) – Excess Skin Lifts – North Houston and The Woodlands, TX*

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About Body Contouring

The phrase "body contouring" is one used in the cosmetic surgery world to illustrate a collection of surgeries used to sculpt lax areas of skin into a leaner silhouette. Men and women who have had a drastic weight loss (with or without surgery), or whose weight has changed frequently over time, may want to inquire about body contouring at The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in The Woodlands, TX. From abdominoplasty, liposuction, buttock lift, thigh lift, and breast lift surgeries — the combinations for sculpting your new body are endless. Nonsurgical services at The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology's Firenze Derm Spa are generally performed without any need for sedation. This commonly includes injectable fillers, laser liposuction, and laser skin tightening.

After weight loss, you may feel so much lighter, flexible, healthier, and mobile. However, your leftover skin may tell a different story. To diminish fat, tighten the skin, and sculpt the body after weight loss, our double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul S. Gill, provides body contouring surgeries to deliver the finishing touch to finalize your transformation. Body contouring can also be used for individuals who have found that at their age, diet and exercise are not as effective at shaping their bodies anymore. Contact our practice in The Woodlands, TX to schedule your consultation.

Ideal Candidates

An appropriate candidate for body contouring surgery will be highly motivated to improve the appearance of loose, hanging skin after losing a significant amount of weight after having the lap band or gastric bypass surgery or from losing weight from consistent diet and exercise. Regardless of how you lost the weight, a body contouring surgery can remove the excess skin and stubborn fatty areas that will not improve with diet and exercise. Dr. Gill can perform body contouring on the buttocks, breasts, thighs, abdomen, flanks, hips, neck, and in different surgical combinations as needed to get you to the aesthetic result you wish to achieve. Great candidates for this procedure are women and men who are at their goal weight. Body contouring surgery can be a physically and emotionally demanding experience so it is not recommended for unhealthy patients or those who are not highly motivated to make a healthy lifestyle change.

Surgical Technique

Based on your individual needs and problematic areas of your body, often impossible to improve without plastic surgery, Dr. Gill will devise an aesthetic treatment plan for you. Traditional procedures used in body contouring include the following:

  • Contouring of the limbs  incision is made on the inner portion of the limb for your excess skin to be trimmed and fat suctioned out with liposuction
  • Contouring of the trunk or midsection  might involve procedures, like the tummy tuck, panniculectomy, or the UltraTuck, for a combination contouring of the tummy and trunk
  • Contouring of the buttocks  incision is made across the lower back to lift, trim, and suture the skin
  • Liposuction — is frequently included in body contouring where persistent areas of fat remain

Dr. Gill may decide to perform your body contouring surgery in an inpatient or outpatient setting. If you have multiple procedures performed at one time, it may be necessary to be in a hospital setting so that you can be monitored very closely in recovery. Once you are prepped and ready for your select procedures, Dr. Gill will create small incisions (that can be hidden behind clothing) to diminish unsightly fat and loose skin, revealing a thinner, tighter silhouette. Body contouring procedures are lengthy and you can expect to be under for several hours. Also, to remove localized fat, Dr. Gill may perform additional liposuction in areas, like the back, buttocks, thighs, neck, flanks, or tummy. Dr. Gill uses a thin tube called a cannula to dislodge these areas of fat and vacuum them away with suction. A liposuction procedure is suitable for localized fat removal.

Once your skin tightening procedure is finished, you will be taken into recovery. Your incisions will be properly bandaged. You will most likely be helped into a compression garment in the treatment area. Wearing a compression garment is crucial to the success of your surgery and health as it will help hold the skin in place and limit the amount of swelling.

What to Expect

A comprehensive body contouring operation can require 3 – 4 weeks of recovery time, but this varies as some patients undergo procedures in a staged fashion. Dr. Gill will provide specific aftercare instructions that include steps on when to walk around, wearing compression garments to promote skin contraction, and how to care for surgical drains that are frequently used. It is also very important to follow all of your instructions and keep your follow-up appointments so that we can document and monitor your progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will insurance pay for my body contouring surgery?
Although most elective surgeries aren't usually covered by insurance, it is possible that body contouring could be eligible for some insurance coverage. When excess skin is the cause of medical conditions, like reoccurring infections, you might be able to get reimbursement from your insurance. Coverage varies based on your insurance carrier and individual policy, but if you'd like to submit an insurance claim, tell Dr. Gill in your initial consultation. 

What will be part of my body contouring surgery?
The procedure in your treatment plan will be decided in your consultation with Dr. Gill. Your body contouring might be performed in two or more stages, based on your general health and how many areas are being treated. Oftentimes, the stages are grouped by combining either the upper body (arms, breasts, stomach, face, neck) or the lower body (thighs, butt, knees, hips). This staging is done to minimize the possibility of complications, like infection and blood loss. This also makes your recovery easier and faster.

Will I have scarring after my surgery?
Since incisions are required, surgical body contouring will leave scars. Many patients discover that when the incisions have fully healed, they no longer worry about scarring since the results are so great. A skilled cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Gill makes an effort to hide scarring by making the incisions in less visible areas, like the natural skin folds. Scar care management after surgery is also crucial. Skin creams and ointments might be recommended to improve your healing. In time, your scars will fade and blend into your normal skin.

How long will my body contouring results last?
If you take good care of yourself, the surgical results of body contouring will last for many years. The best way to maintain your results is to maintain a steady weight. Dramatic changes in your weight or childbirth after your body contouring surgery can affect your results. Your body will continue to age naturally so you will eventually develop loose skin again after many years. Ask Dr. Gill about recommendations that can help your results last.

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recontour your Natural Curves

Body contouring at The Gill Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology can help you obtain the body you worked so hard to achieve. You should be very proud of your accomplishment. If you are considering having the loose skin removed, we encourage you to call our The Woodlands, TX practice to arrange a consultation. Allow Dr. Gill to construct a custom plan for you. Our team looks forward to supporting you through these life-changing body contouring procedures. Request a consultation at your earliest convenience.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.