Introduction: Massive Weight Loss Liposuction
Dr. Mowalvi has developed HD lipo 360 body contouring and liposuction protocols to help massive weight loss patients who have developed contour deformities following massive weight loss. The contour deformities observed in massive weight loss patients have been coined, the melted candlestick phenomenon.
What is the melted candlestick phenomenon?
The melted candlestick phenomenon refers to the appearance of severe skin redundancy that drapes down and appears like the wax that melts down from the top of a candlestick! This is the dark side of massive weight loss that nobody talks about. The reality is that with all the hard work that patients put into changing their dietary and lifestyle habits, they are left with an unappealing appearance that forbids them from enjoying the routine daily activities of life. Patients must now endure the candlestick appearance even after tolerating a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery and all the hard work required to lose massive weight.
Massive weight loss liposuction patients represent a growing number of people who have lost considerable weight, in most cases over 100 pounds, but they are now left with loose and saggy skin. However, given recent advances in body contouring, all their hard work will not be in vain.
Due to advances made at our center, massive weight loss patients can now be provided a novel surgery that can not only eliminate the melted candlestick phenomenon but provide them life-changing appearance.
HD lipo 360 body contouring has been offered to a number of massive weight loss patients. HD stands for high definition. This surgery is a technical and intense procedure that involves starting the patient on the front, then turning the patient from front to back, and so on until their transformation to achieve superior contouring aesthetics has been achieved.
It requires three steps.
- In the 1st step, we use ultrasound assistance to free the fat cells from both the deep as well as the superficial layers. Previously we could only access the deep fat.
- The 2nd step requires the use of our pioneered modifications of traditional tucking procedures that allow us to still perform liposuction at the same time as the excisional surgery.
- The 3rd and final step utilizes ex-vivo liposuction to remove fat following the excision of skin tissues from the body which provides invaluable advantages.
These unique patients will not only eliminate their melted candlestick appearance but can end up with muscle definition such as the unveiling of a “six-pack” which is how people refer to stomach muscles when they are defined and easily visible.
Results will be appreciated in full effect after three months.
VASER High-Definition Liposuction
VASER High-definition liposuction provides the ability to comprehensively remove all of the fat from both the superficial and deep layers to achieve natural shadows and muscle highlights
Modified abdominal skin resection
The modified abdominal skin resection provides the opportunity to eliminate maximum skin redundancy while simultaneously performing high-definition liposuction. The combination of these procedures was not traditionally possible. Using specialized undermining
Ex-vivo liposuction has been pioneered by the lead author to optimize the safety and efficacy of fat transfer cases in patients with minimal fat deposits. Massive weight loss patients meet this criterium as they have often lost all of their fat reserves making fat grafting procedures such as a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure challenging.
Considering Liposuction After Massive Weight Loss? What You Should Know
Losing a significant amount of weight is an impressive accomplishment. However, that newly slimmed-down body may still have stubborn areas of loose, excess skin and fat that diet and exercise alone can’t fix. This is a common issue after massive weight loss of 100 pounds or more. In these cases, body contouring procedures like liposuction can help.
How Does Liposuction Work After Massive Weight Loss?
Liposuction is one of the most popular and versatile procedures for removing pockets of fat that are resistant to weight loss efforts. Here’s a more in-depth look at the process:
- The first step is marking the areas to be treated while the patient stands upright. This allows the surgeon to evaluate the contours and proportions.
- Small incisions around 3-4 mm wide are made to insert the microcannula. These access incisions are usually placed in discreet spots like the groin crease, armpit, or navel.
- A sterile saline solution mixed with lidocaine is infused into the treatment areas. This wets the fat cells and helps minimize discomfort.
- The thin microtubular cannula is moved back and forth in a controlled, tunneling motion to break up the fat tissue. Simultaneous suction removes the liquefied fat.
- Common areas treated include the abdomen, flanks, back, inner/outer thighs, knees, neck, and arms. Combining areas is popular.
- The fat removal results in a more contoured, aesthetically pleasing shape by reducing bulges.
- For larger volumes of loose skin, an extended tummy tuck is sometimes recommended along with lipo for optimal body contouring effects.
Who Makes the Best Candidate for Post-Weight Loss Lipo?
The ideal candidates for liposuction after major weight loss include:
- Those who have reached a stable plateau at their goal weight through proper nutrition and exercise. Lipo is not optimal for those still actively losing significant weight.
- For people with good skin elasticity – the skin must still have enough tone to wrap smoothly around the newly contoured areas.
- Patients close to their ideal body composition with isolated fat pockets.
- Non-smokers – smoking impairs healing and increases surgical risks.
- People are psychologically prepared for changes in body image.
- Those committed to maintaining their weight loss through proper nutrition and exercise.
Individuals with poor skin elasticity, significant loose skin or who still need to lose more than 15-20 lbs may need additional procedures beyond liposuction alone for optimal contouring effects.
What Are the Benefits?
Some benefits of liposuction for massive weight loss patients include:
- Permanently removing fat resistant to further diet and exercise efforts.
- Providing better overall body proportions by reducing stubborn isolated fatty bulges.
- Treating fat collections in areas like the abdomen, flanks, thighs, knees, arms, and neck.
- Smoothing and contouring the transitions between the torso, hips, and thighs.
- Improving body image, self-esteem, and confidence after weight loss.
- Complementing weight loss results in a fitter, more toned appearance.
- Relatively non-invasive procedure with little downtime in most cases.
What’s the Recovery Like?
Recovery from liposuction is faster than more complex body contouring procedures. Here are more details on what to expect:
- Recovery time ranges from 5-10 days but may be longer with extensive contouring.
- Patients should have someone available to transport them home from surgery and assist in the first 1-2 days.
- The first 2-3 days see the most soreness, swelling and bruising. Pain is commonly managed with oral medication.
- Patients can usually return to sedentary work in 1 week. More strenuous activity in 2-3 weeks.
- Wearing a compression garment minimizes swelling and encourages skin to adapt to new contours.
- Residual swelling, numbness, and discomfort continue to gradually resolve over 3-4 months.
- Avoiding weight gain protects results long-term so a healthy lifestyle is key. Some periodic touch-up procedures may be desired.
How Do You Choose the Right Plastic Surgeon?
As with any cosmetic procedure, the experience and skills of your surgeon significantly impact your liposuction results. Be sure to:
- Verify board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This ensures rigorous surgical training.
- Look for a plastic surgeon with expertise in body contouring procedures specifically for massive weight loss patients. This subspecialty requires precision.
- Examine their before and after photos to evaluate technical skill in achieving natural, proportional results.
- Opt for an accredited surgical facility that meets safety standards. Proper anesthesia is also key.
- Discuss their pain control methods – options like tumescent fluid and general anesthesia.
- Ask about their post-op follow-up and support process. Be sure you’ll receive close monitoring during recovery.
Are You a Candidate for Liposuction?
If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight through bariatric surgery or other means but are still unhappy with disproportionate, stubborn areas of fat, liposuction may be right for you. Schedule a consultation with an experienced board-certified cosmetic or plastic surgeon. Together you can decide if liposuction or combined body contouring procedures are your best options for looking as fit and toned as you feel after your transformative weight loss journey.