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Toronto, Ontario – Many people who have followed dedicated fitness regimes and are successful with their weight loss resolutions do not anticipate the excess skin that is left once they have reached their targeted goal. Renowned plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Sean Rice of Rice Cosmetic Surgery offers a number of body contouring options to tighten and tone patients’ skin following weight loss. Visit www.doctorseanrice.com for more information.

Patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery, other types of bariatric surgery or have otherwise lost substantial amounts of weight may find that the skin that was stretched out by the presence of fat may be left loose and sagging all over the body. Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full, breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward, abdominal area may extend around the sides and into the lower back area and buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin.

“Following significant weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size,” explains Dr. Sean Rice, Rice Cosmetic Surgery. “Body contouring improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin.”

There are a number of body contouring procedures that help shape the underlying tissue and achieve an overall toned and fit look.

Circumferential Body Lift

A circumferential body lift, also called a lower body lift, is a comprehensive body contouring procedure that reshapes the body. Unlike a tummy tuck, butt lift or breast lift, a circumferential body lift targets most of the lower body, tightening and toning the waistline, hips, outer thighs, and buttocks.

“A long incision that encircles the entire midsection of the patient is made around the waistline to remove the hanging skin and excess is removed using liposuction,” states Dr. Rice. “Muscle tissues are tightened, and then the skin from the thighs and buttocks is lifted upward and reattached to the upper torso.”

Because a circumferential body lift requires the removal and relocation of considerably more fat, skin, and tissue than other body procedures, recovery is generally longer and more involved. The surgery takes between three and five hours to complete and patients stay in the hospital for two to four nights after the procedure. Swelling and bruising are to be expected and drainage tubes will remain in place for several days after the surgery to keep the surgical incision clean and free of infection and fluids. Patients can expect to resume most work and normal daily activities within two to four weeks of the surgery.

Tummy Tuck

An abdominoplasty, known as a tummy tuck, is a preferred treatment for patients who find that despite exercising and staying in relatively good physical condition, no amount of sit-ups or calorie-cutting can get rid of the fat and flabby skin hanging around their abdomens caused by pregnancy, significant weight loss or aging.

“A tummy tuck removes excess fat and skin around the abdominal area and in most cases restores weakened or separated muscles creating a smoother and firmer abdomen,” adds Dr. Rice. “There are two types of tummy tucks. A full abdominoplasty generally focuses on the middle and lower abdomen, while a mini tummy tuck, also called partial abdominoplasty, targets just the area of the lower abdomen and is therefore much less invasive than a full tummy tuck.”

During surgery, pockets of extra skin and fat are removed from the middle and lower abdomen and the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened. Liposuction to contour the “love handle” areas can also be done to give a slimmer and more contoured abdominal appearance.

Thigh Lift

In cases where skin elasticity is poor and unable to conform to new body contours, a thigh lift technique may be recommended. A thigh lift reshapes the thighs by reducing excess skin, and in some cases fat, resulting in smoother skin and better-proportioned contours of the thighs and lower body. 

“During a thigh lift, incisions are made in the groin, extending downward wrapping around the back of the thigh,” says Dr. Rice. “The underlying tissue is then reshaped and tightened and the skin is reduced and redraped resulting in more proportionate and smoother body contours.”

After surgery, dressing or bandages may be applied to the incisions and the patient may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling and to support your new contours as you heal. The results of a thigh lift are visible almost immediately. However, it may take several months for the final results to fully develop. Some visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that the patient maintains a stable weight and general fitness.

Arm Lift

Fluctuations in weight, growing older and even heredity can cause upper arms to have a drooping, sagging appearance.

“Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot address excess skin that has lost elasticity or underlying weakened tissues and localized fat deposits,” states Dr. Rice. “A brachioplasty, or an arm lift, reshapes the under portion of the upper arm from the underarm region to the elbow for smoother skin and a more toned and proportionate appearance.”

Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, but are generally placed on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm and may extend from the underarm to just above the elbow. Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures or stitches that will be removed within 1-2 weeks following surgery.

Following surgery dressings or bandages may be applied to the incisions and your arms may be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a compression garment to minimize swelling. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect. Results are long lasting provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness.

Breast Lift

A woman’s breasts often change over time, losing their youthful shape and firmness. These changes and loss of skin elasticity can result from pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, aging or gravity. A mastopexy, or a breast lift, raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour and rejuvenate your figure with youthful and uplifted breasts.

“Breast lifts are done in a variety of incision patterns and techniques, determined by breast size and shape, the size and position of the areolas, the degree of sagging, the elasticity of skin and the amount of extra skin,” says Dr. Rice.

There are three common incision points: around the areola, around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease or around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease and horizontally along the crease. After the incision are made, the underlying breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to improve breast contour and firmness, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural, more youthful height, enlarged areolas are reduced by excising skin at the perimeter if necessary and excess breast skin is removed to compensate for a loss of elasticity.

Incision lines resulting from breast lifts are often concealed in the natural breast contours; however, others are visible on the breast surface. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape may be used to close the skin.

The results of breast lift surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions and an elastic bandage or support bra will be needed to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect after breast lift surgery.

Cellulite Treatment

Cellulite is a frustrating problem for millions of people. Despite popular belief, cellulite is not a “fat problem” and cannot be treated with diet and exercise. Cellulite is caused by natural life processes (hormones, genetics, etc) which can lead naturally occurring connective tissue bands under the skin to tighten up and cause enlarged fat cells that get pushed up to the surface of skin causing the “cottage cheese” appearance.

“Existing cellulite treatments focus on treating cellulite superficially by applying treatment above the skin,” states Dr. Rice “At Rice Cosmetic Surgery,wetreat cellulite using a minimally invasive, laser-assisted procedure that attacks cellulite at its source. This revolutionary anti-cellulite treatment requires one treatment and is proven to increase skin’s natural depth for a smoother appearance that lasts.”  

About Dr. Sean Rice and Rice Cosmetic Surgery:

Dr. Sean Rice is a renowned plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon and is widely recognized for his published articles in Canadian and international medical journals. As Founder and Director of Rice Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Rice specializes in a comprehensive array of plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures. Rice Cosmetic Surgery offers the latest, safest and most effective treatments including, breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction, endoscopic facelift, and body contouring after weight loss as well as non-surgical treatments such as dermal facial fillers and anti-wrinkle injections to help patients enhance their appearance. Rice Cosmetic Surgery is the Canadian training centre for other plastic surgeons seeking training in cutting edge laser and water assisted liposuction surgery and Dr. Rice is a physician injector trainer for selphyl and sculptra. Rice Cosmetic Surgery provides personalized treatment plans along with detailed and compassionate care that ensures the specific goals of each patient are achieved.

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