Post bariatric surgery resolves the issue of body deformities that occur after weight loss in individuals with obesity problems. Obesity is a condition characterized by excessive weight gain caused by factors such as unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, stress, genetics, and underlying metabolic disorders. When a person is obese, their work and social life are restricted, health problems arise, and if left untreated, they may become unable to meet their basic needs. Obesity is addressed through healthy eating, personalized diet programs, exercise, and gastric sleeve surgery. However, achieving the desired weight after overcoming obesity presents another challenge: body sagging. The problem of deformities that occur in various parts of the body during this process is resolved through post-bariatric surgery.
What is Post Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a procedure performed on individuals who have a severe weight problem that threatens their health. Post bariatric surgery, on the other hand, is a procedure aimed at correcting sagging and collapsing deformities in individuals who have undergone bariatric surgery and have reached their desired weight. Post bariatric surgery provides aesthetic improvements to the individual’s appearance. As a result, the person achieves a fit, slim, and youthful skin appearance, free from sagging skin. Their self-confidence improves, their social relationships develop, and they feel happier.
Which Areas are Treated with Post Bariatric Surgery?
Before performing post bariatric surgery, it is necessary to wait for one year to confirm that the achieved ideal weight has been maintained. If the person maintains their weight and adopts healthy habits such as balanced nutrition and exercise within this year, post bariatric surgery can be considered. Post bariatric surgery is planned according to the areas of deformity in the person’s body. The most common areas of sagging are as follows:
- Abdominal region
- Breast region
- Legs and arms
- Face and neck
- Hip region
- Waist region
Especially since the abdominal region is where weight gain becomes most apparent, post bariatric surgery is frequently performed in this area.
What are the Requirements for Post Bariatric Surgery?
The following conditions must be met for post bariatric surgery to be performed:
- Being over 18 years old
- Not being obese, with a body mass index below 30
- Achieving the ideal weight and maintaining it for a period of one year
- Having no health problems that would hinder the surgery or anesthesia
- Not being pregnant or in the breastfeeding period
- Being willing and psychologically ready for post bariatric surgery
How is Post Bariatric Surgery Performed?
To identify the deformities that occur after obesity surgery, the person is initially examined to determine the areas where post bariatric surgery is needed and the degree of deformity. Depending on the size of the surgery and the amount of skin to be removed, the post bariatric surgery is planned to be performed in one or two sessions. Post bariatric surgery is performed under general anesthesia in the operating room. The excess skin is removed by tightening and shaping the sagging areas of the body, and sutures are placed to reshape the body.
The following procedures are performed in post bariatric surgery, depending on the individual’s needs:
- Abdominoplasty (full or mini)
- Breast aesthetics (reduction, augmentation, lift)
- Arm lift
- Thigh lift
- Waist and hip lift
- Back lift
- Buttock lift
The duration of post bariatric surgery procedures can vary between 4 to 8 hours, depending on the extent of the treatment.
What is the Recovery Process After Post Bariatric Surgery?
Generally, patients stay in the hospital for one night after post bariatric surgery. If necessary, drains are placed to prevent the accumulation of blood and fluids. The drains are removed 3 to 4 days after the surgery. The recovery process takes about 3 to 4 weeks. During this period, the use of a compression garment is mandatory. Swelling, bruising, and edema in the treated area are normal during this time. Ice compresses can be applied to provide relief. If there is any discomfort, the recommended painkillers should be used. Heavy physical activity should be avoided, the surgical area should be protected, and hot baths should be avoided. Sufficient water intake, avoidance of smoking and alcohol consumption are essential. The individual can fully observe the effects of the surgery after 3 months.
Is Wearing a Compression Garment Important After Post Bariatric Surgery?
Since post bariatric surgery is performed to correct body sagging, wearing a compression garment is mandatory after every body contouring procedure. The compression garment helps reduce swelling in the surgical area and assists in maintaining the shape of the treated region. With advancements in medical technology, comfortable and customized garments have been produced for each surgical area (such as neck, abdomen, and arm garments). Generally, continuous use of the garment (day and night) is recommended for 3 weeks, followed by part-time use (only during the night) for another 3 weeks. The duration of compression garment usage may be shorter for smaller surgeries.
Are Post Bariatric Surgery Procedures Permanent?
The permanence of post bariatric surgery depends on factors such as the individual’s ability to maintain their weight after the surgery and adopting a healthy lifestyle (balanced nutrition and exercise). If the person gains excessive weight again or experiences pregnancy, sagging may occur in the body once more. In such cases, repeat surgery may be required. Apart from these situations, the effects of post bariatric surgery are considered lifelong.
Will Scars Remain After Post Bariatric Surgery?
The incision scars in post bariatric surgery vary in size and location depending on the size of the surgical area. In all surgeries, the incisions are made in inconspicuous areas (such as underarms, below the breasts, within the underwear area, behind the ears, or above a previous cesarean section scar). The visibility of scars on the skin depends on factors such as the person’s smoking habits, dark skin complexion, genetic characteristics, and dietary habits. Under normal circumstances, scars fade over time. Individuals who are bothered by the appearance of scars can opt for laser scar removal procedures in the future.
Will There Be Pain After Post Bariatric Surgery?
It is normal to experience some pain during the first week after post bariatric surgery. Applying ice compresses and using the prescribed painkillers can help alleviate the pain.
How Many Surgeries are Performed in Post Bariatric Surgery?
The application of post bariatric surgery varies for each individual, considering their body requirements, physique, and the degree of deformity in the areas requiring surgery. Therefore, it is different for each person. Some individuals undergo a single operation (360-degree body lift) to address sagging throughout the body, while others have multiple surgeries planned over a period of time. The important factor in all surgeries is to maintain weight for one year after bariatric surgery and to have a body mass index below 30.
Are There Risks Involved in Post Bariatric Surgery?
Post bariatric surgery is a safe procedure when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. Any potential risks are identified and addressed before the surgery, or the surgery is not performed at all. It is essential for the surgery to be performed by an experienced plastic surgeon in an approved healthcare facility to ensure both health preservation and satisfactory aesthetic results.
What are the Costs of Post Bariatric Surgery?
It is impossible to provide an exact cost for post bariatric surgery as each person’s required surgery is unique. While some individuals may require a single surgery, others may undergo combined surgeries in 2-3 areas. The degree of sagging, the materials used, the doctor’s experience, and the hospital where the surgery is performed are factors that can influence the cost. The most accurate information can be obtained after a consultation and examination.