Body contouring is a family of surgical procedures that are often used to remove skin and fat, and tone the body tissue underneath the fat, typically after a period of major weight loss.
Weight loss through proper diet and exercise is a great benefit to your health, but when the amount of weight loss is very significant or the weight is lost quickly, your skin and surrounding tissues may lose the elasticity to conform to your smaller body size. This is where body contouring comes in.
Common forms of body contouring include lifts in the breasts, thighs, hips, buttocks, waist, arms, or a combination of two or more of these areas. Some areas can be treated at the same time as others, such as the waist, hips, and thighs, but some other combinations may require separate procedures or multiple treatments.
If you have recently experienced rapid weight loss, and your skin and overall tone remain relatively unchanged, you might consider body contouring. A good candidate for body contouring is generally healthy, free of medical conditions that would impair healing, and does not plan to lose or gain large amounts of weight again in the future.
Exercise and a healthy diet will be very important after the procedure; body contouring surgery alone will not keep your body physically fit. The procedure is designed to be permanent, so major weight fluctuations can have an adverse effect on the results. Depending on the severity of weight fluctuations, additional surgical corrections may be needed in the future.
If you are a smoker, you will be required to quit for at least four (4) weeks prior to surgery and remain smoke free until your surgical results have been fully achieved. Smoking has been proven to interfere with the body’s naturally healing process. For your safety and to achieve the desired surgical outcome, Dr. Kuhlman-Wood screens for Nicotine prior to surgery.
At Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™, our entire staff is committed to providing a frictionless surgical experience. It begins with listening to your needs and continues through appropriate education and care across your entire surgical experience. This includes providing you the care you need while you recover.
Most body contouring procedures will be performed at Northwest Specialty Hospital. It is important that you arrange for someone to drive you to the hospital and back home after you are released. They should also expect to spend the first night with you, if not several.
A complete “Body Contouring” may need to be performed in stages rather than all at once. Each procedure requires Dr. Kuhlman-Wood to potentially make large incisions to remove the extra skin and fat. The length, size, and pattern of the incisions will depend on on a number of factors, such as the location of the skin being removed, her expert medical judgment, and your own personal preferences. It is typical to strategically place the incisions in areas that can be hidden by your clothing, but that’s not always possible, and not always necessary. These decisions will be made prior to surgery and will depend on your individual findings.
On the day of your Body Contouring procedure, you will check in at the front desk and be placed in the pre-operative section of Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, ID. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will meet you prior to surgery to answer any new questions you may have, calm your nerves and verify you are ready for the procedure. During this time, an IV will be placed to delivery the necessary Anesthesia (Anesthesia types vary depending on patient and procedure). Using a special marker, she will place marks on your body to serve as her surgical guides.
Dressings and/or bandages will be placed over the incisions after the procedure is complete. Small tubes called drains may need to be placed underneath your skin in order to collect any fluid or blood that may result as a natural part of the body’s healing process.
Dr. Kuhlman-Wood and her staff will provide you with individualized instructions detailing your post-operative care. These instructions will detail information about your dressings, how long you’ll need to wear them, how to change them, and how to keep your incisions clean and free of infection. Dr. Kuhlman may have you wear an elastic bandage for support in order to minimize post-operative swelling– especially as you begin to heal.
The staff at Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery will schedule the necessary follow-up visits to have any drains or non-dissolving stitches removed. Dr. Kuhlman-Wood will also outline which medications to take to prevent infection, aid in your healing, and reduce pain. She will also provide guidance on when it is appropriate to resume your normal daily activities, like exercise and work.
The cost of body contouring surgery will vary depending upon the area of the body being treated, the amount of skin and fat that needs to be removed, the fees associated with Northwest Specialty Hospital, medical tests, required clothing and bandages, and prescription medicine.
Health insurance plans typically do not cover Body Contouring proceudres; however, Coeur d’Alene Plastic Surgery™ does offer financing to help break up the cost over time. Although monetary cost is important, it is only one of several factors to consider. It is equally important to find a surgeon who is board-certified by the ABPS, trustworthy, and close enough to reduce travel time between visits – especially after your procedure. Perhaps most importantly, choose a surgeon with whom you are comfortable to share in your surgical journey.