This is a 25 year old lady who was always significantly overweight as a child and as an adult. She underwent weight reduction surgery (bariatric or gastric bypass surgery) and lost 100 pounds. Although she lost significant amounts of fat, she did not lose any skin. There are elastic fibers in the skin. They are like microscopic rubber bands. When she was overweight, these fibers broke; and when she lost the weight, they did not hook back up again. These patients usually end up with large amounts of loose skin, especially in their bellies. She felt very good about her weight loss, but all the loose skin made her feel bad about her appearance.
Massive weight loss patients can be excellent candidates for a special type of Tummy Tuck known as a Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck. A Fleur De Lis is a lily that is used as a symbol or design in the heraldry of many nations, especially France. Its shape is the same design as the skin removal from the bellies of these patients.
She had a Fleur De Lis Tummy Tuck done in our office operating room under general anesthesia (she was asleep). Incisions were made and the loose, sagging skin and any fat in the upper and lower parts of her belly was removed. Her belly (rectus) muscles were tightened. Drains were placed, and her incisions were closed. The surgery took about 3 and a half hours. She went home after another hour or two in the recovery room.
Like most Tummy Tuck patients, her recovery was kind of a big deal. The first week was the worst, and she was given oral pain medications and muscle relaxants. She got better every week, and after about 4 weeks, she started easing into her normal routine. The “After” picture is about 6 weeks after her surgery.