For 35-year-old single mother Jessica, the transformational journey that led to her more-confident self really started after losing more than 200 pounds. “As I began losing the weight, I started to notice that my skin was sagging terribly and nothing would remove it. I felt defeated and unfulfilled that I did all this work, and I still didn’t look how I thought I was going to look.”
After weight loss, she found that the excess skin that was left behind was more of a focal point than the progress she had made in improving her lifestyle and getting to a healthier place. “I was working really hard by dieting 100 percent and working out 100 percent. My goal wasn’t to look voluptuous like a pinup, it was to restore the damage that I did to my body.” In order to restore her body, Jessica decided to undergo a series of aesthetic procedures to remove excess skin and fat from various parts of the body and get back to a place where she felt like her outsides matched how she felt inside.
Restoring the Body
To get the results she desired, Jessica elected to undergo a tummy tuck, breast lift with implants, a butt lift, a thigh lift, and an arm lift. According to Dr. Melinda Haws, president-elect of The Aesthetic Society, patients who have lost a significant amount of weight will see changes all over the body, which calls for a personalized plan that includes multiple procedures. “In the case of weight loss patients, they have usually done a lot of work to lose the extra weight but are frustrated by the extra hanging skin that puddles up in their clothes and keeps them from wearing the correct size. It’s mentally exhausting to go to the trouble of losing the weight, and your skin looks worse,” she explains. “It is so rewarding as a plastic surgeon to help patients reveal their new, true bodies that are hiding under the extra folds of skin.”
The First Step: Finding the Right Surgeon
When Jessica chose her plastic surgeon, Babis Rammos, MD, in Peoria, IL, her first criteria was that her doctor be a board-certified physician. “He is double board certified. He had to prove that he knew what he was doing and that he was a safe doctor in order to get those certifications. You can’t just pay for them.”
“When looking for a body contouring plastic surgeon, you first want to make sure they are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery,” shares Dr. Haws. “That guarantees a certain level of training and expertise. Then look to see if they are a member of The Aesthetic Society. This ensures the highest level of aesthetic skill, as well as an unparalleled commitment to patient safety.”
Maintaining Realistic Expectations
Knowing what to expect is the key to the best outcomes, says Dr. Haws. “Surgery after weight loss won’t restore the skin to its original ‘pre-stretched’ quality,” she says. “If you developed lots of stretch marks with weight gain, there will usually be some left even after we remove the extra skin. The remaining skin won’t be the same quality as someone who never gained extra weight, it still may be extra ‘stretchy.'” Scars are also to be expected, says Dr. Haws, but for many weight loss patients, they are a small tradeoff for their regained confidence.
A Major Boost
After her surgeries, Jessica says feeling comfortable in her own skin has led to many positive changes in her life. In addition to getting a promotion at work, she says she’s also proud of the impact her newfound confidence has had on her family. “Mentally, I knew this was something that was important to make me feel better about myself and to be the best mom I can be,” she shares. “I also feel like I set good examples for my kids on being hardworking, going for what you want and not limiting yourself. I’m confident in the way I look, but I’m also confident about my skills.”
Watch Jessica’s story and learn more about her experience in The Aesthetic Society’s docuseries, “Beyond The Before & After,” supported by Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company.
To learn more about aesthetic procedure options and to find a surgeon near you, go to TheAestheticSociety.org