Summary: At first, it might be a little counter-intuitive. You just put a whole lot of work into your body, losing all of that weight. Why would you have surgery after that journey? From California to New Jersey body contouring after weight loss has become a much more common—and popular—procedure. This is true because it helps patients complete a long, difficult journey. Excess skin, after all, gets in the way of a lot of things: exercising or a bikini equally, sometimes. The solution for these patients is a procedure that eliminates that excess tissue, and that procedure is broadly referred to as body contouring.

next step after losing weight

The Next Step After Losing Weight

Losing weight is not easy. Indeed, it can be one of the most difficult things one can engage in, and it’s something of a constant battle, especially if you have been overweight for a long period of time. Your body simply does not want to change. It can be somewhat obstinate that way. That means that it takes a pretty determined push to lose weight and to keep that weight off. It also takes discipline: knowing what to give your body and when to give it. So it can be kind of deflating when, after a long battle with your weight, you’re still uncomfortable with your body because of excess tissue.

It’s true that losing weight offers many health rewards—and for many patients, those rewards are the true reason why they lose weight in the first place. However, there are other reason why people want to lose weight and one of them is to look better. Or, perhaps more accurately, one of them is to feel more confident about the way that they look, and to experience the freedom that comes with that confidence. The word “beach body” gets thrown around a lot—but really, it just means that someone is comfortable enough with their body to wear revealing clothing. For patients who have a large amount of excess skin, they might not feel that level of confidence, and that’s a shame after those patients have put so much work into losing weight in the first place.

More Patients Seek Body Contouring

That might explain why, according to new research, more and more patients are electing to have body contouring surgery performed after a massive weight loss. During body contouring procedures, excess tissue is removed, some slight liposuction might be performed, and the skin is then pulled taut so as to eliminate wrinkles or folds. Body contouring can be a fairly extensive surgery, and it requires a significant recovery time, especially if that body contouring takes place all across the abdomen. Some patients even elect to have other body parts contoured, such as the legs or the arms. The results, however, are almost always worth it.

Indeed, some research suggests that patients who receive body contouring after massive weight loss tend to keep the weight off longer—and remain healthier over all for a longer period of time. When I read research like that, I wonder if the cause behind it is pretty simple: I wonder if it’s because people enjoy the results more fully and, thus, are more interested in protecting those results. For someone who has undergone a massive weight reduction protocol, body contouring can finally make them feel confident in their bodies and give a solid boost to the old self-esteem. There’s nothing quite like that feeling to help keep you motivated to stay exercising and eating right.

A Procedure Growing in Popularity

In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available, just under 180,000 Americans underwent body contouring procedures. That’s the most since 2009 and the third highest year on record. Frankly, it wouldn’t be surprising to see another jump for the 2014 numbers when they are released. It’s a popular surgery because, frankly, it can be very difficult to live with that amount of excess skin. Some patients have even reported difficulty exercising because of it—and it’s not difficult to imagine why. The obvious solution, then, is body contouring surgery.

But even with such huge numbers for the procedure, it can be difficult for some patients to get body contouring. Insurance does not always cover the procedure—and some consider it to be elective. However, it can be vital to that feeling of accomplishment, it can be a necessary step in ending the weight loss journey. So, many plastic surgeons offer financing, and many more will work with patients to make sure that they get the surgery they’re after.

Body Contouring Helps Complete the Weight Loss Journey

It’s difficult to emphasize how much body contouring can change someone’s life, especially when it’s the culmination of such a hard won journey. Body contouring can finally give patients the self-confidence to go out to the beach without a shirt on or in a revealing bikini and feel good about the image they present (not saying that anyone overweight should not do this—in fact, I think everybody should feel good about his or her bodies, I’m just saying that, without this surgery, some people lack that confidence).

Body contouring surgery, in short, can drastically change someone’s life. It can help them become more confident, more assured, happier—even. So if you’re looking to complete your own weight loss journey, maybe body contouring is the way to finally get the body you want.