Australians are some of the fattest people in the world. Almost 2 out of every 3 (63%) Australians are considered overweight or obese. That’s 11.2 million of us. It gets worse the older we get. If you’re a man aged 45 and over, almost four out of five of you will be overweight or obese (79.4%), and if you’re a woman of the same age, two out of three of you (65.7%) suffer the same fate.
These statistics are alarming. It places us right behind America who is considered the fattest country in the world. Dr Patrick Briggs, Plastic Surgeon from Subiaco in WA has seen thousands of patients during his career needing assistance to lose their excess weight, and it’s not easy. But there are options.
What are your weight loss options?
A Gastric Bypass is a procedure whereby a section of your stomach is stapled shut. This creates a smaller area of your stomach where your food will go, and a section of your small intestine will be rearranged and connected to this smaller area leading to your food bypassing some of the digestive tract. It all means your stomach can hold less volume which means you will feel fuller with less food consumed and absorbed by the body.
This is where the side part of your stomach is actually removed creating a smaller area for food to go and leading to you feeling fuller quicker. During the procedure the hormone released that stimulates the feeling of hunger is also removed, so you don’t feel as hungry. The main difference between this and the gastric bypass is that the sleeve does not force food to bypass part of the digestive tract through the intestines. This is a non-reversible operation.
Lap Band Surgery involves a small band made of special material being placed around the upper area of the stomach creating a smaller pouch at the top of the stomach and a narrow passage for the food to pass through to the rest of the stomach. It restricts the amount of food that can be consumed in one sitting, leading to weight loss. The band can also be tightened or loosened over time to suit the patient’s requirements. No cutting, stapling or re-routing is required and only smaller incisions are necessary making this a less-invasive option whereby less hospital stay is required with a much shorter recovery time. This surgery is also reversible.
You’ve Lost the Weight… What Now?
Losing the weight is awesome but is so often not the end of your weight loss journey. Many of us then have to contend with the dreaded loose skin. There are a few factors that might determine how much loose skin you have after losing a large amount of weight. These include but are not limited to:
- How quickly you lose the weight
- Amount of weight you lose
Depending on the amount of skin you have, surgery is often your only option to get rid of it. Dr Briggs says an abdominoplasty or a tummy tuck is a popular procedure to get your stomach taut and tight and looking the way it should after all your hard work. It is the solution to repair poor skin elasticity that might not be fixable by any other means. Dr Briggs says, “Abdominoplasty is carried out under general anaesthetic and consists of removing excess skin and fat from around the stomach and abdominal area. If required, we can also tighten the abdominal muscles. This tummy tuck surgery produces a smoother, firmer and flatter stomach. The procedure takes around three hours to complete and will require two nights in hospital.”
You can also combine abdominoplasty with other surgeries to fix other issues you may have with your body after massive weight loss. These include:
- Liposuction – to remove those last few stubborn pockets of fat that won’t disappear no matter how much dieting and exercise you do
- Breast Reduction/Lift – after massive weight loss many patients often find themselves with oversized, saggy or drooping boobs that don’t fit your new figure.
- Arm Lift or Brachioplasty – excess skin under the arms is a common problem with massive weight loss.
- Thigh Lift – same goes for the thighs. Contouring around your upper legs is often required to achieve taut skin that you’ll be happy to show off!
Dr Briggs says, “An abdominoplasty can involve a number of different procedures within the same operation to produce certain results. Cosmetic surgery is an individual process and all the procedures we conduct are based on the exact specifications of our clients. These are unisex cosmetic surgery procedures and can be conducted successfully on both males and females.”
If you’d like more information on anything we’ve discussed in this article contact Dr Patrick Briggs. He performs all of the procedures we’ve mentioned in this article and more. He says, “Before you make a decision regarding Abdominoplasty, Weight Loss Surgery or any other cosmetic procedure please contact us at our clinic in Perth where we discuss all options that are open to you in a confidential space.”