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Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia

With the problem of obesity on the rise, plastic surgery after major weight loss and bariatric surgery can be incredibly rewarding. Obesity is an epidemic worldwide, and the rate of obesity is increasing.

Many patients are winning the struggle against obesity by losing large amounts of weight. Major weight loss is a significant accomplishment, achieved by some through lifestyle changes in diet and exercise. Others benefit from bariatric weight loss surgery, where gastric bypass or banding procedures help them lose the extra pounds. No matter the method, patients feel much better after the weight comes off. In addition, many serious medical conditions resolve completely.

Fitting into new, smaller clothing enhances the excitement you feel when you step on a scale. You are healthier, happier, and probably more active. While there are innumerable benefits of losing weight, there’s also a significant problem: patients are often left with a large amount of loose skin that inhibits them from fully enjoying their lean figures. Many of our plastic surgery patients from Colombia and from abroad feel uncomfortable with areas of excess skin after weight loss, and seek help at our practice. Fortunately, there are effective surgical options to remove the unwanted skin.

For men and women body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin. Excess skin is unsightly and can seriously hinder your ability to participate in certain physical activities that could further improve your health. Excess loose skin can also make you self-conscious about wearing certain outfits. After all the work you’ve put into losing the weight, shouldn’t you have the freedom to wear what you want and look the way you have always wanted? In Cartagena, plastic surgery can be the final step to complete your transformation.

The Three Main Factors

  • Increased intake of calories
  • Decreased exercise
  • Genetic predisposition

Cultural influences and high calorie food options are also big contributors to the problem. One thing that’s certain is that it’s difficult to lose the weight once a person puts it on. However, it is possible with modern techniques and technologies, and we have enjoyed the success stories of hundreds of motivated patients.

Weight Loss Methods

Diet is the most important contributor to an effective weight loss program. Extreme diets tend not to work in the long-term. Medications are also not an effective solution for most people. Lifestyle changes are needed to decrease calorie intake day after day so the cumulative effect is to shed weight over time. For most people to lose weight, the calories they consume must not exceed the calories they burn through exercise.


Exercise is important for cardiovascular health as well as for losing weight. By adding muscle mass, patients are able to increase their basal metabolic rate. That means the person will continue to burn calories at a higher rate even when they’re sedentary. Aerobic exercise helps to burn calories at a faster rate so the benefits of dieting will be seen more quickly.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is the last hope for many patients who are losing the battle against obesity. Gastric bypass and banding surgery are extremely effective at helping patients to lose weight. Although bariatric surgery is much safer now than it was over a decade ago, there are still substantial risks from the procedures that are not associated with diet and exercise.

The “Finishing Touch”

When patients succeed in losing large amounts of weight, they often feel as though they have a second chance at enjoying a full life. They feel so much better and many of their medical problems resolve as well. For most, however, they’re left with a large amount of loose skin that is a constant reminder of their former weight. Removing the loose skin is an important finishing step to usher in this new stage of life.

Most patients have a wish list of body areas to improve after their skin loosens with weight loss. In our consultations, we help patients understand the best options for improving their appearance. Whether it’s through plastic surgery or exercise, our comprehensive team creates an individualized plan that will allow the patient to achieve their goals.

We’ve found that plastic surgery after weight loss is a powerful incentive for patients to keep the weight off. Patients invest time and money for a plastic surgery transformation, and they’re rewarded with huge improvements in their appearance. When the patient looks better and feels better, they can’t help wanting to stay that way. Plastic surgery provides positive reinforcement for patients to keep the extra weight off.

If you are serious about achieving a slimmer, more attractive body contour, contact Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia by calling us at (+57) 312 545 55 in Cartagena (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States or use our convenient online form to book your consultation.

Body Contouring Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia

Cosmetic surgery after major weight loss requires special care from highly experienced surgeons. Dr. Alex Campbell and Dr. Carolina Restrepo at Premium Care Plastic Surgery are specialized in body contouring procedures, and have knowledge of the unique needs of post weight loss patients.

The main difference between cosmetic surgery after major weight loss and other cosmetic procedures is the need to assess the entire body rather than just one targeted area. Excess skin will pucker and fold over many sections of the body from the breasts, back, hips, abdomen, thighs, arms and pubic area. Body contouring of the torso usually requires a different procedure, such as a tummy tuck, than body contouring of the thighs and buttocks or arms and breasts. Your skin’s texture and the amount of tissue laxity will affect incision sites, the amount of skin removal, and the degree to which scars from your plastic surgery will be visible.

The effects of massive weight loss are most evident in multiple areas of the body.

Face and Neck: Often the face takes on a drawn appearance, with loss of volume and sagging skin.

Procedures to help rejuvenate the face include non-surgical treatments such as soft tissue fillers (Juvaderm, Restalyne), Botox® or Dysport™ for wrinkles.

Surgical procedures include fat transfer to the face, facelift, necklift, eyelid surgery, and browlift.

Breasts: The breasts tend to lose volume and shape. Women often notice the breasts are flat, with sagging skin, nipples that point toward the center, and distorted contour.

Procedures that address these concerns are usually a combination of breast lift and breast augmentation. In women with really large breasts, the treatment instead is a breast lift combined with a breast reduction.

Male “Breasts” (Gynecomastia): Men may have an increase in chest wall fat or breast tissue, giving the appearance of having breasts. After weight loss, the skin does not shrink back, and some of the extra volume may still be present.

This can be addressed with surgery to correct gynecomastia. Depending on how much extra skin and fat are present, this can be as simple as liposuction, or as involved as a full breast reduction. The criteria for attractive male chest are obviously different than the criteria for women, and tailoring the surgery to an ideal male contour is key to obtaining an aesthetically pleasing outcome.

Abdomen: The abdominal skin usually is damaged to a degree that it cannot shrink back down to fit the new smaller size person inside. The extra skin “apron” can hang down to the knees and even lower, making hygiene difficult, getting in the way of walking, or making it hard to fit into clothing.

Options to address this are panniculectomy and abdominoplasty, with or without liposuction, circumferential body lift.

Panniculectomy simply removes the overhanging portion without addressing the contour of the upper abdomen.

Abdominoplasty takes into account the contour of the entire abdomen, and includes repairing muscles that are spread apart, and repositioning the belly button.

Circumferential body lift (or “belt lipectomy”) addresses not only the extra skin and fat on the front of the abdomen, but also the part on the back. This helps lift the buttock and upper lateral thigh as well.

The lateral thoraco-abdominoplasty takes the extra skin and fat out from both sides of the abdomen, leaving a scar that would run along the side (as it does on a shirt), and helps decrease the width of the abdomen. This can also be accomplished through a scar that runs down the center of the abdomen.

Upper Back: The upper back skin can be loose, and bulge out under clothing, especially in women where it creates “rolls” above and below the bra.

Liposuction may help reduce the volume of this area, but if there is loose skin, an upper back skin reduction can be performed, with scars that are placed to fall beneath a bra-line.

Arms: The upper arms tend to have excess loose hanging skin described as a “bat-wing” appearance.

Arm lift can reduce the excess skin, in exchange for a scar that runs along the inner arm from the axilla down to the elbow.

Thighs: The thighs tend to vary in degrees of cellulite and extra skin. In some patients the extra skin along the inner thighs leads to chafing, skin breakdown, and difficulty with walking and hygiene.

Thigh lift addresses the extra skin, and can be combined with liposuction to sculpt the thighs. The cellulite will not be completely removed with any procedure, but the contour will be improved.

Medically Necessary Plastic Surgery

After losing large amounts of weight, many patients suffer from severe hanging skin. At the very least, the deformities inhibit patients from enjoying the full benefits of their weight loss. It’s hard on patients’ self-esteem and makes it more difficult to keep the weight off. In some cases, loose skin may also create medical problems.

  • Rashes, chafing, sores and infections are all common medical conditions that patients encounter when they have large folds of skin.
  • Back pain, neck pain, hand numbness and difficulty exercising are other reasons why patients may struggle with hanging skin.
  • All of these may be reasons that plastic surgery is medically indicated.

In some cases, medical insurance may contribute to covering the cost of the procedures.

For many patients struggling against obesity, plastic surgery is at the end of a difficult journey. Fortunately for them, their journey has a happy ending. Set your goals. Understand your options. Discover your body’s true potential. Learn how Premium Care Plastic Surgery maximizes results and safety by using advanced techniques for body contouring. Then call us at (+57) 312 545 55 69 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 inUnited States  or use our convenient online form to receive a consultation online.

Surgery after Weight Loss – Surgical Options

Your Journey – Beauty for Life

Following weight reduction surgery or any major amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. Skin that has been severely stretched is thus left unsupported:

  • Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
  • Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
  • Abdominal area may extend around the sides and into the lower back area, resulting in an apron-like overhang
  • Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin

Surgical body contouring following major weight loss improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue that supports fat and skin, and removes excess sagging fat and skin.

The result is a more normal appearance to the body, with smoother contours. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight loss experience.

Surgical Options to Tighten Skin

Many parts of the body change with major weight loss after bariatric surgery. After losing the extra pounds, it’s natural for patients to want to improve their appearance. These are the most common procedures we perform for these patients:

Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

Abdominoplasty is the removal of excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen. The upper abdominal skin is then pulled downward to redistribute it smoothly over the entire abdomen. The muscles of the abdomen are often tightened as well in order to restore a thinner waistline.


A panniculectomy is a modified tummy tuck that focuses on the lower abdomen. Most patients seeking this procedure have a large apron of skin hanging from the lower abdomen, typically following bariatric surgery. The panniculectomy specifically addresses the lower abdomen by removing problematic folds of skin while reducing risk and recovery of overweight patients.

Body Lift

A body lift tightens the skin of a patient all the way around their body, and the improvements are often dramatic. Patients who benefit from this surgery have typically lost a large amount of weight and have significant deformity of the abdomen, thoghs, and buttocks from skin laxity.

Breast Lift

Breast lift surgery rejuvenates sagging breasts by removing excess skin and repositioning the breast tissue to create a firmer, more youthful contour. The nipples and areolas are also usually moved to a higher, more appealing location.

Thigh Lift

Thigh lifts treat hanging skin and cellulite of the inner or outer thighs. A large amount of upper thigh skin is removed and the mid-thigh skin is lifted up toward the patient’s groin for improved contour.

Arm Lift

The arm lift (brachioplasty) removes extra skin and fat that hangs from the upper arm between the elbow and axilla. The incision is concealed on the inner aspect the arm to be discrete. Arm lifts produce noticeably slimmer-looking arms.


When patients lose weight, it accelerates the aging process in the face. Hanging skin of the neck, jowls and cheeks may make the patient appear much older than they did when they were overweight. A facelift effectively improves these problems to shave a decade or more off of a person’s appearance. At Premium Care Plastic Surgery, we achieve beautiful and natural-appearing results by using state-of-the-art facelift techniques.

The Result Will be Long-Lasting

The results of a body contouring following aggressive weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as many as one to two years or more for the final results of all the recommended body contouring procedures to fully develop. Visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.

If you are ready to talk more about your body contouring options, call Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Colombia today at (+57) 312 545 55 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States or use our convenient online form to schedule a consultation online.

Your Body Contouring Consultation at Premium Care Plastic Surgery

When you come to our Plastic Surgery Center for your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss with you the different locations in which your body has excess fat and skin. Your surgeon will also assess your skin for elasticity, provide you with a complete physical examination and evaluate your past medical history. This process is essential for establishing you as a candidate for body contouring surgery in Premium Care.

Is it right for me?

Before you decide to undergo body contouring following major weight loss, your weight loss must be stabilized.

  • If you continue to lose weight, sagging pockets will redevelop.
  • If you rapidly regain the weight, you will traumatically stress your already weakened and thinned kin, causing further stress to the skin, visible stretch marks and wide scars.
Be prepared to discuss:
  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Previous surgeries
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, and tobacco
Good candidates for body contouring are:
  • Adults of any age whose weight loss has stabilized
  • Healthy individuals who do not have medical conditions that can impair healing or increase risk of surgery
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals for what body contouring can accomplish
  • Individuals committed to leading a healthy lifestyle including proper nutrition and fitness
Your plastic surgeon at Premium Care will also:
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of body contouring procedures and any risks or potential complication

Be sure to ask questions. It’s very important to ask your plastic surgeon questions about your body contouring procedure(s). It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon. The entire team at Premium Care is here to support you through your journey to a new you.

If you are want to pursue body contouring in Cartagena at Premium Care Plastic Surgery, or simply want more information on these transformational procedures, please call us at (+57) 312 545 55 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in UnitedStates or schedule your consultation online.

Preparing for Surgery in Colombia

Premium Care Plastic Surgery encourages you to take a few simple steps in preparation for your body contouring procedure(s) in Colombia. Following the steps presented below will make your recovery from surgery as safe, short and relaxing as possible.

Your surgeon will provide you with a list of specific steps you should take leading up to your procedure. This list might include limiting your use of certain medications, alcohol and cigarettes, and minor changes in your grooming habits. These changes are temporary but very important to your comfort and safety.

Before body contouring surgery, you may be asked to:
  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
  • What to do on the day of surgery
  • The use of anesthesia during your body contouring procedure.
  • Post-operative care and follow-up
  • Medications and compression garments to purchase and bring with you on the day of surgery.

A patient’s final result will be enhanced through active participation in preparing for body contouring surgery in Cartagena. Patients considering body contouring need to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet to prepare for surgery. Patients should strive to reach their ideal weight by having a disciplined approach to nutrition. Consultation with one of our specialized nutritionists may assist a patient in achieving this goal. When a patient is at or near their ideal weight, it is possible for the surgeon to obtain optimal results. Interestingly, many patients are inspired to diet and exercise more diligently when they see the postoperative results from a tummy tuck. Additional fitness and a healthy lifestyle will result in further improvement in their figure.

Smoking increases the risks of many potential complications of surgery and should be avoided. Patients who smoke should stop at least two months before surgery, but even then they are still at increased risk when compared to non-smokers. Nicotine patches or gum are also associated with increased complications and should not be used in preparation for surgery.

A regular exercise routine is also helpful preparation. By building muscle, a patient increases their basal metabolic rate. This makes it easier to avoid weight gain, especially in the postoperative period when physical activity is minimal. Cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and promotes a faster recovery from surgery. If a patient has a regular exercise routine, it is much easier to resume these activities after recovering from surgery. Using a trainer to supervise workouts is a safe and effective way to approach preparing for body contouring in Cartagena.

Medical problems should be optimally managed before surgery. Patients should visit their internal medicine doctor and any specialists they see regularly in preparation for a body contouring procedure. Your surgeon will perform a history and physical examination as a part of the pre- operative visit. If additional medical consultations are necessary, your surgeon will assist you in locating the appropriate specialist.

Preparations for a body contouring surgery should include these steps of diet, exercise and health maintenance. Patients who actively participate in this way will have the greatest improvements, fewest complications and fastest recovery from surgery.

Preparing your home before your procedure will help ensure a safe and relaxing recovery. If your procedure will impact your ability to stand or walk for long periods, or reach high places, you may want to prepare meals in advance and move kitchen items out of cupboards and onto the counter. Having a phone, medications and other necessities on a night stand or side table will keep you from having to get up and down. Having extra pillows and blankets already on your bed or couch can also keep you comfortable. If you have pets or children, you should make sure someone is available to care for them while you are recuperating.

On the day of your surgery, we ask that you wear no jewelry or make-up and avoid deodorant, skin lotions and perfume. We recommend warm, loose fitting clothing, such as pajamas or sweat pants with thick socks or slippers to prevent the chills commonly experienced after surgery. Please inform your surgeon if you have a cold, sore throat, active allergies or an open cut or sore on the day of your surgery.
Most of our patients spend two nights in the hospital after a body lift procedure. They are typically released to go home on the second post operative day after their surgeon assures that they are comfortable, mobile, and confident about going home. It is important to make arrangements in advance for someone to drive you home and provide watchful care during the first several days after surgery.
You’ll need help. Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first few nights following surgery. Effective planning prior to undergoing body contouring can make your recovery as brief and relaxing as possible.

If you want to pursue body contouring in Colombia at Premium Care Plastic Surgery, or simply want more information on these transformational procedures, please call us at (+57) 312 545 55 69 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States to schedule your consultation online.

Body Contouring Surgery Procedure Steps
What happens during body contouring surgery?

The procedures necessary to achieve your goals will be defined along with a plan for the timing of these procedures. Plastic surgery procedures that may be recommended by your physician include:

Lower body lift: to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs
Breast lift: to correct sagging, flattened breasts
Arm lift: to correct sagging of the upper arms
Thigh lift: correct sagging of the inner, outer and mid thigh

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedures. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

All body contouring procedures require incisions to remove excess skin. In many cases, these incisions may be extensive. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as personal preference and your doctor’s surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing, but this is not always the case.

Body contouring is often performed in stages. Your particular condition and goals, as well as your plastic surgeon’s best judgment, will all influence how your doctor defines a surgical plan. While it may have taken you two years or more to lose all the excess weight, it may take equally as long for the results of your body contouring to be complete.

Body Lift

A complete lower body lift treats sagging buttocks, abdomen, waist, hips and outer thighs in one procedure or in staged procedures. Incision patterns vary, and may include a circumferential incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat.

Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - before body lift - premium care plastic surgery Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - after body lift - premium care plastic surgery

Breast Lift

The incision patterns for lifting a woman’s sagging breasts will be determined based on the amount of excess skin to be removed. These may include one or a combination of incisions in a circular pattern around the areola, in a line extending from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease. A breast implant also may be recommended to enhance breast shape and size.

Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - before breast lift - premium care plastic surgery Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - after breast lift - premium care plastic surgery

Arm Lift

Sagging skin in the upper arms is treated with an incision from the underarm area extending along the inside or back of the upper arm. Additional incisions on the arms may be necessary anywhere excess skin has formed sagging pockets.

The smoother, tighter contours that result from upper arm contouring are apparent almost immediately, although initially obscured by swelling and bruising. In addition, skin quality is dramatically improved in both appearance and texture.

Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - before arm lift - premium care plastic surgery Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - after arm lift - premium care plastic surgery

Thigh Lift

Reshaping of the thighs is achieved through incisions in the groin that can extend downward to the knee along the inner portion of the thigh.
Improving contours of the outer thigh may require an incision extending from the groin around the hip. Through these incisions your plastic surgeon will tighten tissues for a smoother, better toned thigh.

Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - before thigh lift - premium care plastic surgery Surgery After Weight Loss in Colombia - after thigh lift - premium care plastic surgery

Step 3 –Reconstruction

The plastic surgeon removes a large amount of skin (and stretch marks) and fat from the target body part(s), and then reconstructs the deep fascial layers to lift tissues and hold them securely into their new positions. The skin abdominal skin is then redistributed the over the entire area, giving a smooth and trim appearance and feel to the abdomen, lower body, arms, and/or thighs

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

Sutures, skin adhesives, tapes or clips close the skin incisions. We use intricate plastic surgery anchoring and suturing techniques to optimize final scar results.

Step 5 – See the results

Your body contouring procedure will provide immediate and long lasting results. The results of a body contouring following aggressive weight loss are visible almost immediately. However, it may take as many as one to two years or more for the final results of all the recommended body contouring procedures to fully develop. Visible scars will remain, but the overall results are long lasting, provided that you maintain a stable weight and general fitness. As your body ages, it is natural to lose some firmness. However, most of your initial improvement should be relatively permanent.

Your Recovery
Recovering from Your Body Contouring Surgery

You will be given specific instructions to aid your recovery from body contouring surgery: how to care for the surgical site and drains, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Following a body contouring surgery, patients should prepare to rest for one week after their procedure. An elastic compression garment will be worn under clothing for several weeks. Patients with jobs that do not require physical labor may return to work one to two weeks after surgery. Normal exercise routines and lifting may typically be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery.

If a tummy tuck, panniculectomy, or body lift procedure is performed, the abdominal skin and muscles will feel tighter, and the patient is encouraged to minimize tension on the incision. This can be done by temporarily keeping the hips flexed while in bed and by slouching while standing. The skin will relax gradually over the first week so the patient will again comfortably be able to stand upright. Many patients will feel strong enough to resume activities early, but we encourage patients to minimize unnecessary motion for the few weeks following surgery. Vigorous exercise should be avoided for six weeks following surgery.

Drains may be used to evacuate fluid that is produced under the skin; they are generally removed the week after your body contouring surgery. This allows the skin and superficial tissues to adhere again to the underlying muscle and fibrous tissue. Body contouring surgery patients who minimize activity in the weeks following surgery are frequently able to remove their drains sooner.

Most of the sutures that are used to close the incisions are absorbable and do not require removal. The new incision usually appears slightly red in the months following surgery. As the healing progresses and the scar matures, the incision typically fades to a paler color. Improvement in the scar can be expected for up to two years following surgery. The location of the incisions are designed to be as discreet as possible.

Advice for Body Contouring Patients

“Body contouring procedures offer amazing results. After loosing 45 kilograms after a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery, I had a large amount of excessive skin and fat in my lower abdomen, upper arms, and thighs. My breasts were also deflated and very droopy. I had a combination tummy tuck – breast lift during one procedure and then an arm lift at a second procedure. Both procedures were the culmination of a long road of recovery in my life, both physical and emotional. I am now in excellent health, and look and feel great. I owe it all to the Premium Care Plastic Surgery Team, who provided exemplary education, support, and services throughout my transition. My plastic surgeons finished the job, and my story has a happy ending!” –M.S.

How you will feel right after surgery

On the first day after surgery, you will not feel too bad. You will be fairly groggy from the anesthetic, so your level of discomfort on the first day is less than day two and day three.

Pain medication

Be diligent about taking your pain medication around the clock. Do not wait to feel the pain in order to assess how much medication you will need. It is best to take the pain medication as directed by Dr. Campbell, or Dr. Restrepo for the first three days and then think about tapering it off. If you wait to feel the pain, you will have to play catch up with the medications which leads to high anxiety and the need for more pain medication.


Constipation is inevitable with surgery, anesthesia, pain medications, and decreased mobility. Helpful suggestions for dealing with constipation are over the counter medications such as: Colace, Dulcolax Suppositories, and Fleet enemas. Natural remedies like prune and apple juices work as well.


What will bother you the most will be the drains. They are a “necessary evil” in the recovery process. Drains are small tubes used to remove fluid such as blood or serum from the site ofsurgery. The drains may be in anywhere from one to three weeks.


Sleeping comfortably will be somewhat challenging for the first one to three weeks. A foam pillow wedge can help you with sleeping by keeping you at a specific angle. It can also help in getting you get in and out of bed.


Showering after surgery can also be a little bit of a challenge. A sponge bath is recommended for the first three to four days. You honestly won’t have the energy to shower until day four or five. When you do get into the shower, you will take off all compression garments and dressings. Put on an old belt and attach the drains to the belt so your hands are free to wash and steady yourself in the shower. Prepare to be absolutely exhausted after the first couple of showers.

Walking and standing

You will be walking hunched over for the first week. During week two you will be able to stand more erect. By week three you will be standing and walking normally.

Time off from work

We recommend you take at least two weeks off work to recover. If you have a more physically demanding job, more time may be needed.


The surgery is done with absorbable sutures, so there won’t be any stitches to take out. Our physicians do not use staples, so there won’t be any hatchmarks. You will have steri strips over the incisions for the first four to six weeks after surgery. Once the steri strips come off, we recommend silicone sheeting to aid in the healing process of your scars. You will wear the silicone for approximately three months.

Still have questions about recovering from body contouring surgery in Colombia? Contact our Patient Coordinator, or call our office at (+57) 312 545 55 69 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States , for advice you can trust.

Surgery After Weight Loss: Words to Know
  • Arm lift: A surgical procedure, also known as brachioplasty, to correct sagging of the upper arms.
  • Abdominoplasty: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
  • Breast implants: Medical device placed in your body to enhance an existing breast size or to reconstruct your breast. Breast implants can be filled with either salt water (saline) or silicone (elastic gel).
  • Breast lift: Also known as mastopexy, surgery to lift the breasts.
  • Breast contouring: A surgical procedure following massive weight loss to improve shape and tone and remove excess fat and skin.
  • Circumferential incision: A surgical incision around the body to remove the “belt” of excess skin and fat and additional incisions that may resemble a bikini bottom pattern.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin’s surface to reduce fullness.
  • Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
  • Lower body lift: Surgical procedure to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin and outer thighs.
  • Macerated skin: Excess skin that hangs and becomes wet or infected underneath.
  • Medial thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the inner thigh.
  • Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
  • Thigh lift: A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the thighs.
  • Tummy tuck: A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen.
Surgery After Weight Loss: Frequently Asked Questions

After major weight loss through bariatric surgery, you may be ready to take the next step and remove the loose skin with plastic surgery. Here are some of the common questions our plastic surgeons answer about plastic surgery after bariatric surgery or major weight loss.

If you have more specific questions about your options for surgery in Colombia, request a consultation online or call our office in Cartagena at (+57) 312 545 55 69 and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States.

Who are the best candidates for plastic surgery after weight loss?

The best candidates for surgery after weight loss are healthy non-smokers who have large amounts of excess skin and have been with an stable weight for the last 6 months.

Is there more risk for patients who have a history of obesity?

Patients with a history of obesity have a higher rate of complications than patients who have never been overweight. However, they also tend to benefit even more from plastic surgery because of their large amounts of extra skin.

What may a patient do to prepare for plastic surgery following major weight loss?

To prepare for surgery, patients should exercise and avoid smoking. Patients tend to recover more quickly when they are in good physical shape before surgery. Patients should also make sure they are nutritionally balanced. It’s common for bariatric patients to have vitamin or iron deficiencies, and dietary supplements are usually appropriate for them to take.

What happens if I gain the weight back?

It’s never a good idea to gain the weight back. Usually patients will still look better than they would have without the surgery, but obviously they’re not making the most of their opportunity. Throughout your journey and even after your weight loss and body contouring, the Premium Care Plastic Surgery team will be there to support you. We take great pride in our patients’ successes, and will be trusted and reliable partners throughout the process.

Is it possible to do more than one operation at a time?

Most of our weight loss patients have more than one procedure with each trip to the operating room. Multiple clinical studies have been published on the safety and efficacy of our techniques for these combined surgeries. Breast and abdominal surgery, or multiple facial procedures would be common examples of procedures to perform at the same time.

How many operations does the typical patient have following massive weight loss?

Planning the stages of plastic surgery for weight loss patients is highly individualized in our practice. It’s common for our patients to have 2 or 3 different days of surgery, with multiple procedures done at each stage. The age and health of the patient, as well as the scope of the procedures, are key considerations for planning the stages of surgery.

When does insurance cover plastic surgery after weight loss?

Medical insurance frequently covers lower abdominal skin removal (panniculectomy or abdominoplasty) when the patient’s excessive skin is so severe that it creates medical problems requiring treatment. Examples include rashes, sores, or infections in the folds of skin. However, patient eligibility and benefits vary greatly between policies.

Do I need to reach my ideal weight to be a candidate for plastic surgery?

In a perfect world, it would be nice for all patients to be at their ideal weight and to remain at their ideal weight. That’s not realistic for many patients. Carefully chosen procedures may improve a patient’s ability to continue to lose weight and enjoy their lives even before they reach their goal weight. Examples include removing large amounts of hanging skin from the abdomen or fat from the inner thighs if it inhibits the patient’s ability to exercise. Plastic surgery is definitely not a substitute for weight loss, but it may be a powerful tool to help patients achieve their goals.

What is the optimal timing for plastic surgery following weight loss?

For patients following bariatric surgery, we typically allow for their weight loss to plateau for several months before scheduling plastic surgery. For patients who are losing weight through diet and exercise, we will sometimes operate earlier if the patient’s need and desire for surgery is great. Selected plastic surgery procedures may act as a powerful catalyst for the patient to continue to work hard to achieve their weight goals.

What if we want to have children in the future?

The female body changes quite a bit following pregnancy. It’s reasonable for mostweight loss patients to wait until after pregnancy for procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast lift. If the weight loss is substantial, however, the loose skin may be a much bigger problem for the patient. In these cases plastic surgery may help a patient’s self-esteem in a way that is beneficial to them before having children. In abdominoplasty cases before pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are usually flat enough that they do not require tightening. This speeds the recovery from the surgery.

What are some of the risks of plastic surgery after weight loss?

Some of the more common risks of plastic surgery following weight loss include bleeding, seromas (fluid collections) and delayed wound healing. Patients with complications require more care and recovery time, but they still benefit tremendously from the surgery. Venous blood clots in the legs are also possible. They are reduced in frequency with early ambulation following surgery.

Discover what plastic surgery after weight loss can do for you. Request a consultation online or by contacting our office at (+57) 312 545 55 69 in Cartagena and (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States.

Body Contouring Surgery after Weight Loss and Medical Tourism in Colombia

Dr. Alex Campbell and Dr. Carolina Restrepo perform body contouring procedures for patients that travel to Cartagena from many international locations. Medical tourism in Cartagena has arisen as a premiere choice for excellence and value in surgical care, especially for patients from the United States and Europe, where healthcare costs have become disproportionate.

Another reason for this is its proximity to the sea, its elevation and peaceful atmosphere, which helps postoperative care for any surgery to be faster, more comfortable and less painful for patients. It also offers the possibility to alternate medical activity and enjoy the city before or after the hospital procedure.

Direct flights from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Panama City make the trip to beautiful Cartagena exceptionally easy, and one-stop connections through these major airports make travel from Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Chicago and New York relatively hassle free as well.

Cartagena is a gorgeous Spanish colonial city set on the stunning Caribbean Sea. Our combination of spectacular architecture, luxury hotels, beachside setting and creates an atmosphere that is unique for patients seeking cosmetic surgery. Our business model allows us to charge patients far less than our competitors and our world-class training, state of the art facilities, and specialized staff ensure patients the utmost in safety and quality.

Our virtual consultations allow for relationship building, clinical evaluations, and accurate decision making with our patients. Our medical concierge works with patients to simplify all planning and travel. Once in Cartagena, our entire team facilitates all processes of care. You and your surgeon will agree on final plans for success at our beautiful office in Bocagrande, and all procedures take place at our accredited surgical facility only minutes away.

Recovery takes place in privacy in beautiful Cartagena, where we have reinvented and refined the post-operative experience. You will receive the utmost in personal attention and service, for an enjoyable recovery that will deliver great results. For our patients seeking body contouring, we hope that Premium Care Plastic Surgery in Bocagrande, Cartagena will provide the ultimate experience for plastic surgery patients.

You deserve to look your best after all the effort you’ve put into losing those unwanted pounds. A consultation at Premium Care Plastic Surgery is your opportunity to discuss your specific goals with our surgeons. Schedule your consultation online or call us at (+57) 312 545 55 in Cartagena (+1) 305 848 1909 in United States.