The road from the beginning of the decision to make weight loss happen…to bariatric surgery…to the final steps of body contouring plastic surgery is a difficult and long journey. Often, this is a process that has evolved over years. Not only has pounds and inches been lost but your lifestyle has hopefully changed forever. For many, this process may have been the most difficult commitment of their lives. Many start this journey, but only some will make it all the way.
Not that you have done your best to look and be healthy, now what? For some patients, there will remain a disconnect between how they look and how they still see themselves. Changes in the shape of the body, clothing options, scars, relationships with others, and memories of the ordeal may leave one on a rollercoaster of emotions for some time after. This is not abnormal and you may need support as you go through this ‘final phase’. Support groups, counseling, and sharing your experience with others are all good ways to work through these emotions as you remodel your self-image.
As a plastic surgeon, my biggest observation and words of advice are that body contouring is not the cure for a poor self-image or any form of depression. It is designed to be helpful, and often is greatly so, but persistent down feelings after the euphoria of plastic surgery passes may require some form of treatment or professional help. I do know based on my own patient experiences that many body contouring patients go on to have very normal and quite productive lives.
Body contouring through bariatric plastic surgery can be quite liberating, removing a lot of physical limitations. These physical changes will result in other changes as well, particularly in relationships and in how people interact and deal with you. And for the most part, these are quite positive changes. But expect a few bumps along the road and not every change that you make will make everyone happy. Not everyone around you can adapt and change with you. That is just one of the conundrums of life.
Embrace your new body and your new self. What you do from this point on will now be determined by what lies between your ears, not by what surrounds them.
Dr. Barry Eppley