What Are the Pros and Cons of Cosmetic Surgery after a Gastric Bypass?

Lainie Petersen

For many people, cosmetic surgery after a gastric bypass is perceived as a necessary step due to the various changes in a person's body after a significant weight loss. In addition to addressing issues of loose skin and stretch marks, however, many individuals may also ask for additional procedures, such as Botox or breast augmentation, in order to improve their physical appearance. While it is understandable that a person who has lost a lot of weight might want to correct various real or perceived flaws, there remains some risk that an individual may develop what is sometimes known as a plastic surgery addiction, constantly seeking out new procedures in order to improve herself. In addition, cosmetic surgery is often expensive and is not always covered by insurance, making it an impractical option for some gastric bypass patients.

Cosmetic surgeries are often performed with a scalpel.
Cosmetic surgeries are often performed with a scalpel.

Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries are often performed on individuals who are extremely overweight and have not been successful at losing weight through diet and exercise programs. Typically, these procedures are regarded as last resorts, as they can have significant side effects for the patients who undergo them. Still, many of these procedures prove successful in helping people lose considerable amounts of weight.

Cosmetic surgeons have at least one consultation with each patient before they actually perform surgery.
Cosmetic surgeons have at least one consultation with each patient before they actually perform surgery.

In many instances, prolonged and extreme obesity can have permanent effects on the human body. For example, skin may be stretched and marked and does not always shrink down with the rest of the body. This can result in unattractive folds of loose skin that cannot only make it difficult for individuals to fit properly into clothes, but that are also susceptible to unpleasant and irritating rashes. In addition, other parts of the body, such as the thighs or tummy, may continue to appear flabby even after the patient achieves a normal body weight. For these reasons, patients may seek cosmetic surgery after a gastric bypass so as to address issues that significantly affect their appearance and well-being.

Even after such procedures, though, some individuals may want to make further alterations to their appearance. This may be because, after a lifetime of being overlooked because of their weight, they are now attempting to cope with receiving positive attention based on their appearance. They may be paying attention to how they look for the first time in their lives and may become hypercritical of their looks or believe that they can affect more positive changes in their lives just by undergoing more cosmetic surgery after a gastric bypass.

This type of demand for further aesthetic surgery may be indicative of the need for counseling and support during a period of adjustment. These patients should also consider that any type of surgery presents health risks, including the possibility of disfigurement. Given the cost of these procedures, patients should also be aware that paying for unnecessary surgery is not sound money management. As such, a gastric bypass patient may wish to carefully weigh these factors when deciding on undergoing additional surgery.

People who experience extreme weight loss can benefit from cosmetic surgery for skin folds.
People who experience extreme weight loss can benefit from cosmetic surgery for skin folds.

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