Many people who have been successful losing large amounts of weight treat themselves to cosmetic surgery. Having cosmetic surgery after weight loss is much better than having the procedure done before weight loss because the risks are much lower and the improvements will be more noticeable. Post-weight loss cosmetic surgery can also actually help an individual's chances of losing the last pounds of weight and keeping it off successfully in the long term.
Most types of cosmetic surgery after weight loss include some form of excess skin removal. When very obese individuals lose a large amount of weight, the stretched skin does not usually snap back tightly and instead hangs in loose, uncomfortable folds. If the folds of extra skin are large enough, they can cause painful chafing, rashes, and even infections that may hinder the individual both mentally and physically from wanting to continue to exercise and lose the rest of the weight. Having the excess skin removed through cosmetic surgery can get rid of those mental and physical blocks to further weight loss and also provide a great reward for an individual who has worked so hard to lose weight and wants to finally enjoy his or her new body shape.
Having other kinds of cosmetic surgery after weight loss, such as a facelift or breast augmentation, may help add to an individual's self-esteem, improving the chances that he or she will continue to devote time and energy to self-improvement. It may also serve as an incentive against regaining the weight. The downside of this, however, might be the beginning of an addictive quest to reach perfection that can have unhealthy mental and physical consequences for the individual who feels the need to constantly tweak "imperfect" parts of his or her body.
Other drawbacks to having cosmetic surgery after weight loss include the risks, the cost, and the chance that some or all of the weight may be eventually regained. The risks of cosmetic surgery include infection, scars, and undesirable results that may or may not be worth the benefits for some individuals. Cosmetic surgery can also be quite expensive. Regaining the lost weight can stretch out the skin again after a skin removal procedure and can distort the effects of a facelift, breast augmentation, and other procedures. Due to the risks of the surgery and the expense, most people will not want to get the surgery twice even if weight is regained and then lost again, so it is extremely important to make sure that the initial weight loss will be long-term or permanent before investing in cosmetic surgery.