top of page


What is body contouring surgery?

Plastic surgery after dramatic weight loss, also known as post-bariatric surgery or body contouring, reduces excess skin and fat left behind after major weight loss, improving the tone of the underlying tissue. Its goal is to restore attractive proportions by removing the sagging skin around the face, neck, upper arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, and thighs that creates a misshapen contour. Although these procedures leave scars, most patients find them to be an acceptable tradeoff for an improved appearance.

“Body contouring surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfil someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image, especially those coming from social media. Choosing a procedure based on “what’s new” is never a medically sound decision. Hearing about a procedure on television, through an advertisement or online does not necessarily mean it is the best procedure for you.”

Who is a good candidate for body contouring surgery?

In general, you may be a good candidate for body contouring surgery if you have undergone bariatric surgery or significant weight loss through dieting, have significant skin laxity, excess skin, ptosis (sagginess) of different areas of your body, including the face and neck, breasts, arms, abdomen, back and thighs, your overhanging skin in your body restricts your mobility and/or causes painful chafing, rashes or infection, you are distressed by sagging skin in your body, your weight has been stable with no further weight loss expected, you are physically healthy, nonsmoker or have stopped smoking recently and if you have realistic expectations.

What should I expect during a consultation for body contouring surgery?

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Dr Ricardo will evaluate you as a candidate for body contouring surgery and clarify what approach is best for you. Alternative and additional treatments may be considered, once he understands your goals and medical condition. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation and be prepared to discuss your surgical goals, medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, and previous surgeries.

Dr Ricardo will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, evaluate the elasticity of your skin, take photographs, discuss the approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures and tell you whether your expectations are in line with typical results, discuss any risks or potential complications and share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours.

The success and safety of your body contouring surgery depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. It's very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement about your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr Ricardo.

How should I prepare for body contouring surgery?

In preparing for body contouring surgery, you may be asked to get cleared for surgery by your bariatric surgeon and/or primary care doctor, get lab testing or a medical evaluation, take certain medications or adjust your current medications, stop smoking in advance of surgery and avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.

The surgery will be performed in an accredited hospital and requires likely spending at least two days in the hospital for observation unless you and Dr Ricardo have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. You must arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you the first night following the hospital’s discharge.


Dr Ricardo and the entire staff will provide thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you may have. The goal is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your surgical experience as easy, comfortable, and safe as possible.

What are the steps of a body contouring procedure?

Step 1 – Anaesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anaesthesia. Dr Ricardo will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – Surgical procedure

The procedures necessary to achieve your goals will be defined along with a plan for the timing of these procedures. Sometimes multiple procedures can be performed at the same time, while, other times, a staggered approach may be recommended. Because each procedure can impact the outcome of the next, careful surgical planning is required.

After dramatic weight loss, the goal of plastic surgery is to tighten loose and sagging skin. Your options include lower body lift, tummy tuck, facelift, liposuction, breast lift, breast reduction, male breast reduction (or gynecomastia), thigh lift, and arm lift.

Step 3 – Closing the incisions

Deep sutures within underlying tissues help to form and support the newly shaped contours. Skin incisions are closed either with absorbable or non-absorbable sutures that are removed within two weeks following the surgery.

Step 4 – See the results

The smoother, tighter contours that result from a body-contouring surgery are apparent almost immediately following your procedure, although there will likely be swelling and bruising. The new appearance may take as long as a year to fully appear.

What should I expect during my body contouring recovery?

During your body contouring recovery, dressings or bandages may be applied to your incisions, and you may be wrapped in a compression garment that controls swelling and supports the suspended tissues, and smoothens and flattens the skin. Small, thin tubes may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, 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 Dr Ricardo. Remember to always follow his instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

The surgical incisions mustn't be subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. The pull of gravity and the actions of walking, sitting, and bending put stress on the sutured areas, so you should make careful and deliberate movements. Initial wound healing may take 10 to 14 days. Sutures will be removed when it is appropriate. You should be ready to return to work and normal activity after 10-14 days. However, you must realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies based on what your surgery entails

What results should I expect after my body contouring surgery?

The results of your body contouring surgery are visible almost immediately. However, it may take a year or more to see the final result. Surgical contouring procedures require patience and endurance.

Body contouring procedures are surgical procedures and they require extensive incisions. Incision length and pattern depend on the amount and location of excess skin to be removed, as well as surgical judgment. Advanced techniques usually allow incisions to be placed in strategic locations where they can be hidden by most types of clothing and swimsuits.

Following a body contouring, skin quality is improved both in appearance and feel. 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 remain.

Your clothes will fit better and your body will appear slimmer, more shapely and proportional with a curvaceous appearance.

bottom of page