Melody Zielke had bariatric surgery at the DMC Harper Bariatric Medicine Institute. Within a year, she had lost approximately 120 pounds, and kept it off. She was enjoying life again, but with one lingering issue. She experienced sagging skin. Her skin has been stretched for many years, and now, had no place to go. Melody sought help from another DMC expert, Dr. Bruce Chau. Dr. Chau is a cosmetic surgeon, with much experience in the kind of procedure Melody needed to remove the excess skin, so patients can look better and clothes fit better. Most importantly, the sagging skin can cause a lot of problems for a patient.
“Basically, we want to remove all that extra skin so they can look better, but oftentimes the amount of skin is so excessive that it becomes a problem,” says Dr. Chau. “It can become a hygiene problem, because of the moisture. It can lead to problems including yeast infections, or it can interfere with mobility. Sometimes it becomes just weight – too much weight to carry, and they develop back problems.”
Melody’s options included an abdominoplasty (sometimes called a “tummy tuck”) – this is used when the excess skin is mainly in the front of the body. The surgeon makes an incision from side to side and removes the skin from the front of the body. This allows the skin and muscles underneath to be tightened up.
The Body Lift, or belt lipectomy, is used when there is sagging skin in the back of the body as well as the front. An incision allows the surgeon to pull the skin up like a pair of pants to tighten the whole body.
Liposuction can be used in conjunction with these procedures to remove excess fat.
Melody had the traditional abdominoplasty, to remove the excess skin and tighten up the abdominal muscles. Dr. Chau will employ his skill as a plastic surgeon to tailor the procedure to melody’s body, to make the incision look as inconspicuous as possible, and try to make the skin as smooth as possible.
“I had a great recovery,” says Melody. “I’m ecstatic – I really can’t explain in words. I’ve hopefully added some years to my life, and that helps me walk into a room with my self-esteem.”
“Patients are very, very happy to wake up with the skin gone,” concludes Dr. Chau. “And that’s a very gratifying type of surgery we perform for the patient. It’s what we strive for.”
Click here to learn more about the Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Bruce Chau, and to request an appointment.
Click here to learn more about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital.