Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert and Scottsdale, AZ

Body contouring after massive weight loss is a collection of cosmetic procedures that remove loose skin and excess fat to improve a patient’s overall shape. With massive weight loss, whether from surgery or from medications like semaglutide, patients are often left with large amounts of extra skin that can only be removed through surgery. Body contouring treatment plans are typically a combination of body lift, abdominoplasty, thigh lift, arm lift, breast lift, and liposuction. Since every patient is different, Scottsdale Plastics focuses on personalized treatment plans to address specific concerns and provide the best care.

Dr. Robert G. Bonillas is an accomplished plastic surgeon practicing in the Scottsdale and Phoenix metropolitan areas. With experience in all areas of surgical body contouring, his empathetic nature positively impacts every patient interaction. If you have recently reached your goal weight and are ready to contour your new body, contact Scottsdale Plastics today to schedule a consultation. Call our front office directly at (480) 245-6380 to speak with us about your options.

What Happens to the Body After Weight Loss?

After losing substantial weight, your skin and tissue underneath it often lack the elasticity to shrink down to your new body shape. The skin around the abdomen, legs, and arms can look deflated because the subcutaneous fat is no longer there to support it. It is frustrating to do the work and reach a healthier weight, only to be left with excess skin that negatively impacts your natural contours and self-image. To remedy this, there are many surgical options that remove and tighten skin, reduce stubborn left-over fat, and add structure and lift to the most affected areas. (1)

Many massive weight loss patients experience issues with self-esteem and intimacy because of excess skin. Studies have shown that these patients often request surgery to address different areas at the same time. This both shortens a patient’s recovery time and increases their satisfaction rate. (2) Patients often have specific areas that they want to address to reach their goals. To improve overall contour, Dr. Bonillas offers combination surgeries like the body lift and the mommy makeover to accommodate said patients and increase efficacy. Each patient is given compassionate care to improve their body contour in a safe and effective way.

Body Contouring Procedures

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

During a tummy tuck, Dr. Bonillas removes large amounts of skin and excess fat from the abdomen and repositions the belly button for a more natural-looking contour. First, Dr. Bonillas makes a hip-to-hip incision along the “bikini line” and carefully undermines the skin around the lower abdomen. He preserves the belly button, removes the excess skin, and redrapes the remaining tissue. Abdominoplasty also often involves suturing the abdominal muscles back into their original position to strengthen a patient’s core.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift or thighplasty addresses excess skin on the upper legs. Depending on the patient, Dr. Bonillas performs surgery on the inner or outer thighs to contour and improve their shape. He removes skin and tightens the remaining tissue, then carefully sutures the incisions in discrete areas like along the hip or along the inner thigh.

Arm Lift

To address sagging skin along the upper arms, Dr. Bonillas performs an arm lift. Also called brachioplasty, the procedure uses an incision near the armpit to remove skin and reshape the upper arms. If the skin laxity is severe, this incision can run from the armpit down toward the elbow to achieve the ideal contour.

Breast lift

After massive weight loss, the breasts often lose elasticity and start to sag. To remedy this, a breast lift removes skin from the lower poles and repositions the nipple-areola complex. This procedure uses incisions around the areola, vertically toward the lower crease, and along the chest wall. Dr. Bonillas assesses the breasts to determine which incision pattern will achieve the optimal shape.


At Scottsdale Plastics, Dr. Bonillas performs VASER liposuction to remove excess fat for his patients. This system utilizes ultrasonic energy to break up pockets of fat without harming the important anatomy surrounding it. He inserts a special VASER probe through tiny incisions in the skin. The probe emits focused ultrasound, creating vibrations that damage fat cells. The emulsified fat is then suctioned out with long hollow needles, effectively slimming the area and removing stubborn pockets of fat.

Body Lift

For patients in need of overall contouring for large sections of the body, a body lift removes tissue from multiple areas in one surgery. A popular option is a lower body lift, which concentrates skin and tissue removal circumferentially around the abdomen, back, and buttocks.

Body lifts typically incorporate liposuction to ease the removal of fat. This also gives the patient the option to add a fat transfer to their procedure. For instance, a Brazilian Butt Lift uses fat transfer to add volume to the buttocks. Dr. Bonillas first performs liposuction, then the fat is cleaned by centrifugation and safely transferred to the buttock area.

Mommy Makeover

Another combination procedure, the mommy makeover typically includes a tummy tuck, breast lift or augmentation, Brazilian Butt Lift, and thigh lift. This procedure focuses on the midsection and other areas that are commonly affected by pregnancy. Dr. Bonillas customizes mommy makeovers for each patient to address their specific concerns, and there are many benefits of addressing multiple aspects of body contouring in one surgery.

If you are curious about plastic surgery, our company blog Beauty Talk, covers many other treatments and procedures that Dr. Bonillas regularly performs.

Benefits of Body Contouring

After working hard to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, patients are often left with problems that they did not foresee. Excess skin and tissue directly affect their body image, often causing irritation or infection, making it hard to find clothes that fit well.

Body contouring provides patients with:

  • Improved overall body contour
  • Better proportions
  • Smoother midsection
  • Decreased skin irritation
  • Improved quality of life
  • Increased self-assurance
  • More body confidence
  • Easier time finding clothes

Any one of these procedures provides patients the opportunity to finally appreciate their new body without the excess skin. They can improve both their social and intimate life and give them the confidence they have been missing.

Ideal Candidates

To qualify for body contouring procedures, you must be in good overall health with no serious medical conditions. It is also important to keep a stable weight for at least 6 to 12 months before receiving any surgery. Weight fluctuation afterward will negatively affect results. If you smoke, we require you to quit at least 6 weeks before your procedures as it slows down the healing process. You must also have reasonable and optimistic expectations.

If you are considering life-changing body contouring surgery, then you must also be willing and committed to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle to preserve your results. This requires a proper fitness routine and a nutritious diet.

Personal Consultation with Dr. Bonillas

An important step in your process is meeting with Dr. Bonillas for a private consultation. He will perform a comprehensive examination and all necessary blood tests to determine your health. Please arrive at this meeting prepared to talk about your medical history, weight loss specifics, and lifestyle. He will carefully assess your treatment areas and create a personalized procedure plan to address them. The consultation will provide time for you to ask questions and voice your concerns to Dr. Bonillas. This will help him treat you and get you closer to your desired contour. At the end of the meeting, a Scottsdale Plastics staff member will assist in scheduling your surgery and follow-up appointments.

Surgical Preparation

Avoid alcohol, tobacco, nicotine products, and NSAIDs leading up to your body contouring surgery. These substances negatively impact your ability to heal and increase bleeding. Dr. Bonillas recommends altering or completely stopping certain daily medications. He provides this information during your consultation.

Before surgery, you should:

  • Pick up prescriptions
  • Prepare your home for recovery
  • Ask a loved one for transportation and support
  • Prepare healthy, easy-to-heat meals
  • Stay hydrated


Depending on your treatment plan, body contouring surgery after massive weight loss may require staying in our surgery center overnight to be monitored, particularly after a body lift. Your total recovery time is determined by the procedures performed and your overall health. For instance, if you receive a mommy makeover, your recovery will look different from someone who receives only thighplasty. If you have drains, Dr. Bonillas provides detailed care instructions to keep them clean. Avoid bending and heavy lifting to prevent straining your incisions. To promote a speedy recovery and good circulation, go on gentle walks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.


There will be visible scarring in your treatment areas. This is permanent but fades with time. Make sure to apply sun protection when outside. Maintaining a stable weight after surgery helps you preserve your new contours and prevents further skin stretching. Your proportions will be more balanced and your skin more taut.

It is important to remember that some patients may not be able to address all areas of concern with one procedure. You may need to schedule additional surgery after you are completely healed to achieve the results you desire.

Cost of Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss in Scottsdale

The cost of body contouring varies between patients. Dr. Bonillas will explain your procedure plan in detail, down to the estimated total cost, during your private consultation. To schedule yours, call our Scottsdale office at (480) 245-6380 or fill out our online form.


  1. Boswell CB. Body Contouring Following Massive Weight Loss. Missouri Medicine. 2010;107(3):189-194. Accessed February 22, 2024.
  2. Ibrahiem SMS. Investigating the Safety of Multiple Body Contouring Procedures in Massive Weight Loss Patients. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2022;46(6). doi: