Body Contouring: Weight Loss and Skin Removal

After losing a significant amount of weight, extra skin can make it difficult to manage a healthy, active lifestyle or a more sleek and toned appearance. Body contouring can remove excess skin and fat tissue from one or more areas of the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, chest, arms or breasts. 


Body contouring involves many choices. One of the most important is choosing a surgeon you can trust. There are several options here
in Rochester.

Olmsted Medical Center (OMC) offers reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Srdan Babovic and the newest member of the OMC plastic surgery department, Dr. Ghassan Mehio, share a passion for helping people look their best. Dr. Babovic has been a practicing plastic surgeon since 2000 and is named one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons according to Consumers’ Research Council of America (Reconstructive Surgery Liposuction Facts, Tummy Tuck). OMC cooperates with other doctors and specialists in many medical groups, including Mayo Clinic and private practitioners. 

Mayo Clinic has a number of skilled physicians who perform a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. Mayo Clinic surgeons are all board-certified in their specialties, and many have earned national reputations for their expertise. 

Jacobson Plastic Surgery, the first private practice surgery center located in northwest Rochester, opened in November 2016.
Dr. Steven Jacobson is board-certified in both general and plastic surgery and is the current president of the Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Jacobson is experienced in facial rejuvenation, as well as aesthetic and reconstructive breast and body surgery. He is well-known internationally for his progressive techniques and, more importantly, his patient-centered approach.


Body contouring is often performed in stages. Your health condition and goals, as well as your plastic surgeon’s best judgment, will all influence your surgical plan.

An initial consultation can be completed in about two hours. During the consultation, patients meet with a surgeon and talk about expectations and desired outcomes for the surgery. At OMC, Vectra XT® 3D, an imaging system, is used during the consultation to help patients visualize the effects of face, breast and body procedures. 

Plastic surgery is not just an operation to Drs. Mehio and Babovic; it is about the journey with the patient. Dr. Babovic explains that it could take up to two years to achieve the desired body contouring results, depending on the number of procedures necessary. Typically, the first body contouring procedure is a circumferential body lift which consists of a tummy tuck and back tuck to remove excess skin and fat tissue from the mid-section. Healing from the circumferential lift takes an initial two weeks until the inflammatory chemicals released by the body have cleared. You can fully resume normal activities and exercise six weeks post-surgery. The next body contouring procedure can be performed approximately six months later. Depending on your surgical plan, secondary procedures include breast lift, arm lift, thigh lift and facelift. 

Body contouring procedures will always leave a scar because of the large incisions required to remove excess skin. However, Dr. Babovic says, “It is our job to hide it well.” At OMC, a radio frequency surgical technology system called a PEAK PlasmaBlade® is used to make the incisions. Benefits include reduced blood loss, minimal internal damage to the skin and a significantly reduced healed scar width. 


Body contouring procedures are highly customized to the individual patient, and costs can vary. Many insurance companies consider body contouring surgery cosmetic and do not cover the procedure, making it an out of pocket expense. 

An important factor in deciding whether to have a body contouring procedure is to have an understanding of what will happen before, during and after the procedure. Meet with a surgeon for a consultation, so you know what results to expect. Consultations can range from $150-$300. 

Cosmetic surgery is often done to improve physical appearance, but for some, the benefits are more than cosmetic. Imagine you have lost 100 pounds and your body no longer matches the way you feel inside because you still feel “flabby” due to excess skin. Getting rid of that extra skin can improve your quality of life, self-esteem and improve self-confidence. These added benefits can be more dramatic than any physical improvement.
Dr. Mehio explains, “There are so many ways to help patients, but this is one of the few surgery professions where you get to give back to
the patient.” 


Body contouring is also done non-invasively utilizing laser technology. Dr. Vicky Hagstrom provides VASER® Shape non-invasive body contouring services through anew in Minnetonka and Rochester. 

According to American Health & Beauty website, the Vaser Shape device is an alternative to current non-surgical contouring devices that use laser power. Vaser Shape uses two ultrasound heads that are positioned next to each other and the ultrasound energy converges like a V below the surface of the skin. Through this process, the fat tissue dies and the body passes the fat out naturally.

VASER Shape is not for those who have a lot of loose skin or are very overweight. It is recommended for those who have a small area of fat to lose in areas such as the abdomen, arms, legs, back of legs and more. For patients who want to avoid surgery, VASER Shape is a viable option; however, it is not a replacement for liposuction or skin tightening procedures. 

Essence Skin Clinic offers SculpSure, another non-invasive body contouring treating areas of fat to help you achieve the shape you want. SculpSure® is a laser fat removal system that works by directing laser energy into your treated areas. This laser energy heats the fat cells, permanent destroying the fat. 

Depending on your needs and degree of body sculpting, consult your physician or medspa professional for a consultation today. You could be wearing your dream swimsuit this summer.  

Brittney Marschall works for Olmsted County and is a freelance writer.