Weight Loss Surgery vs. Body Contouring Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery vs. Body Contouring Surgery

Weight loss surgery has been proven to be the most effective way to help overweight individuals safely lose weight and successfully keep it off through maintaining a healthy diet and physical activity. Weight loss surgery is not automatically for anyone who is overweight, in fact, there is a whole criterion for eligibility and a host of pre-operative requirements that must be met before someone is considered a likely weight loss surgery candidate.

You are considered as having a “normal” weight or being overweight based on your body mass index (BMI), which calculates your height and weight to determine your level of body fat, overall fitness, and your risk of developing chronic diseases. A healthy body mass index should fall between 18.5 and 24.9, while scores between 25-30 are considered overweight or obese respectfully.

While your BMI could be high even if you are not overweight, a wider than average waistline can be a good indicator of obesity and the risk of related diseases. One commonality that almost all weight loss candidates have is a BMI of 35+ with at least one or more obesity-related comorbidities such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, joint diseases, sleep apnea, and diabetes. Obesity has been shown to be a predictive indicator of type 2 diabetes and other severe comorbidities that affect an overweight person’s overall life.


Weight loss surgery is especially recommended for sever obese individuals with a BMI of 40 and above and for the success of the operation, patients are required to meet with a multidisciplinary team of experts, including a dietitian, mental health counselor, and a Bariatric surgeon who specializes in the care of obese people. Patients require significant counseling both before and after surgery as well as information about how to start an exercise routine and prepare foods to keep track of their caloric intake. The role of the surgeon is to develop and advise patients on all the possible weight loss surgeries including their risks and the expected results.

Lap banding, gastric balloon, gastric bypass, and gastric sleeve are the most common types of weight loss surgeries. They contribute to weight loss through restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold and by reducing the number of calories and nutrients the body absorbs through a process known as malabsorption.

  • In Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgeon or gastric bypass is a two-part operation. The first part creates a small pouch in the upper section of the stomach, then the lower part of the small intestine is then attached directly to the small stomach pouch so that food bypasses most of the stomach and the upper part of your small intestine. Consequently, the body absorbs fewer calories, and the small stomach limits the amount of food that you can eat and drink
  • Lap-banding or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is less invasive and involves placing an inflatable silicone band around the upper part of the stomach that divides the stomach in two to restrict the amount of food that your stomach can hold
  • Sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive weight loss surgery where a surgeon removes about 80% of the stomach to leave a small banana-shaped pouch that limits the amount of food the stomach can hold
  • The gastric balloon is an incision-less procedure where a deflated silicon capsule is inserted in the stomach, then filled with a saline solution to reduce the amount of food your stomach can hold significantly

If any of the above procedures seem like a good option for you, talk to your doctor or dietician who can help you get picked for these life-saving surgeries.

Body Contouring Surgeries

These types of procedures are recommended for individuals, who after losing weight through surgery, dieting or exercising, are left with loose skin around the stomach, underarms, thighs, or face areas. Body contouring surgeries are considered a form of elective surgery because they are non-emergency surgical procedures that are solely for cosmetic purposes and carried out to improve an individual’s physical shape and appearance.

During body contouring surgeries, cosmetic surgeons use somebody sculpting techniques to get rid of excess skin and fat (after a dramatic weight loss) that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Such methods include liposuction, body lift surgery, abdominoplasty, augmentation to mention a few

  • There are different types of liposuction or lypoplasty procedures, and while they don’t involve the removal of excess skin, the procedure permanently removes undesirable deposits of body fat in specific parts of the body through incisions made under the skin
  • Body lift surgery is for individuals with excess skin, fat, and other tissues that “hang around” in various parts of the body after substantial weight loss. Such surgeries include, but are not limited to the surgical removal of excess skin, belt lipectomy, tummy tuck, arm and thigh lifts or reduction procedures.
  • Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck procedures are arguably the most common body contouring surgeries because the abdomen is the first place that suffers from too much flab or excess skin after significant weight loss that does not diminish with diet or exercise. Abdominoplasty procedure takes between 1-5 hours depending on the desired results to flatten the abdomen, remove excess skin as well as fat and above all else, to help in tightening muscles in the abdominal wall.
  • Augmentation involves the insertion of implants to enhance the shape, size, and appearance of different areas of the body, such as the rear end, leg calf, pecs, breasts, chin, etc. Breast augmentation is probably the most common in this category for men and women who have lost breast or chest volume due to weight loss, pregnancy or aging.

Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight, your best option would be to consider one of the listed weight loss procedures. Body contouring surgery will be the next step to help you improve your physical shape after you have achieved a healthy weight loss and exhausted other methods of taming excess fat and skin.