Toward the end of the year, many people tend to put on extra weight. Whether you place the blame on Thanksgiving and the holidays, or on the need to sit down and get extra work done, the fact is that your body will undergo changes as it distributes the excess fat. These changes can be drastic depending on how much weight's been gained.

Every year, Dr. Paul Pin gets plenty of questions from people in the Dallas, TX area about surgeries that can help with losing weight, removing fat, and improving their figure. Body contouring and shaping surgery is an ideal solution for some patients, though fat can be distributed throughout the body in different ways. Let's consider the changes to the body's appearance due to weight gain.

Changes to the Abdominal Area and Upper Torso

As people gain weight, excess fat tends to be centered around the abdomen, generally starting at the lower abdominal area and working up. This results in a large belly or gut protruding out from the rest of your body. Love handles at the sides of the belly are also a common problem with weight gain, even if it's just a few extra pounds.

Excess fat can also affect the appearance of the chest and flanks, making them appear flabby rather than defined. These changes to the upper torso are typically more pronounced in men than in women given the biologically different ways that people of different sexes store and accumulate fat.

Changes to the Buttocks, Hips, and Thighs

Extra fat also tends to accumulate around the hips and buttocks. This tends to be more pronounced in women than in men given the gendered differences in fat accumulation and distribution. Widening of the hips and buttocks can lead to a distinct pear shape.

Fat can also accumulate along the thighs and upper portions of the legs. Again, this type of fat distribution is more common in women than in men. Weight gain that impacts these lower parts of the body can result a thicker, rounder, or fuller figure.

Changes to the Shoulders and Arms

The upper extremities can be affected by weight gain as well. Fat can wind up stored in the shoulders and along the arms in both men and women. This leads to flabby or soft-looking upper arms and thicker forearms. Any previous muscle definition in the arms is generally concealed by the extra body fat.

Changes to the Neck and Face

As fat is distributed throughout the body, it will inevitably result in changes to the face. The fat tends to be pronounced along the neckline and the area beneath the chin, resulting in a rounder, broader face. The definition of your cheekbones may wind up concealed by the extra fat that's been amassed.

When Is Body Contouring Surgery an Option?

Cosmetic surgery should not be considered a means of weight loss. Body contouring surgery is intended to help patients who've lost weight through natural means by tightening loose skin. Even a targeted fat removal procedure like liposuction is only recommended for patients who've first attempted to lose as much excess body fat as possible through diet and exercise.

With that in mind, be sure to speak with your general practitioner about ways to modify your diet and increase your physical activity level. This can help you lose weight gradually and feel healthier overall. If you suffer from stretch marks, sagging skin, and just a little bit of unwanted fat after losing weight through natural means, that's when it's a good time to consider body contouring surgery.

Contact Dr. Paul Pin

If you would like to learn more about improving your body contour and looking trimmer and more athletic, be sure to contact an experienced plastic surgeon. Dr. Pin will give you the answers you need to look your best.