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Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss

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Skin removal surgery after weight loss

At 23 years old, Brittany embarked on an incredible weight loss journey that changed her life. But after losing over 300 pounds, she was left with folds of extra skin that caused her pain, discomfort, and limited her ability to lead a fulfilling life. After her claims for insurance coverage were denied, Brittany turned to crowdfunding and raised over $11,500 to remove her excess skin.

The Ins And Outs Of Bariatric Skin Removal Surgery

Bariatric surgery can be a very effective way for people who are obese and have failed at traditional weight loss tactics to lose large amounts of weight. When done in combination with a commitment to healthy lifestyle changes, it can be a life-changing and even life-saving process.

But it can also create another issue for recipients of the surgery: excess skin.

Loose, saggy skin can be a functional problem, said Matthew Ranzer, MD, FACS, a surgeon with OSF HealthCare who specializes in plastic surgery. Your clothes dont fit well, and skin rubbing can cause irritation, pain and discomfort. We can remove the excess skin, which is creating unwanted problems, and give you back your normal contour.

People considering bariatric surgery and skin surgery should educate themselves before pursuing treatment options to make sure they handle their weight loss in a manner that is as safe as possible, to understand the requirements for success and to establish reasonable expectations for their results.

Surgery is not a magic wand, Dr. Ranzer said. We cannot undue what has happened to your body from weight gain and weight loss. We can restore the normal contours of your body, but it requires surgery, which means risk and scars. Most patients do very well, and complications are infrequent, but they do occur.

How Do I Prepare For Excess Skin Removal Surgery After Significant Weight Loss

Preparing for surgery after significant weight loss at Cleveland Clinic Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center includes discussing a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle with your plastic surgeon, including:

  • Why you want the treatment, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Your medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Your use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.

Your Cleveland Clinic plastic surgeon may also:

  • Evaluate your general health and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photos of your body for your medical record
  • Discuss your body contouring treatment options
  • Discuss likely expected outcomes of body contouring treatment and risks or potential complications.

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What Is The Surgery Like

You after weight loss surgery will be performed under general anesthesia in our accredited surgical facility. You will most likely be required to spend the night in the hospital so you can be monitored. The recovery following this surgery can be a slow process. While the post-surgical results can be life-changing for many weight loss patients, scarring is an unfortunate part of this process.

We will make every attempt during surgery to minimize scarring as much as possible. To achieve the best possible results and to ensure your results are not compromised, you should adhere to a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and exercise.

Am I A Good Candidate For Skin Removal Surgery

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  • You have reached your goal weight and your weight has remained stable for at least 6 months. Improved body contours from skin removal surgery should last for many years, but significant weight fluctuations after surgery can negatively impact results
  • You are in good general health. This is for your safety certain medical conditions can increase risks of surgery.
  • You have realistic expectations about surgery. Skin removal can dramatically improve your appearance but will not give you a perfect body.
  • You understand that you may have visible scars when wearing certain garments, such as swimsuits.
  • You are able to take several weeks off to recover.

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Problems Caused By Hanging Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

Losing a hundred pounds or more means that you may be left with saggy skin in a number of places. Many people assume the excess tissue only exists on the abdomen. The extra skin can also appear on your arms, breasts, thighs, and buttocks. The abdomen just happens to be the area that proves the most troubling for many people. Not only is the saggy skin that remains after bariatrics a constant reminder of your former obese self, but there are other short and long-term problems, as well.

Mobility: When excess fat occurs on the abdomen, it tends to overhang, causing a fold or apron of skin. Medically, this saggy abdominal skin is referred to as a pannus . Having the extra skin can make it extra hard to move around.

Sitting: Having excess skin on your buttocks can make sitting awkward or even painful.

Rashes: Having a pannus can lead to painful rashes that never seem to heal and cause constant irritation, particularly in hot weather.

Lowered Body Image: Having all that excess skin can make wearing some clothing impossible. You arent able to celebrate your weight loss and may feel badly about your body. You may even hide away from social situations, the very behaviors you thought you would kick by choosing weight loss surgery.

Q: How Do Patients Benefit From The Collaboration Between Temples Bariatric And Plastic Surgery Teams

Dr. Jones: We have a long history of collaboration with the bariatric program to serve patients who have had bariatric surgery and then want plastic surgery. We believe this collaboration benefits our patients. We are part of the same team, so the transition of care is seamless.

The Temple Bariatric Program offers proven weight-loss surgery procedures, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries.

Temple Plastic Surgery offers all the latest procedures, carefully listening to you, explaining your options and working with you to achieve your desired results.

If you want to know more about bariatric surgery, consider attending our free online seminar. Learn about the qualifications for bariatric surgery and find out if you may be a candidate.

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How Much Does Excess Skin Removal Surgery Cost

The price of skin removal surgery will vary depending on the type of procedure and location. Factors such as your surgeon and where you live in relation to the medical facility have an effect on the final price as well. In some cases people want only one area addressed while others may be looking to get rid of all their skin issues. It is difficult to give an exact price having to take into consideration so many factors, but costs are anywhere between a few thousand and tens of thousands of dollars. Our table below might be helpful in getting an estimate on how much would cost to remove the skin excess from different areas.

Type of Skin Removal Procedure Average Cost
Upper Arm Lift $4,000 to $12,000

While most insurance companies will not cover any cosmetic procedures, some may pay for skin-related surgeries. If youre considering surgery to improve your appearance and its not necessary due to health concerns or they are problems that can be treated without having surgery then expect to pay the bill yourself. However, if these operations are intended as corrective measures then speak with an agent about getting insurance coverage.

The cost of surgery will vary depending on a number of factors, but according to a article patients should be expecting $15,000 to $17,000 for abdominal and lower body surgeries. Patients who opt for arms or upper-bodied procedures can expect their surgical fee plus hospitalization costs at around $7,000 to $9,000.

What Is Body Contouring Surgery After Significant Weight Loss

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Losing 100 pounds or more is a major achievement. But once youve reached your goal, you might find that your new healthier, thinner body needs some additional fine-tuning. Thats because large amounts of excess skin that have been stretched around the abdomen, arms, legs, breasts and face may have lost its elasticity. After significant weight loss, the skin often fails to shrink back to its former size and shape.

Plastic surgeons at Cleveland Clinic’s Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Center offer excess skin removal surgeries designed specifically for patients who have achieved significant weight loss. Procedures that remove skin or fat, tighten and lift can be used as a complement to help your clothes fit better and allow you to participate more comfortably in your favorite activities.

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Common Plastic Surgery Procedures

Table 1 provides an overview of plastic surgery procedures and indications for patients with massive weight loss after bariatric surgery.

Table 1

Overview of plastic surgery procedures and common indications for patients with massive weight loss after bariatric surgery¹


¹Not all interventions are available as part of the current public health provision, and they are considered for each patient on the basis of objective need.

²Lipoedema is the accumulation of fat, mainly in the lower extremities, hips, thighs and mons pubis. It is distinguished from lymphoedema on the basis of fat accumulation and characteristic non-pitting appearance.

How Long After Weight Loss Should You Have Skin Removal Surgery

The act of treating the body to cosmetic enhancements after weight loss surgery is called post-bariatric body contouring. Your bariatric surgeon will want to monitor your weight loss to ensure it stables out at some point. During the first year to two years, your body will continue losing weight following surgery. Only when your weight has stabilized will you be cleared for skin removal surgery. Generally speaking, body contouring surgeons want your weight to be stabilized for six months before giving the greenlight for a belt lipectomy.

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Life After Skin Removal & Body Contouring Surgery

Your recovery will depend on the procedures you have as well as the extent of skin removal. If you are only having an upper arm lift or breast lift, for example, you may be able to return to work within one week and be ready to resume exercise within one month.

More extensive procedures, such as lower body lift, will require a longer recovery and may require a short inpatient stay. Temporary drains may be placed for the first 1 to 2 weeks to ease swelling, and discomfort can be significant for the first few days. Lifting, strenuous exercise, and physical jobs are typically off-limits for 6+ weeks after extensive lower body lift procedures.

The rewards for a more involved recovery are a more youthful, natural appearance and a significant improvement in comfort and self-confidence that can last a lifetime.

  • Removes excess, sagging skin left after dramatic weight loss
  • Improves comfort & self-confidence by helping clothing fit better
  • Procedures are personalized to address a patient’s specific areas of concern
  • Recovery can require up to 6 weeks of downtime, but results can last a lifetime

Will I Have Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

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Are you interested in bariatric surgery, but worried about excess skin afterwards?

After weight loss surgery, many patients lose so much weight that they end up with loose or sagging skin. Because the skin does not go away, most patients are left with extra skin and say that their skin is looser or saggier than it was before surgery. Thats because when you gain weight, your skin expands around the new mass that your bodys adding. Then, when you lose weight, your skin usually doesnt have enough elasticity to shrink back down.

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Should I Get Bariatric Surgery

If youre considering bariatric surgery but are concerned about loose or saggy skin afterwards, you should know that theres a lot that you can do to minimize sagging skin. A good diet, exercising regularly, taking care of your skin, and cosmetic surgery can all help you minimize your loose skin and look fantastic.

Immediately After Your Surgery

In most cases, you will be ready to go home shortly after the procedure. Because you may be a bit sleepy after the anesthesia and will experience a good deal of soreness in the area of your incisions, it is important for someone to drive you home after your surgery. You may also want to have someone stay with you for the first day or 2 after your procedure, to eliminate the need to lift, stretch, or put any undue pressure on the sutures.

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Excess Skin After Bariatric Surgery

The most common bariatric procedure in Norway today is the gastric bypass. Although average weight loss 12 years after a gastric bypass is approximately 30 % , most patients will still have a body mass index 30 kg/m² after successful treatment .

Skin that has been stretched over long periods shows reduced elasticity , and massive weight loss is often accompanied by a corresponding amount of excess skin. Many patients who undergo bariatric surgery develop such severe physical impairments that they require corrective plastic surgery . Indeed, most patients express a wish for plastic surgery after weight-loss surgery .

Why Seek A Body Contouring Procedure

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Body contouring after major weight loss improves the shape and tone of the underlying tissue that supports your fat and skin and removes excess sagging fat and skin. Following weight reduction surgery, or any substantial amount of weight loss, the skin and tissues often lack elasticity and cannot conform to the reduced body size. As a result, skin that has been severely stretched is now unsupported, possibly resulting in:

  • Upper arms that may sag and appear loose and full
  • Breasts that may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
  • An abdominal area that may extend around the sides and into the lower back area in an apron-like overhang
  • Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin

Body contouring results in smoother contours and a more normal appearance to the body. This is, in essence, the final phase of your total weight-loss experience.

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Resuming Your Normal Routine

Everyone heals at different rates, and you are the best judge of when you are ready for certain activities, but the following are general guidelines:

  • You can most likely return to work or school within 3 to 5 days after your procedure, unless your work is strenuous.
  • You can resume driving within a week. However, if your skin reduction procedure involved the thighs or buttocks, you may find driving uncomfortable for the first several weeks. Dr. Ruff will advise you as to when driving will be comfortable and permitted.
  • Strenuous exercise can begin about 3 weeks after surgery. Our patients are encouraged to plan an exercise program and discuss it with the staff prior to resuming exercise.
  • The scars should be protected from sunlight for at least a year after surgery.

Lower Back And Buttocks

Saggy skin on the lower back and buttocks can alter your bodys silhouette, making you appear larger than you are. A lower body lift or butt lift can give you the contours you crave. Your cosmetic surgeon will employ a hip-to-hip incision across the back and above the buttocks to excise the excess tissue, giving you a slimmer appearance.

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Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Body contouring is a surgical procedure that improves the shape and tone of underlying supportive tissue and removes excess sagging fat and skin following massive weight loss or a surgical procedure for weight loss known as a Bariatric procedure. Areas of the body which may be included in the contouring procedure are the upper arms, breasts, abdominal area, buttocks, groin and thighs. The result is a more normal and sculpted appearance with smoother contours. Patients considering body contouring are strongly encouraged to see a Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon for body contouring after weight loss.

Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss

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Are you contemplating skin removal surgery?

Extensive weight loss is a major achievement. But losing huge amounts of weight leaves its mark on the body: excess skin or stray pockets of fat and cellulite. This is especially true if you have weight loss surgery, such as bariatric surgery. These procedures often result in large amounts of weight loss in a short period of time. Tragically, significant weight loss can still leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own body.

In cases like these, body contouring might be a viable option for you. In this post, our experts at The Plastic Surgery Center will answer all your questions about the different types of body contouring procedures.

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S Involved In The Procedure

Although skin removal plastic surgery procedure steps are standardized, some adjustments may be made depending on your customized surgical plan. The steps involved in the procedure will usually be as follows:

  • Administering of general anesthesia in the operating room
  • Placement of incisions in discreet, marked locations
  • Excess skin removal through the incision sites
  • Tightening and reshaping of the remaining skin to improve definition and create youthful contours
  • Re-draping the skin smoothly over the area and incision closure
  • Covering the incision sites with a compression garment
  • Cosmetic surgeons at the ACPS receive patients from Houston, Texas, TX, and nearby areas for skin removal surgery.

    Your Post Weight Loss Plastic Surgery Consultation

    During your consultation, Dr. Holley will discuss your expectations and will help you understand all available surgical options. He will also review your medical history and design a plan based on your unique needs and aesthetic goals. Surgery after weight loss can be complex and is not without risks. It is often necessary to consider multiple, staged procedures to safely reach the goals that you have worked so hard to achieve. Dr. Holley will create a plan to reach those goals that is safe and cost-effective.

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