Surgical Body » Massive Weight Loss

Excess Skin As a Result of Major Weight Loss

For those who’ve struggled to lose a significant amount of weight, the end result may have its unfortunate side: excess skin that no amount of diet or exercise can affect. This unsightly and uncomfortable result may shed a negative light on your well-deserved success. You may be considering surgical remedy. Talk to Dr. Peters about your individual concerns, goals and body image ideal. You’ve worked so hard to get to this point – make it the best it can be.

The recognition of health risks attached to obesity has encouraged many to take control of their physical condition with weight reduction either by diet and exercise or by surgery. Large losses of weight are hard work no matter what method is used to accomplish this goal.

After massive weight loss, skin elasticity may be destroyed, leaving a flood of excess skin. No amount of diet or exercise will cause the folds of skin to disappear. Often all the hard work of weight loss feels incomplete until the extra skin is excised. The skin laxity may leave breasts deflated and saggy, leave folds of overhanging skin in the abdomen, arms or legs, and may lead to jowls or a “turkey neck” obscuring the underlying bone structure.

Considering Surgery

Patients should consider their body contouring goals when choosing which features to correct first as it may take several surgeries to maximize the potential change. Often, two or three areas can be addressed at once, as long as the surgery time is kept to safe limits (five to six hours). The best candidates have stable weight, a favorable Body Mass Index (BMI) (preferably less than 30) and are in good nutritional balance. It is also important to be in a good psychological space so as to have frustration tolerance for the recovery and the capacity to enjoy the profound body changes of weight loss and restorative surgery. All of these factors will be discussed and considered carefully in your consultations
with Dr. Peters.

Massive weight loss before and after photo

Massive Weight Loss Surgery FAQs

When can I have surgery done after massive weight loss?

It is best to come in for a plastic surgery consultation after your weight loss has stabilized. Most patients wait one year following the weight loss or bariatric surgery for consultation on their abdomen, arms, back, breasts, buttocks, and thighs.

Does insurance cover surgeries after massive weight loss?

Some surgeries after massive weight loss can be covered by insurance. If the skin and fat of the abdomen is very large and overhangs, called a panniculus, rashes and skin irritation can develop. Insurance companies occasionally pay for the removal of this excess skin and fat if they consider it medically necessary. Hernias can also develop after an open bariatric surgery. Most hernia repairs will be covered by insurance. Other procedures for massive weight loss patients are considered cosmetic such as arm lifts, breast lifts, face lifts, and thigh lifts, and would not be covered under insurance plans.

How many procedures can I have at one time? Which procedures should I do first?

Dr. Peters can perform several procedures at one time; however, usually surgery is limited to no more than five or six hours in the operating room. Many patients who have lost more than 100 pounds consider surgery on their abdomen, arms, breasts, and legs. The areas of most concern should be addressed first. Most patients choose the abdomen as their first priority.

How much will surgery cost?

Surgery costs vary depending on the type of operation, the number of procedures you select, whether or not insurance covers a portion of the cost, and whether you require a hospital stay. After your first consultation with Dr. Peters you will receive a price estimate.

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