After weight loss surgery, many people struggle with the excess skin — sometimes weighing several pounds — that remains in the areas where they have lost weight, such as the neck, arms, abdomen, buttocks, hips and thighs. This excess skin is the product of rapid weight loss and lost elastin and collagen in the skin, and many patients opt to have it removed after they have reached their goal weight.
Surgery to remove excess skin often serves a dual purpose. Patients may be embarrassed by the excess skin and want it removed for cosmetic reasons, but it can also be removed for medical reasons. Excess skin can lead to a skin infection or rashes, and it often gets in the way of everyday movements and exercise.
Most surgeons will suggest waiting at least 18 months after bariatric surgery before having skin removal surgery to allow your weight to stabilize. If you have excess skin to be removed from multiple areas, the procedures may be done one at a time or completed all at once. Your surgeon will discuss the best plan for your unique circumstances.
As with any procedure, there are some risks involved, and these are best discussed with your surgeon. In general, the more extensive the skin removal operation, the higher the risk for complication, such as blood loss or infection.
The cost of these body contouring procedures varies by location, surgeon and the extent of the procedure. Skin removal surgery after weight loss is not typically covered by insurance.
Losing weight can help you improve your health and reduce your dependence on medication for weight-related health conditions, but it’s also about your confidence and quality of life. Skin removal surgery after weight loss surgery only furthers those objectives.
If you have had weight loss surgery and feel embarrassed or are experiencing complications due to excess skin after weight loss, contact your Nobilis Health doctor today to learn more about your options for skin removal surgery.