Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss & Major Body Transformations

Written By
Megan Apa
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July 12, 2022

You’ve worked hard to lose the weight and keep it off. But now there may be another obstacle in your way - excess skin. This can cause confidence issues in individuals who have put ample time and effort into optimizing their health through a fitness regime. There are various areas of the body where excess skin is common after weight loss, in which skin removal surgery is necessary to revert back to your prior form. Luckily, for many of these areas surgery can be performed to remove the excess skin for a tighter, smoother appearance. These procedures not only help to get rid of the sagging skin that troubles patients but also improve your overall self-esteem and quality of life.


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What is Extra Skin Removal Surgery?

Extra skin removal surgery is a term used to describe a variety of body contouring procedures designed to address excess skin and tissue following major weight loss. After losing a significant amount of weight it is extremely common for the skin to sag where it was once stretched to hold more fat. This type of surgery can be great for targeting excess skin folds on the torso, legs, buttocks and arms.

These procedures commonly include: tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, and lower body lift. Body contouring surgery helps patients achieve natural, aesthetically pleasing results and can be the final piece of building back confidence in patients who have struggled with weight issues.

Am I a Good Candidate?

There are a few things that surgeons consider while determining whether someone is a good candidate for extra skin removal surgery. A good candidate for this surgery is someone who has lost the weight that they wanted to lose, but now has too much extra skin. It’s important to be in generally good health and have minimal excess fat. Additionally, just like with any other surgery, the ideal candidate must know how to manage expectations. While the results of the surgery can be life changing, it is important to understand that every unique patient will see varying results.

This procedure may be covered by insurance if it causes medical issues. This includes any ulcers or rashes that have not responded to treatment. Or the surgery may be covered if it interferes with your daily lifestyle. Without medical necessity, this would need to come out of pocket.

How painful is excess skin removal surgery?

Excess skin removal procedures are major surgeries, so pain during recovery is quite normal. The average person can expect to have pain for a few weeks following their procedure, which is why your healthcare provider will prescribe pain medicine and offer tips to help you cope with the discomfort.

Hear real patient stories about the struggle they faced and how painful they found the surgery.


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What is the Recovery Process Like?

The recovery process can look different for everyone but in general, you can expect to be sore for approximately four weeks following the surgery. It is important you are able to take this time off work and make your main priority recovering. After the initial 4 weeks you will feel significantly better however it will take several months for your body to be fully recovered.

A study on excess skin surgery patients discovered patients were self-conscious about scaring for the first year; however, they reported improved self view after about a year. The overarching results of the study dictated the patients felt encouraged about their appearance and way better in their own skin with a reported better quality of life.

Will There Be a Scar?

The extent of scars varies from patient to patient based on the surgical technique used and the way the patient's body responds to the healing process. You will have scars from incisions, but a good plastic surgeon will make incisions in strategic places that are covered or in natural creases for less visibility.

Each of these excess skin removal procedures addresses a different area of the body, which means scars will also vary. The most common excess skin removal procedure, a tummy tuck, involves an incision along the lower abdomen. Modern tummy tuck scars are often very thin, and low enough to be hidden by most undergarments. When the skin is pulled taut over the abdomen, the surgeon will also need to create a new belly button, which is a much smaller and less noticeable scar.

Arm and thigh lift scars are very similar, long scars that run along the inside of the limb where the most excess skin often collects. These surgeries are not typically recommended for patients with minimal excess skin because the size of the scars may not be worth it in comparison. The largest scar is for the lower body lift procedure. This incision runs all along the torso, similar to a belt. While scars can be a deterrent for some patients, it is important to remember that they fade over time. Following post operative care instructions, and using a scar improvement gel as you heal can also greatly improve the look of these scars.

Choosing a Surgeon

When considering such an intricate procedure, choosing the right plastic surgeon can make all the difference in your outcome. It is very important to do your research and find out which surgeon is right for you. Start by researching their qualifications - they should be board-certified with extensive training and experience in the field of your choice. Reviews and before/after pictures are also helpful when deciding which doctor to trust with your medical care. Most importantly, choose a surgeon that works with you to achieve your specific goals, supports you with education about the procedure, and makes you feel comfortable.

Reaping the Benefits

Men and Women who choose to undergo extra skin removal surgery often report life changing results. Taking the step to reclaim your health and confidence through a fitness journey is an admirable thing to do and something anyone should be proud of themselves for accomplishing. You owe it to yourself to take the leap and finish off your body transformation by removing that excess skin and fully reaping the benefits of your appealing new physique.

For real photos of our transformations, check out the Lower Body Lift Before and After gallery