Losing weight is a major accomplishment. Whether it happens with the help of bariatric surgery or just a combination of lifestyle changes, major weight loss can offer a whole new life and chance to do many things that you couldn’t do because of excess weight holding you back.
While weight loss can help improve many parts of the body, from helping with cardiovascular and digestive health to helping to improve joints and mobility, there is one inconvenient side effect: excess skin. Most people who lose more than 100 pounds of body weight will experience excess skin, which often requires skin removal surgery. However, patients who lose even 30 pounds can benefit from skin removal surgeries.
Who is a good candidate for skin removal surgery?
Skin removal after weight loss is a common procedure because after significant weight loss, fat may disappear, but excess skin remains. Skin removal surgery removes this excess skin. To ensure your safety and make sure you don’t require further skin removal surgery, there are a series of criteria that it’s important to meet, which include:
- You’re healthy enough for surgery. You’ll need medical clearance from your primary care physician as well as blood work completed to ensure your safety.
- You’ve completed your weight loss and are maintaining your goal weight. It’s important to wait until you are through with losing weight so that you don’t experience more excess skin post-surgery.
- You don’t smoke. That’s because smoking can negatively affect wound healing and blood flow to the skin.
Why is skin removal after weight loss necessary?
When we accumulate excess weight, our skin needs to stretch to accommodate the larger size of our body. In the process, skin elasticity is lost. So when significant weight is lost, the skin and tissue lack the ability to snap back into place. There’s no way for the body to remove skin and tissue like your body burns fat. That’s when surgery for loose skin after weight loss is necessary.
With these procedures, which often target specific parts of the body, you can better enjoy your weight loss. Clothes will feel more comfortable, your clothing size will change and you’ll be relieved of the pain and irritation that excess skin can cause.
There are also health concerns associated with excess skin after weight loss. Not only can it cause strain on the body because of the excess weight it carries, but significant amounts of loose skin can become so irritated they can lead to infections.
Because the loose skin is folded and not exposed to air, it can become susceptible to fungal infections and rashes.
What Types of Loose Skin Surgery is Available?
Excess skin removal procedures target specific areas of the body, creating smoother areas that are freed from the loose skin caused by significant weight loss.
A breast lift is known as a mastopexy. Because breasts can accumulate significant fat, they can retain a large amount of excess skin after weight loss. The breast tissue may also be stretched, causing sagging, a deflated look to the breast shape and irregular shaping. A breast lift can help by removing the excess skin, while also helping reshape the tissue. The result of a breast lift is breasts that look more full and lifted.
The abdominal region is often one of the most common regions that require extra skin removal after weight loss. To address it, it’s important to first determine what procedure you need. One type of loose skin surgery is called panniculectomy. If you have large amounts of excess skin, that drapes over your groin region like an apron, a panniculectomy procedure can remove this pannus. This is often needed to remove excess skin after bariatric surgery. Typically panniculectomy surgery can be covered, even partially, by insurance since it is not considered to be a cosmetic procedure.
For patients who have excess skin, fat, and also need muscle tightening to repair stretched out abdominal muscles caused by weight fluctuations and/or pregnancy, a tummy tuck is an ideal solution. A tummy tuck is a great option for excess skin removal after weight loss because it not only smooths out the appearance of the area, but the procedure also tightens the abdominal wall muscles, flattening the abdomen. Tummy tuck surgery also often creates a new belly button due to the way the excess skin is removed and pulled down.
Having excess skin left on the thigh region can be an immense disadvantage to maintaining mobility and leading an active lifestyle that supports maintaining a healthy weight. That’s why it can be imperative that this excess skin is removed. Loose skin in the inner thigh region can chafe and cause irritation due to the constant rubbing and friction of the loose skin from each leg coming into contact with each other. A thigh lift can help, by removing and tightening the skin of the inner thighs.
For women, the vaginal tissues can become loose due to weight loss, aging, hormone changes and pregnancy. This baggy skin causes discomfort, loss of vaginal lubrication, a decrease in erotic sensation, and loss of tone of the labia. ThermiVa isn’t a skin removal surgery per se, but it is a great option for women that would like to change the look of their labia majora. Vaginal rejuvenation uses the ThermiVa technology to help build collagen, which can improve elasticity of the internal and external vaginal tissues. Patients can enjoy more supple and smooth skin that has a more youthful appearance and feel.
Does insurance cover skin removal after weight loss?
Some types of skin removal surgeries like panniculectomy are covered by health insurance. For bariatric weight loss patients, excess skin removal is usually covered as part of the overall weight loss procedure. However, other types of skin removal surgery such as a tummy tuck are considered cosmetic by insurance providers and may not be covered. It’s important to discuss with your insurer to understand your coverage. And how much is skin removal surgery? Skin removal surgery can begin around $10,000, but the price can quickly rise to costs to up to over $100,000 when multiple areas require skin removal surgery.
Skin Removal Surgery in Beverly Hills
Dr. Cat Beverly Hills offers many procedures to address excess skin after weight loss. If you are looking for a solution for how to remove loose skin, a consultation is a good place to begin. Look through before and after excess skin removal photos to see the dramatic differences that these procedures can provide.
For anyone seeking body contouring after weight loss or skin removal after gastric bypass, Dr. Cat’s team provides gentle, thorough procedures that smooth and firm the body. If you’ve done the work of weight loss, it’s time to fully enjoy those hard-earned results. Skin removal surgery can be the final step on the weight loss journey.