Skin Removal Surgery After Weight Loss

Body contouring surgery may be able to get rid of loose, saggy skin from weight loss. Learn more here.

Medically reviewed in November 2022

Congratulations on losing weight! Unfortunately, your battle of the bulge may not be over just yet. That’s because substantial weight loss can leave behind loose, saggy skin that can make you feel self-conscious.

Enter body contouring surgery. Also known as skin removal surgery, body contouring surgery may be the last hurdle to overcome before you’re content with your looks.

Why get it done?
Body contouring surgery is elective; if you’re happy with your appearance, you don’t need it. But if you’ve lost a lot of weight in a short period of time—as can occur after weight loss surgery—the excess skin may be bothering you. Body contouring surgery is a way to remove excess skin so that you can feel better about your looks.

What areas of my body can be treated?
After substantial weight loss you can have excess skin in almost any area. Surgeons offer a variety of procedures, including:

  • Tummy tuck
  • Belt lipectomy (lower abdomen and back lift)
  • Brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • Face and neck lift
  • Inner thigh lift
  • Mastoplexy (breast lift)

How does it work?
It depends on which area of the body you’re working on, but all body contouring surgeries require an incision to remove excess skin and sutures to close the wounds. The procedures are performed under general anesthesia, so you are asleep during surgery. If you need more than one procedure, they will likely be done in stages, over a period of years to reduce complications and allow you time to heal properly. 

What are the risks?
Body contouring surgery, like all surgeries, has risks. They can include infection, blood clots, scars, and anesthesia complications. There is also a chance you may not be happy with the results – your skin may still be loose or asymmetrical, or the results might not meet your expectations.

How much does it cost?
Body contouring surgery can be expensive, and it’s usually not covered by insurance. Costs vary widely, depending on the type of procedure, the surgeon’s experience and your location. Make sure you understand the total cost of the procedure before you go under the knife.

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