If you feel self-conscious about what you can wear and how much of your body you want to show off because of extra skin following a significant weight loss, you may be considering excess skin removal surgery.
This surgery can help you look and feel your best and boost your self-confidence. But you need to understand what’s involved with the surgery and recovery as well as the cost before deciding if it’s right for you. Start your journey to learn more about body contouring in Houston, TX with the Look Younger team.
When Does Excess Skin Occur?
Often, excess skin on the body occurs when you have lost a lot of weight, especially if you’re older. If you carried a lot of weight for several years before having success with weight loss, your skin may not tighten back into place. Loose skin from losing weight can occur in many places on your body: around the abdomen, under the arms, along the thighs, and around your back are some of the most common areas we see excess skin.
Aging is another contributor. Skin has a lot of elasticity, which allows it to go back into place after being stretched, just like a rubber band. However, over time, your skin will lose its elasticity. Just like the rubber band, it will begin to stretch out or sag. We’re most used to seeing the effects of loss of elasticity in the face, jawline and the neck, which all tend to show the impact of aging. Skin in other parts of the body loses elasticity, too, which means it can stretch and sag.
Pregnancy is another known cause of loose skin, particularly around the abdomen and in the breasts. Many women opt for aMommy makeover to tone up areas that have lost their firmness due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Can You Remove Excess Skin Without Surgery?
Technically, you can’t remove your excess skin without some type of surgery. You may be able to take steps to improve elasticity in your skin, which may help reduce the sagginess that has developed. Increasing hydration and working with a medical expert on topical skin treatments are a good starting point for improving your skin’s health and elasticity.
Even with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other tips to help improve the quality of your skin, you will likely continue to have excess skin without surgery. For more dramatic and longer-lasting results that improve the appearance of excess skin, looking into surgical procedures will be necessary. It is the only long-term solution to get rid of areas of loose skin.
What to Consider with Excess Skin Removal Surgery
If you want to get rid of loose skin and are interested in extra skin removal surgery, you should consider several aspects of this procedure. First, you’ll want to determine if you have completed your weight loss journey. You want to maintain your goal weight for a minimum of six months before choosing surgery. Gaining weight and losing it again will undo the effects of the procedure. Treatment for excess skin should happen after weight loss surgery if you had help dropping those unwanted pounds. The two procedures cannot be performed together.
Know where you want to have excess skin removed. Extra skin removal surgery isn’t just one procedure but potentially multiple surgeries, depending on where you want the extra skin removed from.
Some common surgeries that fall under this broad heading include:
- Tummy tuck, which removes excess skin around the abdomen and tightens weak muscles
- Panniculectomy, which removes the excess skin under your belly button
- Breast lift, which tightens the tissue in your breasts to keep them from sagging
- Thigh lift, which helps create more definition along your thighs
- Lower body lift, which removes the excess skin from the abdomen, thighs and hips
- Arm lift, which removes the loose skin that hangs down from your arms
- Facelift, which tightens skin around your jaw and neckline
Your doctor may recommend a combination of these surgical procedures as part of your surgery to remove excess skin.
Recovery with Excess Skin Removal
The recovery process can be lengthy, depending on which surgeries you have done. You may need temporary tubes put into place to allow for drainage. Pain relievers will assist with the pain, but you can expect some discomfort for a few weeks as your body heals.
You will need to have bandages changed out regularly, and you may need assistance for some of them. Driving will be prohibited during the first few days after surgery. Plan to take some time off from work, which can vary from one to three weeks.
One of the challenges with this type of surgery is that you may find certain everyday activities are difficult in the beginning of your recovery. You may not be able to sit or stand normally for a few days. Sleeping may be difficult, requiring pillows to increase comfort.
Seeing Results After Surgery to Remove Excess Skin
You will experience bruising, swelling, and redness after the surgery. It takes time for the body to heal and for you to see the results. You can expect to notice some difference as soon as the swelling subsides, but it can take up to a year or longer for full results to be achieved.
The results are long-term as long as you maintain your weight. If you regain weight and lose it, your skin will stretch out again.
Excess Skin Removal Surgery Cost
The cost for excess skin removal will vary widely, depending on which areas you are treating. When you meet with Dr. Lapuerta, he will discuss your goals with you and determine a treatment plan. At that time, he can provide details about cost based on which surgical procedures you need. However, you can expect from around $4,000 for a single procedure to more than $20,000 for multiple procedures.
How much does it cost to remove excess skin after weight loss?
The cost for excess skin removal surgery will depend on which areas are being worked on. A single area can cost around $4,000 while multiple areas require more than one surgery and can cost more than $20,000.
How do surgeons remove excess skin?
The surgeon will make incisions in the area where you want the excess skin removed. They will remove the extra skin and stretch the remaining skin in place before closing the incision. If any fat tissue exists that didn’t go away with the weight loss, the doctor may useliposuction to get rid of it. You should have a conversation with your doctor before your procedure to plan what exactly you want done and the best technique to achieve those results.
How much does it cost to get excess skin removed from your stomach?
A tummy tuck, which removes excess skin in the abdomen and tones the area, can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. The cost will depend on whether both the lower and upper abdominal areas require surgery (full tuck), or if the procedure will be limited to just the upper (mini tuck).
Does insurance cover excess skin removal after weight loss?
Private health insurance may cover excess skin removal after weight loss if certain conditions are met. The reasons must be medical rather than cosmetic, such as if the loose skin is causing a rash or sores from rubbing. You should always check with your insurance company to understand what coverage is available to you on your plan.
Contact Us Today for a Consultation
If you’ve lost a great deal of weight and want to celebrate with a new look while getting rid of excess skin, you may find that loose skin removal surgery is right for you. Contact us today to discuss your treatment plan based on your unique goals. Dr. Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon who has performed hundreds of surgeries to tighten loose and sagging skin. Find out about a breast lift or tummy tuck in Houston, TX. Schedule your appointment today to learn more about how we can help you.