Transforming Lives: The Journey of Excess Skin Removal Surgery

April 2, 2024

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For those struggling with loose skin after substantial weight loss, body contouring or skin removal surgery can help eliminate sagging folds and improve body shape. However these post-bariatric plastic surgery procedures come with risks and optimal patient selection is vital.

Physical and Psychosocial Challenges of Excess Skin

Obese individuals who lose 100+ pounds through diet, exercise or gastric sleeve surgery often battle unsightly excess skin with:

  • Rashes, ulcers and infections under folds
  • Poor fit of clothes
  • Difficulty finding intimate partners
  • Low self-esteem and confidence

For suitable candidates in overall good health, body contouring surgery post-weight loss provides physical and emotional benefits.

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Good Candidates for Excess Skin Removal

Those with excess skin who meet these criteria can undergo surgery more safely:

  • BMI and weight stable for 6+ months
  • No major health issues
  • Non-smoker
  • Realistic expectations
  • Committed to protecting surgical results

Proper patient selection minimizes complications risks with these invasive procedures.

Common body contouring surgeries include:

Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

It excises lower belly skin, repairs separated muscles and tightens tissues. Scars fall low across hips and Mons pubis.

Lower Body Lift

This tightens loose skin around the buttocks, stomach, hips and thighs in a circumferential incision.

Medial Thighplasty

Excess inner thigh skin causing painful chafing is removed with a scar running up the groin crease.

Brachioplasty (Arm Lift)

It eliminates sagging upper arm batwings through an incision extending from the armpit to elbow.

Liposuction may precede skin removal. Combining multiple surgeries leads to more overall reshaping.

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Recovery After Excess Skin Removal

Patients should budget 2-4 weeks for recovery with activity restrictions and wound care. Temporary fluid drains, dressings, compression garments and some post-op pain are common initially.

Potential early complications like bleeding, infections and delayed wound healing usually resolve with medical management.

Long Term Results of Post-Bariatric Skin Removal

Along with significantly improved body contours, studies show patients report:

  • Better fit of clothing
  • Increased physical mobility and stamina
  • Higher self-confidence
  • Greater general and skin-specific quality of life

So when performed carefully in appropriate candidates, post-bariatric plastic surgery delivers satisfying outcomes.

FAQs on Excess Skin Removal Surgery

Why is excess skin removal surgery necessary?

Large folds of excess skin remaining after major weight loss leads to rashes, poor hygiene, embarrassment, low self-esteem and difficulty finding well-fitting clothes. Surgery remedies these issues.

How painful is the recovery from a body lift?

Patients report mild-moderate post-surgical pain managed with oral medication for 1-2 weeks after procedures like lower body lifts and tummy tucks. Moving slowly while healing is important.

What complications are possible with skin removal surgery?

Bleeding, seroma fluid buildup, infections, delayed wound healing and scarring issues may sometimes occur. Following post-op instructions lowers risks.

Does insurance cover skin removal after weight loss?

Some insurance plans cover panniculectomies to treat rashes/infections under skin folds. But cosmetic body contouring procedures usually require self-pay.

Is it better to lose weight before or after skin removal?

Doctors recommend maintaining a stable weight for 6 months pre-surgery for better results. Dramatic weight fluctuations after surgery can compromise surgical outcomes.

In Summary

  • Excess skin after substantial weight loss causes physical and emotional distress.
  • Body contouring/skin excision is an invasive solution offering improved body shape.
  • Careful patient selection based on health, expectations and weight stability ensures best results.
  • Combining multiple tightly planned procedures maximize overall reshaping.
  • Post-op care supports recovery from swelling, bruising and discomfort in initial weeks.
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