Published on October 21, 2019

Finding a Solution for Excess Skin After Weight Loss

If you’ve had weight-loss surgery, you likely know the journey doesn’t end when you leave the hospital.

Although bariatric surgery can benefit your overall health, there’s plenty of changes to adjust to after surgery—from new diet and lifestyle habits to a drastically different body. One change that you may not have envisioned however is excess skin.

Excess skin is common after weight-loss surgery. When the body sheds large amounts of weight, the skin is often not elastic enough to adjust to the smaller size. The result? Hanging folds of skin usually found around the abdomen, arms, legs, back, and thighs

Living with excess skin is not just a cosmetic issue. It can cause skin problems like rashes, chafing, and skin infections. It can prevent you from moving freely and exercising. And it can take a heavy toll on self-esteem and quality of life. But skin removal surgery may offer a solution.

Understanding Skin Removal

Skin removal surgery is typically performed by a plastic surgeon who removes excess skin and fat to change the shape, or contour, the skin. The surgery is tailored to each patient, based on the individual’s condition and needs. Keep in mind, the entire body is not contoured during one surgery. Skin removal is often performed in stages, focusing on one or more areas of the body at a time.

Are You a Candidate?

It’s important to talk with a surgeon experienced in excess skin removal to see if you are a candidate. You may be eligible if you:

  • Have maintained a stable weight for at least six months
  • Don’t have any medical conditions that may increase surgery risks
  • Don’t smoke
  • Are dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and meeting nutritional and fitness requirements

What to Expect

Because excess skin removal requires large incisions, you will have scarring. And depending on your specific surgery, healing can take several weeks. Like most steps on your weight-loss journey, excess skin removal surgery isn’t easy. But it can greatly improve your appearance, confidence, and comfort, boosting quality of life after weight loss.