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When Can I Remove Loose Skin After Massive Weight Loss?

How soon after loosing excessive weight can a procedure be done for my loose skin?

Doctor Answers (6)

Timing for body contouring after weight loss

+2

First of all congratulations on your weight loss, the health implications of a lower BMI go far beyond appearance - you have a healthier, longer life to look forward to! There are a couple of factors to consider that will help you have the best outcome with body contouring surgery after massive weight loss.

The first is that you need to reach a stable goal weigh that you can maintatin prior to making any surgical changes. Body contouring surgeries will help to match the outer skin envelope to the smaller volume inside and will be most effective once that volume is stable. Often during massive weight loss weight tends to see-saw a bit before stabilizing. If surgery is performed during these fluctuations and you gain weight you can stretch out the area that was treated often leading to poor scars and recurrence of the skn excess. The converse is true if you lose more weight. This will 'deflate' the area that was tightened with the surgery and lead to more loose skin. Also, depending on you skin tone waiting 4-6 months after achieving goal weight gives your skin time to retract as much as it can by itself. Just like a woman's belly after pregnency, everyone is different and can expect a different amount of skin retraction once it has been off-loaded by the weight loss. Waiting for this to occur can save you having to larger more aggressive body contouring procedures while the skin is still at its loosest. 

Secondly massive weight loss especially after gastric bypass surgery can leave patients with some metabolic and nutritional deficiencies that make it difficult to heal the long incisions that are often required with body contouring procedures. It is important to work with your weight loss physicians and nutritionists to correct and optimize these factors before (and after) having surgery. Also, if you smoke it is very important to quit prior to considering any body contouring surgery. Smoking has a profound effect on healing and significantly increases complications.

In summary the best time to consider body contouring procedures after massive weight loss would be after you have reached a stable weight you can live at with a sustainable lifestyle (no 'extreme' diets that are difficult to maintain in the long haul). So usually around 6 months after reaching your goal weight and when your internist feels your protein and nutritional status has been optimized. For smokers absolutely at least a month after you have quit smoking.

Tacoma Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Surgery after massive weight loss

+1

Congratulations on your achievement.  It is best to wait 6 months after your weight hasstopped falling.  If you had baiatric surgery you should keep your follow-up appointments to make sure your nutritional status is good and there are no deficiencies that need to be corrected.  If you lost the weight without bariatric surgery you should be fine.  Depending on your age it may be advisable to have your primary care physician give you a thorough physical including blood work.  Usually these are big procedures so you want to do whatever you can to ensure a safe and uneventful recovery.  Good luck.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

When Can I Remove Loose Skin After Massive Weight Loss?

+1

Best to first attain the desired weight, than allow settling at that weight. Meaning no more flucuations in weight. Second obtain a full written medical clearance from the bariatric surgeon and your medical doctor. Finally seek a boarded PS to discuss the operative plans and realistic goals. 

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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Loose skin after massive weight loss

+1

You want your surgeon to be operating on a body structure that is stable and not in flux otherwise your surgical result may not last. I like to wait till 6 months after the weight loss has plateaued or stopped. This gives the skin envelope time to shrink around its smaller contents so that lesser skin incisions resulting in less skin scarring can be employed.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You need to consult with i.e. personally see a board certified plastic surgeon in order to receive a formal evaluation and develop a doctor patient relationship.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Good for you..

+1

Your weight loss needs to be stable for at least 6 months before proceeding with skin removal. Your doctor will also do tests to make sure that you are in excellent health because some of these skin tightening procedures take several hours to do and need you to be under general anesthesia. Best of luck.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Skin excision after weight loss

+1

Congratulations on your accomplishment in losing weight.  You should go several months to prove the weight loss is real and is stable and maintained and then have the loose skin taken off.  Don't do it the day you hit your goal weight!

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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