200+ weight loss and considering skin removal surgeries. Is an out of state surgeon worth considering?

I have lost 200lbs with maybe 30 more to go with out having had bariatric surgery. I have a large amount of skin to remove and am reviewing drs. If I can't find one in my area then how is care handled for a major surgery like a body lift with an out of state physician? Are follow up appointments ever scheduled with a local surgeon?

Doctor Answers 6

Out of State Doctor

Hi there and thank you for your question. 200+lb with no surgery ? wow.......good for you! Body contouring surgery is a MAJOR undertaking. Personally, I would suggest to have your surgery with a local surgeon as complications are higher in post massive wt loss patients and you would want to be near your surgeon's clinic for good support and continued care. Good luck and well done again on such great achievement. 

Out of state body contouring after weight loss

Congrats on your weight loss, very impressive. Procedures following significant weight loss can be challenging and you want to make sure that you see a board certified plastic surgeon that performs many of these procedures. Initial consults can often be done via Facetime or Skype and then an in-person consult will be required. Most of my out-of-town weight loss patients stay about 1 week on average. If necessary, visiting nurses can be set up locally if you feel you need help once you return home. Follow up appointments can be arranged with a local surgeon if necessary, but often can be done electronically. I always prefer to have my patients come back for in-person follow up visits, but logistically this can be difficult.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Surgery after massive weight loss

First off, congratulations! 200+ lbs is quite an achievement! There are many surgeons around the country taking care of patients like yourself. There is is no question that you want to seek out a doc that performs a lot of massive weight loss procedures. Depending on your goals you will likely need one or more of: arm lift, breast lift, lower body lift and thigh lift. 

There is no question you will need a lower body lift (as opposed to traditional tummy tuck), I would use this as your guide in choosing a surgeon. Call several BC-PS's offices and inquire about # of lower body lifts performed in a year. Ask how long it takes their surgeon to perform the procedure. Ask to see before and after pictures of lower body lifts. Just from those questions you will quickly determine if that doctor takes care of a lot of people like yourself. 

Best of luck!

Achieving your goals with body contouring surgery

Hi there-

Congratulations on your weight loss- and keep up the good work.

There are many excellent surgeons throughout the country performing body contouring surgery for patients who have lost a large amount of weight. The decisions you make should be based on who can safely give you the outcome you are looking for and how comfortable you feel with the process and their approach, especially as different surgeons will approach out of town patients differently. It is critical that you not compromise your safety or the outcome of your procedure for conveniences sake. Maintain your safety and the best possible outcome as your highest priorities as you gather information and plan, and your chances of getting what you want are maximized.

The best way to understand the details of the process is to first identify surgeons you think could give you the outcome you are seeking, then call their offices and discuss the details of how out of town patients are cared for. This will go a long way towards helping you understand what you need to know, but it is important to realize that the approach will be individual to the surgeon.

Good luck and great work!

Body lift and out-of-state surgeon

Thank you for your question. Congratulations on your success! I'm happy that you are on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself. Choosing a surgeon with appropriate credentials and experience in the area of concern is very important. It is common for plastic surgeons to treat out of state patients. Follow ups are managed with return visits, electronic media (photo email and skype) and coordination with a local plastic surgeon if needed. Take the time to review with your chosen surgeon so that a coordinated plan can occur. Good luck and keep moving forward in your transformation. 

Gary Vela, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Major bariatric reconstruction out of state

Thank you for asking about your body lifting.

  • Congratulations on your massive weight loss. Well done!
  • Yes, you will have a lot of tissue to remove now.
  • There are many excellent plastic surgeons in Baltimore and in Washington, DC.
  • I suggest you focus on surgeons near you first - because out-of-state recovery is always harder.
  • If you do go out-of-state, yes, a local plastic surgeon to follow you would be a very good idea but it does not substitute for having your own surgeon near at hand.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

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.