Loose skin/fat after weight loss. When would the right time to undergo surgery for excess skin? (photos)

I forgot to attach the photos. I have lost 80 pounds in 11 months. I am 5'8" and weigh 200 pounds. My goal is to get to 150. I eat healthy and workout everyday. I have loose skin in my arms but I'm not sure if my stomach is excess skin or fat. When would the right time to undergo surgery for excess skin?

Doctor Answers 19

Surgeries after weight loss

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Wow congratulations!  And great question. We most commonly recommend undergoing these surgeries when you are at least 6 months or more out from your target, or at least stabilized, weight. This probably seems mean or a long time, but it's really for your benefit and to protect your investment. You also don't want to stop your weight loss just to get surgery sooner. Your results will be even better the more weight you lose. We are happy to see you beforehand to start discussing options and to help you get comfortable with the process in general- sort of helps focus on the target and gets people excited. Hope that helps!

Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Loose skin/fat after weight loss. When would the right time to undergo surgery for excess skin?

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Congratulations on your weight loss thus far; you should be very proud of this accomplishment. Generally speaking, it is always best to achieve long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with body contouring surgery. Doing so, will increase the safety of the operation, will likely improve the outcome of the operation, and will decrease chances that additional surgery will become necessary subsequently.

In my practice, I do not ask specific patients to achieve a specific weight prior to proceeding with tummy tuck surgery. I simply ask patients to achieve a long-term stable weight where he/she feels comfortable and does not expect significant fluctuation postoperatively. As you know, recruiting other professionals such as personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians who specialize in weight loss concerns etc. may be helpful to you.

I hope this, and the attached link/video helps. Best wishes as you work toward your goals.

Right time to undergo surgery for excess skin?

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Thank you for your question and photographs and congratulations on the impressive weight loss!  Surgery would best be delayed until you have reached your goal weight - a weight that you are comfortable at and can maintain.  This will ensure the best long-term results.  If you are still looking to lose 50 pounds, try to get as close to this weight loss prior to surgery as it will not only improve your results, but also minimize the risks of surgery. Hope this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

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Stable weight is most important

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From these photos, you seem to be a great candidate for a tummy tuck and should get a result you are very happy with. A full tummy tuck with liposuction of the waist and flanks would address your areas of concern. If you can get your weight as low as possible before surgery, the risks of healing from a tummy tuck will go down significantly.  Definitely seek out a board certified plastic surgeon in your area with an expertise in Body Contouring Surgery for a consultation. Be sure to express your expectations and goals to the surgeon your choose. Good luck! 

Dean Vistnes, M.D.
Vistnes Plastic Surgery
San Francisco Bay Area

#realself #tummytuck  #drdeanvistnes

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

You are a good candidate

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You would be an excellent candidate for skin excision surgery at any time at this point.  To a certain extent, if the skin is safe to move during surgery, it is a waste of effort to lose weight in a large piece of skin that is going to be excised.  Have the skin excision, and then lose more weight, improving your outcome.

Body contouring post weight loss

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First, wait until you reach a maintainable weight before considering any kind of cosmetic surgery. Second, if you plan on having children, I advise waiting on a tummy tuck until you are done with kids as pregnancy will adversely affect your results. 
My best,
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
@drsheilanazarian on Instagram

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Goal Weight: Information

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Dear Ms. Topbball1240,

Congradulations on your weight loss!

Thank you for your story and questions.

Goal weight implications:
1) your abdomen (and other parts of your body) often will change size with weight fluctuations.
2) we all have internal fat (fat on our internal organs that pushes out the abdominal wall and accessible to liposuction or abdominoplasty) and external fat (fat that we can pinch between our fingers that can be liposuctioned or surgically removed during abdominoplasty). Weight loss effects both and thus we can make your muscles tighter and remove the excess hanging skin
3)It's  best to be a your goal weight for 4-6 months prior to surgery:

I suggest you make out a list of your questions and select several nude "model" photos of what your desired goals/look would be and then schedule several different consultative appointments with experienced Plastic Surgeons who are Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who are ideally members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

After you achieve your ideal weight

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All surgeries should be done anly after all the desired weight has been lost and new weight has been maintained for six months to avoid rebounds.

Vasdev Rai, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Tummy Tuck / Abdominoplasty / Liposuction / Mommy Makeover / Reverse Abdominoplasty

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I appreciate your question and congratulations on your weight loss!

Best to be at a BMI less than 30 or within 10 pounds of your goal weight and stable at that weight for 6 months prior to surgery for optimal results.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.
Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

You're Getting Close

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Good work loosing weight!  You are almost ready for a tummy tuck.  I would continue to try to loose a little more weight, the more you can loose before the surgery the better.  You do not have to reach your goal weight however.  I tummy tuck is very tightening so if you loose 10 to 15 pounds after the surgery it is not like your skin would get loose again, especially at you height.  So I think you could have you surgery at about 15 pounds from your goal weight.  The skin that get removed is never as heavy as patients think is would be, looking at your photos, I would guess that your skin excision piece will weigh between 3 and 5 pounds.  Good luck.

Gordon Telepun, MD
Decatur, AL

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.