Is Lipousction and Skin Excision the Right Way Forward for Me?

Dear Doctors, i am a 34 year old male and due to weight loss, i am left with a lot of loose skin in my inner thigh and buttock areas. I had a consultation with a surgeon and he advised (after looking at the attached photo) that i go in for lipo and skin excision under a general anesthesia. the procedure is said to last for 3.5hrs with a 7-10 day recovery period. i'd like to know if and what risks are there and if this is the only way ahead for me? Thanks,

Doctor Answers 7

Liposuction after massive weight loss?

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After massive weight loss, the excess skin cannot be corrected with liposuction alone. To correct the excess skin of the medial thighs, a medial thigh lift with skin excision with or without liposuction would be necessary. For excess buttock skin and droopiness (ptosis) a buttock lift would be necessary with an incision below the waistline to remove the excess skin.

Liposuction and skin excision--a reasonable plan, but not without more information!

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You not only should be asking your surgeon these questions, he or she should have answered them even if NOT asked! You should know that either a buttocks lift or medial thigh lift (or a Lockwood type I lift , which combines those two procedures), is a considerable surgical undertaking. An appropriate one, to be sure, but one that does NOT include a 7-10 day recovery. You may even have drains for longer than that amount of time, as drain removal is based on amounts of drainage rather than a pre-determined length of time.

Ask how long sutures (if removable) are left in. Ask how long you cannot bathe (perhaps as long as drains are in). Ask about activity levels, exercise, work-related activity, time off work, common risks and complications, most serious risks and complications, and who pays for touch-up or revisional surgery, and how often that occurs.

If you don't get good answers, look for another surgeon. Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Massive weight loss and surgery

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Obviously an exam would be in order, but just from the photos, it looks like you are a better candidate for skin excision procedures as opposed to liposuction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Liposuction, thIgh lift

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Your picture reveal significant excess skin. Liposuction alone is not an option. You will need skin removal and anchoring of the flap to try an improve the contour. This procedure has significant complications and recovery.

David L. Abramson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and or skin excision

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You must see a plastic surgeon in consultation who will examine you and not just look at your photographs. Liposuction might makes things worse for you. You will probably need surgical lifting.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

What risks are there?

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Dr. Tholen is on the money. while the plan in general may be acceptable the real problem is the questions left unanswered.  As always the surgeon is the most important variable.  i recommend you get another local opinion with a certified plastic surgeon well versed in body contouring and insist that these questions be addressed. this is not a procedure that can be guessed at with a couple of photos. good luck

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon

Body Contouring After Weight Loss

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Dear Sidd,

Being left with loose skin is a common problem after significant weight loss. When this happens, a lift procedure with or without liposuction is the only way to tighten the loose skin effectively. Liposuction alone will not work without removing the extra skin.

If you are mainly concerned with your inner thigh and buttocks, then a thigh lift, buttock lift, and/or lower body lift are procedures worth considering. These procedures are generally considered safe, but they are real operations with real recovery periods and real risks. Your surgeon should tell you about these facts before surgery.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.