Skin Reduction - How Much is Too Much?

I lost over 200 lb, of course there is now a huge amount of extra skin. The skin is the largest organ. How much can be safly removed at a time? I'm 174cm, currently 200lb, so my BSA is about 2.22m2? (I know it will take more than 1 operation, but I'd like to do it in as few operations as still safe.)

Doctor Answers 6

SKin reduction_ how much can be taken?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Incision length is only what is necessary to get the areas contoured correctly. Body lift success is measured in achieving the appropriate contouring not inches. And amount of skin removal can only be judged on physical exam. Speak with you plastic surgeon regarding specifics of your case.

Body Lift- is there a limit to the amount of skin that can be reduced?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Congratulations on your weight loss!  Typically when a patient loses that much weight there are many areas that need to be addressed in terms of skin excess.   The limitation on skin removal is not related to its role as the body's largest organ.  The limitations are more surgical in nature, such as being careful not to excise an amount of skin that makes closing the wound difficult.  

Though it would be great to have all the necessary procedures in one operation, it is often unsafe to do so.  Most often one can achieve excellent results in 2 stages.

All the best,

Allan Eckhaus, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon

How much skin can be removed.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
It is not a matter of how much skin can be removed. It really depends upon the contour that one wants to achieve. Good luck with your pursuit.

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

Skin Reduction - How Much is Too Much?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I cannot tell from your question which body areas are involved--usually some combination of abdomen, back, chest/breast, arms, thighs, face and neck.

Depending upon which of these are at issue, usually, but not always,  the body correction can be done in two stages. Goal is to do the procedures safety, and 6 hours of surgery at a time is a common threshold. 

Priorities depend on your goals, and the combinations have some natural pairing--breast and arms for example. 

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.
Thank your for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

How much skin reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question. You are not alone in that we are now seeing many patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have loose, excess skin. There are a variety of different procedures that can be individualized and combined to meet your specific needs.

The goal is to minimize the number of surgeries by combining procedures while still keeping it safe. Commonly, we are able to limit it to 2 stages, which would allow us to treat the arms, thighs, breasts, and belly. Of course, this would need to be determined after an evaluation of your specific needs, as everyone is different. The absolute amount of skin that can be removed depends on a variety of factors, including your overall health, the number of areas involved, and your exam. Visiting a board certified plastic surgeon can help you best determine this.

Know that you are not alone and that there are solutions

Best of luck.

Jeff Rockmore

If you are healthy, large amounts of skin removal are possible at one time.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

One Tear,


The most important criteria for determining how much skin can be removed in one operation is your overall health status and BMI.  By going to a board certified plastic surgeon who does body contouring after massive weight loss, they will be able to direct you on the best and safest course of action.


The Utah Plastic Surgery Society has a website with a link to our members which I've included.  That would be a great first place to start.  My practice is heavily weighted towards caring for patients after weight loss such as yours, and we could certainly give you more precise advice if you wish.


Best of luck.


Brian Brzowski, MD, FACS

President, Utah Plastic Surgery Society

Ogden, UT



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.