Post-Weight Loss Plastic Surgery

Losing a significant amount of weight is a major achievement. Some patients who have met their weight loss goals may have an excess of skin around the abdomen, arms, legs, breasts or face--that's because the skin may have lost its elasticity and isn't able to shrink back to its former size or shape.

MUSC Health's Plastic Surgery Center offers the region's largest variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures, including body-contouring surgery designed specifically for patients who have achieved significant weight loss. Procedures that remove skin or fat, tighten and lift can be used to help your clothes fit better and make you feel more comfortable performing your favorite activities.

Educational Resources

Each year we have a dedicated session during support group on plastic surgery. Please see our schedule for dates.

Review the most recent handout listing common procedures (PDF), financial aspects, and recordings of presentations given about Post-Bariatric Surgery Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Following Massive Weight Loss.

General Information

  • Elastin in the skin is unable to snap back to normal after significant weight loss, so the skin becomes loose and hangs.
  • It is important to have realistic goals when seeking plastic surgery after weight loss. You must also understand that you will be trading excess skin for scars.
  • There are a number of things a person can do to ensure they have the best chance of healing after plastic surgery: avoidance of any nicotine, any underlying conditions are well managed, and your nutrition labs are optimal.

Common Procedures after Significant Weight Loss

  • Panniculectomy (skin and fat removal from lower abdomen)
  • Abdominoplasty (skin/fat removal and muscle tightening from upper/lower abdomen)
  • Belt Lipectomy (lower body lift)
  • Brachioplasty (arm lift)
  • Thighplasty (thigh lift)
  • Breast Augmentation (enhancement) + Mastopexy (breast lift)
  • Breast Reduction
  • Face lift

Financial Aspects

  • Insurance will typically cover Panniculectomy or Breast Reduction if:
    • Current insurance covers weight loss surgery procedures
    • You’ve achieved greater than 100 pound weight loss
    • Your new weight has been stable over a period of continuous months
    • Your providers have documented history of any treatment for skin rashes, hanging skin, back pain, etc.
    • Documentation for breast should include any treatment for rashes, shoulder strap grooving, neck/shoulder/back pain, attempted oral anti-inflammatory pain medications, etc.

MUSC Health Plastic Surgery

Learn more about MUSC Health’s plastic surgery team and body contouring procedures.