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Significant weight loss can change your life for the better, leading to an active lifestyle and a healthier you. However, after losing a lot of weight, it’s common to experience excess, loose and sagging skin.

This extra skin can cause challenges, such as physical discomfort, skin conditions like chafing and rashes, difficulty fitting into clothing, trouble exercising, issues with sexual intimacy and feelings of insecurity.

At Penn Medicine, we established the Body Contouring After Weight Loss Program to address the physical and aesthetic concerns of patients who have lost large amounts of weight – whether through dieting and exercise alone or with the help of bariatric surgery. Body contouring surgery, sometimes referred to as a “body lift”, can alleviate conditions caused by excess skin to help you live a more confident and comfortable life. For many people, body contouring surgery is the final step in completing their weight loss journey.

The Body Contouring After Weight Loss Program is comprised of a team of plastic surgeons who are experts in body sculpting and reconstruction and who specialize in treating patients after major weight loss. If you’ve had bariatric surgery at Penn Medicine, you can rest assured that we collaborate closely with the bariatrics team. Our program also offers access to the expertise of registered dietitians, weight management experts and support staff to give you the resources you need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

What Is Body Contouring Surgery?

Gaining a significant amount of weight can affect your skin. Over time, it slowly stretches to accommodate the accumulation of fat tissue. If you lose a lot of weight, your skin might not spring back into place. This may cause stretch marks and weight loss can result in extra folds of skin on your lower stomach, thighs, arms, chin and/or breasts.

Body contouring is a reconstructive procedure that removes the extra skin that is left following weight loss and improves the shape and tone of tissue in various areas of your body.

According to John Fischer, MD, MPH, FACS, Director of Clinical Research Program, Division of Plastic Surgery at Penn Medicine, “Skin removal leads to significant improvements, both in physical symptoms as well as key areas of health.”

"Working in collaboration with Penn Plastic Surgery allows us to provide our patients with complete care from the start of their weight loss to addressing the cosmetic challenges after large weight losses," says Noel Williams, MD, FACS, Director, Penn Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program.

What Are Different Types of Body Contouring Surgery?

There are a variety of body contouring surgery options available, including:

  • Arm lift (brachioplasty)
  • Breast lift
  • Face lift
  • Lower abdomen lift (panniculectomy)
  • Thigh lift (thighplast)
  • Upper body lift

You may be considering just one of these types or a combination. We’ll work with you to identify your goals, determine a personalized plan tailored to your specific needs and goals and ensure the safest possible outcome.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Body Contouring?

If you have lost a massive amount of weight through bariatric surgery or diet and exercise, you may be a good candidate for body contouring surgery. Body contouring works best when you’ve been at a stable weight for several months. Patients who have this procedure are usually in a mentally and physically healthy state, but their overall well-being is held back by excess skin.

“Large weight losses for some patients can lead to loose, sometimes painful excess skin. Body contouring can give weight loss surgery patients the opportunity to feel more comfortable," adds Dr. Williams.

To qualify for body contouring surgery, candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Have lost 100lbs or BMI less than or equal to 30, or weight loss less than or equal to 40 percent
  • Weight stability for a minimum duration of six months
  • 18 months since bariatric surgery
  • History of excess skin interfering with daily living and mobility
  • Documentation of chronic recurring symptoms over a duration of three months

How Much Does Body Contouring Surgery Cost? Is Body Contouring Covered By Insurance?

Body contouring surgery is typically covered by insurance providers for patients who have had bariatric surgery and lost weight. Patients with medical issues, wounds or excessive skin that interferes with their daily lives are also covered by insurance.

Your surgeon will discuss your body contouring costs with you during your consultation.

Learn More About the Body Contouring After Weight Loss Program:

In This Section

Body Contouring Surgery Process

As an elective procedure, it is completely up to you and your doctor whether or not you should consider body contouring surgery. The best way to determine if it’s right for you is to learn more about the surgery and what to expect.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss Patient Stories

Read stories from our patients who have had body contouring surgery at Penn, and see how they have embraced and maintained healthier lifestyles.

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