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Body Lift to Remove Excess Skin after Weight Loss

Have you had massive weight loss with diet and exercise, bariatric surgery or past pregnancies leading to excess skin around your abdomen, arms or thighs? If so, addressing this surgically may be a good option for you.

Types of Body Lift Procedures

  • Upper Body Lift
  • Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)
  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
  • Panniculectomy
  • Lower body lift
  • Thigh Lift (Thighplasty)

What you need to know

  • Procedures to remove excess skin can include removal of skin from your arms, breast, abdomen, back, hips, thighs and buttocks.
  • A surgical procedure to remove excess skin is not a weight loss procedure; however, it is a procedure performed after weight loss has been achieved.
  • It is recommended you be at your desired weight or have a BMI of 30 or less prior to proceeding with surgical intervention.
  • If you use nicotine products, it is required for you to stop smoking prior to undergoing surgery to optimize healing and recovery.
  • These are often major surgeries that require up to six weeks of recovery time.
  • The purpose of body lift procedures is to remove excess skin, address any skinfolds and trim any excess skin to provide a better contour to your body.

Insurance Coverage of Surgery

Your insurance may cover surgery to remove excess skin if you experience frequent skin infections and/or rashes, if it interferes with your quality of life or if it is deemed medically necessary by your plastic surgeon.

Often, you would still be required to pay out of pocket costs.

Increase Confidence and Self Esteem

Many people feel uncomfortable having excess skin after weight loss and may report low self-esteem, especially if they have trouble fitting properly in clothing.

A body lift procedure will make your body more proportional and divert unwanted attention while out in public or having conversations with friends. This will allow you to be more comfortable in public and with normal activities which will increase your confidence and self-image.

Surgery Recovery Expectations

Procedures to remove excess skin are typically tolerable procedures, and most patients are on narcotic pain medications for the first five-10 days. These are sometimes outpatient surgeries, but some may require an overnight stay in the hospital. It is recommended that you wear a supportive, compressive surgical garment for six weeks following the procedure. Your post-operative restrictions would include no heavy lifting or strenuous activities for two-three weeks following surgery and then activities can usually be increased as tolerated. Overall, these procedures are ones that patients are very pleased with, as they have worked hard to lose the needed weight to get their body back.

Paul A. Critelli, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon at UT Health North Campus Tyler. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 903-877-7826 or visit

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