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Post-Weight Loss Surgery

After achieving significant weight loss, many individuals find themselves closer to their health and body goals but often face a new challenge: excess skin and stubborn fat deposits that diet and exercise alone cannot address. This is where post-weight loss body contouring steps in, offering a transformative solution that aligns the body’s appearance with the individual’s weight loss achievements.

Dr. Samuel Sohn, a distinguished plastic surgeon based in the vibrant communities of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg, Florida, specializes in transformative post-weight loss surgery. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the human form, Dr. Sohn crafts results that celebrate your weight loss achievement, enhancing your confidence and quality of life.

What is Post-Weight Loss Surgery?

Post-weight loss surgery, also known as skin removal surgery and post-weight loss body contouring, is cosmetic surgery performed after a patient has undergone significant weight loss. Particularly after losing massive amounts of weight in a relatively short time through bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery, loose, excess skin and stubborn fat deposits can prevent a person from achieving a body shape that accurately reflects their weight loss journey Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Contouring Skin Removal After Major Weight Loss American Society of Plastic Surgeons Go to Source . In addition to cosmetic concerns, excess skin after weight loss can also make it difficult to find clothes that fit appropriately and cause chafing, infections, and other health issues. Post-weight loss surgery is not a single procedure, but a combination of plastic surgery procedures that may be performed together or separately.

Each patient’s post-weight surgery treatment plan is unique and customized to meet their goals as they seek a more proportionate and slender appearance. The most common post-bariatric surgical procedures are tummy tucks, arm lifts, thigh lifts, and upper or lower body lifts. Each surgical procedure is meticulously planned to suit the unique contours of the patient’s body, aiming not only for visual improvement but also for an improvement in quality of life.

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Benefits of Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring

During post-weight loss surgery, extra skin and fat are removed to reveal a figure that properly reflects a patient’s weight loss success. Choosing to undergo post-weight loss body contouring with Dr. Sohn offers numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced Appearance: Achieve a more proportional and pleasing body contour, allowing your physical appearance to reflect your weight loss efforts.
  • Increased Comfort: Eliminate the discomfort and physical limitations caused by excess skin, improving mobility and the ability to engage in physical activities.
  • Better Hygiene: Reduce the risk of skin infections and irritation by removing folds of skin that can trap moisture and bacteria.
  • Improved Self-Esteem: Many patients report a significant boost in self-confidence and satisfaction with their appearance post-surgery.
  • Long-Lasting Results: With a healthy lifestyle, the outcomes of your surgery can be long-lasting, enabling you to enjoy your new figure for years to come.

Post-Weight Loss Surgery Options

Post-weight loss surgery isn’t a single procedure. Rather this is an umbrella term for a fully customized suite of cosmetic surgery procedures tailored to meet the needs of each patient. These procedures may include:

Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty, most commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, is a surgical procedure that addresses a number of concerns. Not only are excess skin and fat removed from the abdomen, but a tummy tuck also involves tightening of the abdominal muscles. In patients who have lost significant weight, it is not uncommon for the abdominal muscles to separate, a condition known as diastasis recti. This can cause both sides of the abdomen to sag, and cannot be fixed with exercise alone. A tummy tuck results in a trimmer abdomen that appears more toned.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck or lower body lift goes beyond traditional abdominoplasty to remove excess fat and skin from the lower back, hips, and flanks.


A panniculectomy is a surgical procedure aimed at removing the pannus, which is an excess of sagging skin and fat that hangs over the lower abdomen, often resulting from significant weight loss and bariatric surgery. Unlike a tummy tuck which addresses the entire abdomen, a panniculectomy focuses solely on the apron of fat and hanging skin that can extend down over the pubic area and often causes skin irritation, rashes, infections, and other health problems.

Lower Body Lift/Belt Lipectomy

When a person loses a significant amount of weight, excess skin circumferentially around the body, including the abdomen, buttocks, flanks, lower back, and inner and outer thighs can make it difficult to find clothing that fits. This extra skin can also cause chafing, sores, and other problems. A lower body lift, or belt lipectomy, is a surgical procedure performed to eliminate extra skin and fat from these areas, boosting a patient’s self-esteem, alleviating health issues, and improving mobility. Some patients may also choose to undergo a Brazilian butt lift to achieve a butt that is higher and firmer.

Bra Line Back Lift

For individuals who have complaints of upper back rolls around and about the bra line, a bra line back life, or upper back lift can help. This operation removes excess skin from the upper back, with an incision that extends and his hidden within the bra strap to help smooth out the contours of the upper back. Liposuction is often performed at the same time to help release and debulk the tissues of the upper back and lateral chest.


There are some stubborn fat deposits that remain after massive weight loss that simply cannot be addressed through diet and exercise. Liposuction involves the removal of targeted areas of excess fat, and can be performed on most parts of the body, including the abdomen, buttocks, arms, hips, thighs, and neck.

Breast Lift

Women who have lost significant weight typically experience notable changes to the appearance of their breasts due to stretched, saggy skin and volume loss. This can be uncomfortable, limit clothing options, and negatively affect self-confidence. A breast lift is performed to remove loose skin and excess fat and elevate the breasts, nipples, and areola to a higher position on the chest for a perky, youthful appearance. Some women may also choose to undergo breast augmentation with breast implants or fat transfer at the same time as their breast lift. Other women may seek to combine breast lift surgery with a breast reduction.

Arm Lift

After major weight loss, saggy excess skin on the upper arms can be unattractive, cause irritation, and make it difficult to fit into tops. An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper arms. During this procedure, the underlying tissues are also tightened to reveal a more toned appearance.

Thigh Lift

Excess skin and fat on the inner thighs and outer thighs are also a common concern after massive weight loss. A thigh lift, or thighplasty, is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper thighs and tighten underlying tissues for a more slender and toned appearance. Because excess skin on the thighs can impact a patient’s mobility, a thigh lift is also key to ensuring patients are able to exercise after weight loss surgery.

Buttock Lift/Buttock Lift with Auto-Augmentation

Excess skin and soft tissue on the buttocks, flanks, lower back, and inner and outer thighs can be troublesome to patients from a shape and skin tone perspective. This extra skin can also cause hygiene issues as well as other problems. A buttock lift, is a surgical procedure performed to eliminate extra skin and fat from these areas, boosting a patient’s self-esteem, alleviating health issues, and improving mobility. An incision is created in the posterior position of the upper buttocks, and excess skin is removed from hip to hip to create an improved shape. If patients suffer from a lack of projection of the buttocks, a buttock lift with auto-augmentation can also be performed. This surgery utilizes the tissue that would otherwise be removed from the posterior buttocks and lower back, and deftly places this tissue in a “pants over vest” fashion to naturally add volume and projection to the buttocks.

Who is a Candidate for Post-Weight Loss Surgery?

Ideal candidates for post-weight loss surgery are individuals who have achieved significant weight loss, often through bariatric surgery, and are now facing issues with excess skin and residual fat deposits. Candidates should be at a stable weight, in good overall health, and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of surgery. If you are considering post-weight loss body contouring, you also need to be committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Lift Candidates American Society of Plastic Surgeons Go to Source . A consultation with Dr. Sohn is the first step to determining if you are a good candidate for post-weight loss surgery.

Preparing For Post-Weight Loss Surgery

The first step in preparing for your post-weight loss surgery is your personal consultation with Dr. Sohn. During this appointment, you will be able to discuss your goals with Dr. Sohn. He will conduct a thorough examination and in addition to a complete review of your medical history before advising you of your options. Together, you will decide which surgical procedures will help you achieve a figure that accurately reflects your significant weight loss.

Before post-weight loss surgery, there are steps you must take to help you achieve the best outcome and minimize any risks. You will need to reach a stable weight, and Dr. Sohn must see that weight remains stable for a number of months. If you still have a significant amount of weight to lose, now may not be the time to schedule your surgical procedures. You will also need to stop smoking and consuming alcohol, and Dr. Sohn may ask you to discontinue use of certain medications including semaglutides such as Wegovy and Ozempic. You will undergo a series of pre-operative tests to ensure that post-weight loss surgery is a safe, healthy, and effective option for you at this time.

Recovery After Post-Weight Loss Surgery

Recovery after post-weight loss surgery is different for every patient and is dependent upon factors like the number and extent of procedures performed and the patient’s overall health.

In general, patients can expect to experience discomfort, bruising, and swelling after post-weight loss body contouring. Rest is essential, and Dr. Sohn will prescribe pain medication to make the recovery period more comfortable. You will be fitted with compression garments that will help reduce swelling and support your body as it heals, and you may also have surgical drains placed. You will need to avoid strenuous activity for several weeks after surgery, and you should arrange for assistance with daily tasks.
You will attend a series of follow-up appointments with Dr. Sohn so that he can monitor your healing and support you during the recovery process.

FAQs About Post-Weight Loss Surgery

Each patient has unique cosmetic concerns and goals after significant weight loss. During your consultation with Dr. Sohn you will be comfortable sharing these concerns and goals, and he will help you decide on the best treatment plan for you.

Yes, visible scarring will remain after post-weight loss surgery. Some procedures will leave more visible scarring than others, and other factors like the size of the treatment area and the patient’s skin type also impact scarring. D.r Sohn is a highly skilled plastic surgeon and will do everything possible to minimize scarring and strategically place incisions in places that can be hidden by clothing. Dr. Sohn will also give you recommendations for scar care after surgery.

For patients who struggle with extra skin stubborn fat after massive weight loss, the benefits of post-weight loss surgery in terms of physical appearance, health, and self-esteem far outweigh visible scarring.

There are risks associated with every surgical procedure, and these can be reduced by working with an experienced plastic surgeon and ensuring that you are healthy before your post-weight loss surgery. The most common risks of post-bariatric body contouring include infection, bleeding, blood clots, hematoma and seroma, poor wound healing, and nerve damage Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Body Contouring After Weight Loss: What You Need to Know Johns Hopkins Medicine Go to Source .

For many patients, excess skin and fat that remain after massive weight loss can lead to infections, chafing, and chronic skin irritation. In these cases, the removal of extra skin may be deemed medically necessary and surgery may be covered by insurance. If a patient’s reasons for seeking post-weight loss surgery are solely cosmetic, they may not be eligible for coverage.

The best way to determine whether your surgical procedures are covered is to reach out to your insurance provider. If you don’t have medical insurance or your surgery is not covered, we can help you learn more about medical financing options.

Post-weight loss body contouring surgery is performed to remove extra skin and fat that remain after significant weight loss. As such, it is not a weight loss surgical procedure. However, excess skin and fat can be heavy, so you can expect to shed some pounds after surgery.

In the sense that excess skin and fat are surgically removed from the body, the results are permanent. However, no surgical procedure can prevent a patient from regaining weight. In order to preserve the longevity of your results after post-weight loss body contouring, you need to remain committed to a healthy lifestyle.

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Contact Dr. Sohn

Ready to take the next step in your weight loss journey? Contact Dr. Samuel Sohn’s office, serving patients from Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and nearby Florida communities, to schedule your consultation. Together, we’ll explore how post-weight loss surgery can help you achieve the body confidence you deserve. Your new beginning starts here.

1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Body Contouring Skin Removal After Major Weight Loss. Available: Accessed February 27, 2024.

2 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Body Lift Candidates. Available: Accessed February 27, 2024.

3 Johns Hopkins Medicine. Body Contouring After Weight Loss: What You Need to Know. Accessed February 27, 2024.

Dr. Samuel Sohn has reviewed and approved this content.

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