Plastic Surgery

After Major Weight Loss

What is Post Weight Loss Body Contouring?

Sometimes referred to as skin removal surgery or a body lift, cosmetic surgery after massive weight loss involves the removal of excess skin and fat. For patients who have lost a significant amount of weight, perhaps through bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, loose skin and stubborn fat deposits can prevent them from achieving the body contours they desire. Excess skin that remains after massive weight loss can also cause painful chafing and other negative health implications. By removing this excess skin, patients are able to achieve more streamlined contours that properly reflect their efforts to lose weight and embrace a healthier lifestyle.

column image

Benefits of Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

There are so many benefits to post weight loss body contouring, including:

  • Remove loose extra skin from the abdomen, arms, flanks, hips, and thighs
  • Add firmness to buttocks and breasts
  • Reduce excess fat
  • Improved definition of body contours
  • Reduce chafing from sagging skin
  • Improved body image
  • Decreased body mass index (BMI)
  • Improved physical, social, sexual, and psychological wellbeing2

Which Procedure is Right for You?

Post Weight Loss Surgery Options

Post weight loss surgical procedures are customized to meet each patient’s unique needs. Procedures may include:

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is performed to remove excess skin on the abdomen. During a tummy tuck, the surgeon may also tighten abdominal muscles, resulting in an abdomen that is firm, toned, and contoured.

Extended Tummy Tuck

An extended tummy tuck, sometimes referred to as a lower body lift, addresses excess skin and fat on the abdomen, lower back, and flanks. This results in more complete lower body contouring than a traditional tummy tuck.


Liposuction is performed to remove stubborn pockets of fat that remain after massive weight loss. This can be done on the abdomen, arms, neck, hips, thighs, and back.

Neck Lift

Loose, saggy skin on the neck is common after massive weight loss. A neck lift removes this skin to improve neck and jawline contours.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift removes excess skin on the inner thighs, outer thighs, or both. This creates a more toned appearance and also eliminates chafing caused by loose skin.

Arm Lift

An arm lift is performed to remove excess skin on the upper arms, leaving the arms looking more toned and shapely.

Posterior Body Lift

A posterior body lift lifts the buttocks to a higher position while removing excess skin on the flanks, lower back, and hips. The result is a tighter, rounder posterior.

Breast Lift

After massive weight loss, the breasts can appear saggy or deflated. A breast lift removes loose tissue, leaving breasts firmer, higher, and more shapely. Patients may wish to enhance the effects with breast augmentation.

Dr. Lickstein Discusses the Tummy Tuck vs Liposuction

Body Lift Surgery: What to Expect

Preparing for Post Weight Loss Surgery

The first step in preparing for post weight loss surgery is a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon. During this meeting, you will have the opportunity to be candid about your concerns and goals, and the doctor will conduct an examination and review of your medical history. Together you will decide on which body contouring procedures are right for you.

Other steps you can take to prepare for post weight loss surgery include:

  • Be at or near your target weight
  • Have healthy eating habits in place
  • Build a support system you can rely on

Details of Post Weight Loss Surgery Procedures

Tummy Tuck

The tummy tuck incision is made from hip to hip, along the bikini line. Sometimes a second incision is created around the navel. The surgeon uses sutures to tighten the abdominal muscles, removes excess tissue, and reshapes abdominal contours.

Extended Tummy Tuck

For an extended tummy tuck, the incision is made around the hips and extends to the lower back. Loose abdominal muscles are tightened with sutures, excess skin is removed, and a natural appearance is restored to the tummy, hips, and back.


During liposuction, small incisions are made and cannulas are inserted to gently suck away excess fat and improve body contours.

Neck Lift

The neck lift incision is made above the lower hairline. Neck muscles are tightened and loose skin is removed.

Thigh Lift

For a thigh lift, the incision is made along the inner or outer thigh so that excess skin can be removed and underlying tissues can be positioned for a more sculpted look.

Posterior Body Lift

Incisions for a posterior body lift are made at the upper edge of the buttocks. Excess skin is trimmed away.

Breast Lift

Breast lift incisions are made around the areola and in the crease below the breasts. The surgeon removes excess tissue and uses sutures to lift the breasts to a perkier position.

Arm Lift

The incision for an arm lift is made along the inner arm, from the elbow to the armpit. Excess skin is removed, and the remaining tissue is repositioned to improve arm contours.

Recovery After Body Lift Surgery

The recovery process after post weight loss surgery depends on the patient’s physical condition and the procedures performed. Most patients recover for two to three weeks before returning to work. Your doctor will advise you when you are able to resume strenuous activities and exercise after weight loss surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions About Post Weight Loss Surgery

icon q

Which body contouring surgery procedure or procedures do I need?

The best way to determine whether post weight loss surgery will benefit you and which procedures will help you reach your goals is to have a personal consultation with a plastic surgeon you trust.

icon q

Will I have scars after my body lift?

Scarring after post weight loss surgery depends on the procedures performed. It is likely that, no matter which post weight loss procedures you undergo, you will have some scars. Our surgeons are careful to place incisions in a manner to reduce visible scarring whenever possible.

icon q

Does health insurance cover post weight loss body contouring?

For some patients, post weight loss skin removal is considered medically necessary and is covered by medical insurance. The best way to determine whether your treatment plan will fall under insurance coverage is to work with our experienced staff, who can help you submit for preauthorization. For patients who incur out-of-pocket expenses, we can help you learn more about cosmetic surgery financing options.

Contact Lickstein Plastic Surgery

If you have done the work and lost the weight but are still unhappy with the appearance of your body due to excess skin, the cosmetic surgeons at Lickstein Plastic Surgery can help. Contact us to schedule a post weight loss surgery consultation at our practice, serving Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Port St. Lucie and beyond.

Contact Us
Footer Form

*By checking this box you consent to receive phone calls, text messages and emails from Lickstein Plastic Surgery. It is not a condition of purchasing any goods or services. You can opt out at any time, message/data rates may apply, and opting-in includes acceptance of the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Reply STOP to end. Communications through our website or via email are not encrypted and are not necessarily secure. Use of the internet or email is for your convenience only, and by using them, you assume the risk of unauthorized use.

1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Body Contouring. Available: Accessed April 13, 2022.
2 Toma T, Harling L, Athanasiou T, Darzi A, Ashrafian H. Does Body Contouring After Bariatric Weight Loss Enhance Quality of Life? A Systematic Review of QOL Studies. Obes Surg. 2018 Oct;28(10):3333-3341. doi: 10.1007/s11695-018-3323-8. PMID: 30069862; PMCID: PMC6153583. Available: Accessed April 13, 2022.

The Doctors at Lickstein Plastic Surgery have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.
Page Updated: