Loose Skin after Weight Loss: Solutions
More people than ever are losing weight rapidly and keeping the weight off. That’s a big win for those who have won the battle of the bulge but there’s also a big catch for many of them – unflattering loose skin. Thanks to medical advances that include sleeve gastrectomy surgery, more people are facing this sole downside of defeating a weight problem. It gets worse because, in cases where people have lost very large amounts of weight, folds of skin can be so big they’re physically uncomfortable.
There’s no one-size-fits-all remedy but the Beverly Hills Physicians team of superb plastic surgeons and medical professionals can help people facing this troublesome cosmetic and quality of life problem. Here are some of our most popular solutions.
Until recently, surgery was the only effective option for getting rid of loose skin – even for people with relatively modest issues. Renuvion, however, employs high radio frequency (RF) energy to heat up the dermis combined with a cooling helium gas to control the temperature. Administered through a tiny incision, this nonsurgical procedure stimulates the production of collagen, tightening the skin and improving its elasticity. It’s an outstanding solution for many people with smaller amounts of loose skin.
Formerly known as J Plasma, Renuvion is fully FDA-approved; research* supports its safety and effectiveness. In cases where patients have larger amounts of loose skin, Renuvion can be combined with surgical procedures such as lifts and tummy tucks to further tighten and rejuvenate the dermis.
Several plastic surgeries fall under this category. The most common and best known are tummy tucks, aka stomach lifts. This procedure is superb both for large folds of flabby skin and subcutaneous fat. In addition, Beverly Hills Physicians’ board-certified plastic surgeons can include the delicate task of tightening abdominal muscles that have been separated by obesity and/or pregnancy.
To summarize, the procedure consists of the following steps.
- Surgical removal of excess skin.
- Removal of any lingering pockets of fat via liposuction.
- Tightening of separated abdominal muscles (diastasis recti) when needed.
While the procedures are similar, body lifts obviously differ depending on what part of the body is affected. These include:
- Thigh Lift. Another area where large folds of unsightly skin can collect is around the inner and outer thighs. Based on the advice of their plastic surgeons, patients may opt for removing skin and fat in the inner or outer thighs as well as the buttocks.
- Arm Lift. Flabby skin hanging down from under the arms is a frequent complaint of men and women as they age but it can appear even at younger ages when there has been substantial and rapid weight loss.
- Breast Lifts. Changes in the sizes of the breasts will naturally tend to stretch the skin and cause sagging. Breast lifts, known medically as mastopexy, can greatly improve the shape of breasts and are, for good reason, one of the most popular of all plastic surgeries.
- Chest lifts. Male patients may suffer sagging related to both obesity and gynecomastia, a common hormonal syndrome that can lead to oversize male breasts. In addition to mastopexy, a gynecomastia procedure may include the excision of excess glandular tissue.
The face and neck can also be prone to sagging, loose skin, and wrinkling after weight loss. While Renuvion can be extremely helpful in this area, a traditional facelift may be desired in many cases. Rhytidectomy, the medical term for facelifts, is among the oldest of all plastic surgeries and may improve or eliminate wrinkles, sagging, and fine lines. In some cases, facelifts and Renuvion may be combined. Blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts) may also be included for a more youthful and attractive overall look.
Are Skin Removal and Body Contouring Procedures Covered by Insurance?
Skin tightening operations for loose skin following weight loss surgeries may be covered by health insurance in many cases. There are typically certain conditions that must be met, however, such as maintaining the same weight for a set period. Renuvion, on the other hand, is not covered by insurance because it is considered a strictly cosmetic procedure.
As you may expect, making sure a health insurer will cover this kind of plastic surgery can be complicated. Fortunately, the Beverly Hills Physicians team of friendly and knowledgeable consultants is here to help patients navigate the insurance system.
What if My Procedure is Not Covered?
At Beverly Hills Physicians, we understand that money is always an object, and for people with middle-class incomes, paying for surgeries in a lump sum may be difficult. Once insurance has been ruled out as an option, our team works with patients to craft a custom payment program designed to make their procedures affordable.
One thing to consider for people with financial concerns who may have relatively modest amounts of loose skin: Renuvion is not covered by insurance, but it is less expensive than surgery.
Patients’ recovery will differ greatly based on the choice of procedures.
Renuvion procedures for loose skin are always performed under anesthesia, usually involving sedation. Regardless, patients will not able to drive afterward so they need to arrange for a designated person to drive them home once they are released from the recovery area.
While it is significantly less invasive than traditional surgeries, Renuvion does involve roughly a week of downtime before most patients can return to work. There will be some bruising and patients may be prescribed a special compression garment to wear for a short period. There will also be some discomfort but it should be manageable for the most part with over-the-counter analgesics.
Patients see improvements fairly soon after the procedure and most healing is completed within a month. However, it may take several months before the full outcome is apparent.
Body Lift Recovery
The length of downtime and recovery will vary greatly based on what procedure(s) have been obtained. Generally speaking, patients will need to rest for several days following Renuvion treatment. Aside from arranging for someone to pick them up from the recovery room, they must have someone with them the first night after surgery. They will also usually need someone to stay with them to perform ordinary household tasks; that’s especially true for patients with small children.
Cut Yourself Loose from Sagging Skin, Starting Today!
Wondering which procedure or group of procedures is best for you? The only way to find out is to talk with a specialist.
Let the outstanding team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Beverly Hills Physician free you of unlovely loose skin. There’s no reason to wait. Just call or fill out the form on this page to book your free initial consultation right now.
*“Safety and Efficacy of Renuvion Helium Plasma to Improve the Appearance of Loose Skin in the Neck and Submental Region,” Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Paul G Ruff, IV, M.D., F.A.C.S., Gaurav Bharti, M.D., Joseph Hunstad, M.D., Bill Kortesis, M.D., Barry DiBernardo, M.D., Richard Gentile, M.D., Steven Cohen, M.D., Allison Martinez, B.A., Sachin Shridharani, M.D., March 8, 2023.