Skin Removal Surgery

Whether due to substantial weight loss, pregnancy, or aging, sagging, inelastic skin can be depressing and troublesome. There are many cosmetic surgery procedures that involve removing excess skin:

  • Body Contouring – Removes excess skin and fat, and shapes the tissue beneath to form proportionate contours after significant weight loss.
  • Tummy Tuck – Repairing abdominal muscles and removing excess skin and fat after pregnancy or substantial weight loss.
  • Mommy Makeover – A combination of cosmetic surgical procedures designed to restore a more youthful, pre-pregnancy shape for mothers.
  • Body Lifts – Adjusting the symmetry and restoring tautness to specified areas of the body.

Who Is a Candidate for Skin Removal Surgery?

  • Adults who are dissatisfied with the long-term impact significant weight changes have had on their bodies
  • Adults whose weight has stabilized after significant weight loss
  • Healthy non-smoking adults who are committed to a healthy lifestyle
  • Individuals who have a positive outlook on life

Who Is Not a Candidate for Skin Removal Surgery?

  • Women who still plans to become pregnant
  • A person whose weight is unstable
  • A woman who is still breastfeeding or has recently given birth
  • A person whose overall health is compromised or is a current smoker

Intended Results of Skin Removal Surgery

After a major change such as significant weight loss, or one or more pregnancies, excess skin may be sagging and causing problems for daily living and personal hygiene. By removing this skin, and contouring the effected areas to a more natural appearance can make a tremendous difference to the individual’s outlook on life and self-confidence.

Procedure Description for Skin Removal Surgery

The specific procedure for each skin removal surgery will vary according to the circumstances, the patient’s aesthetic goals, and the approach of the surgeon. In general, the following steps are likely to be included in skin removal surgery:

  • Anesthesia is administered.
  • Incisions are made.
  • Excess skin and fat is removed, possibly aided by liposuction.
  • Skin is tightened and shaped, forming new contours.
  • Incisions are closed with absorbable sutures or stitches.
  • Sterile dressing and compression garments will be applied, and drains are placed.
  • Surgery results will be immediately apparent, but the body will likely be swollen and bruised initially.

Healing and Recovery for Skin Removal Surgery

  • As your body heals, it is important that you follow all your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions closely.
  • Results will not be considered final till roughly 2 years after surgery


The specific risks and the suitability of this procedure for a given individual can be determined only at the time of consultation. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.

Are you considering a Skin Removal Surgery? Visit our Find a Surgeon Directory to find a highly-qualified cosmetic surgeon near you.

Reviewed by Jason Emer, MD, FAAD, FAACS, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology and body contouring in West Hollywood, California.