Weight loss is a great accomplishment and a new step toward a healthier and more active life. However, following weight loss, skin sagging can be very frustrating and can present a new challenge. An experienced specialist plastic surgeon can remove excess skin and restore an aesthetically pleasing new contour to the body. The most common problem area is in the lower abdominal area. This procedure to correct this area is called male excess skin removal, body lift, apronectomy or panniculectomy and is designed for men who’ve lost extreme amounts of weight and are left with loose and sagging skin.
Unfortunately, as a result of the large stresses on the skin when you are at your maximum weight, the skin becomes irreversibly damaged and the lack of elasticity of the skin means that the skin will not shrink as you lose the weight. A strict diet and visits to the gym won’t be able to tighten excess skin that remains after significant weight loss. The only solution to help you get a more natural-looking body contour is abdoplasty surgery. Male excess skin removal surgery can help remove excess folds of skin and fat deposits. One or more surgical techniques are performed in lower body lift or upper body lift surgeries to get the desired effect.
Body lifting surgery can be targeted towards the midsection in an abdominoplasty procedure or can be a combination procedure to target specific areas such as an arm lift or a thigh lift. Removing skin from the midsection helps a male patient regain confidence and results in a dramatic improvement in comfort and hence lifestyle.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Doyle has over 30 years of experience working with male body lift procedures.
Common Reasons For Seeking Male Skin Reduction Surgery
Some of the reasons you may be exploring your surgical options for excess skin removal include:
- Loose sagging skin that may be uncomfortable
- Loose sagging skin that may be embarrassing
- Recurring skin infections
- Chaffing due to skin folds
- An inability to exercise
- Feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious when swimming
- Prone to unpleasant body odour due to moisture trapped in excess skin folds
- A fear of intimacy due to current body contours
- Difficulty finding suitable clothing
- Limitations in the activities of daily living
Am I A Suitable Candidate for Male Excess Skin Removal After Weight Loss?
You may be a candidate for a male body lift procedure after weight loss if:
- You’ve had a significant change in your BMI and are left with lots of loose skin.
- You have been at your new stable weight for around a year.
- You want to eliminate unwanted fat or sagging skin.
- You are currently healthy, well-nourished, and a non-smoker
- You have a realistic expectation about your surgery as skin removal can dramatically improve your appearance but will not give you a perfect body.
- You understand that you may have visible scars.
- You can take several weeks off work for recovery.
Benefits of the Male Excess Skin Removal Post Weight Loss
Male patients can experience an improved quality of life, self-esteem, sexual life, and body image after excess skin removal after significant weight loss. The body-contouring surgery not only improves the cosmetic outcomes but also reduces the functional impairment due to the removal of excess skin. The results are permanent and also improves the quality of the skin. Other benefits include:
- Target specific problem areas – Dr Doyle combines body contouring procedures into custom plans that address specific areas like your abdomen, back and chest.
- Achieve a masculine figure – Eliminating unwanted fat or sagging skin can reveal the toned muscles underneath and give you a more masculine and chiselled figure that you’ve worked hard for.
- Feel confident – By addressing problem areas, many men are able to improve their self-confidence in their personal and professional lives following weight loss body contouring surgery.
Steps of Male Excess Skin Removal After Weight Loss
Before Your Procedure
Depending upon the type of skin removal surgery you are getting and your problem areas, Dr Doyle will outline ways in which to prepare for your surgery including a support system for your recovery. A patient who smokes will be asked to stop smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery and also for at least 6 weeks following the surgery. This is because smoking inhibits proper circulation and wound healing.
Excess skin removal surgery is performed by Dr Doyle at the John Flynn Private Hospital. This is a cutting-edge facility that meets and exceeds medical standards when it comes to equipment, sanitation, as well as nursing and medical staff. The procedure is always performed under general anaesthesia, which means you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. The procedure varies depending upon the site surgery is being performed. There are many methods Dr Doyle can use to remove the skin from your body, depending on the goals you hope to achieve. Liposuction is commonly used as a component in all skin removal surgery as it helps remove any remaining stubborn fat, and loosening of the skin allows the skin to be tightened more and result in more skin being removed. Types of body lift surgery for men include lower body lift and upper body lift and can be summarised as follows:
Lower Body Lift
A lower body lift tightens the tissues on the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs. It is one of the most common post-weight loss procedures for men, and also one of the most extensive surgeries. Surgery involves a long incision made over the hip bone which runs along the circumference of the body. The surgeon then tightens stretched abdominal muscles for improved muscle tone and control.
Abdominoplasty / Panniculectomy / Apronectomy
After significant weight loss, an “apron” of skin called a pannus or apron can be left hanging below the belly button. In an abdominoplasty, an incision is made horizontally in the pubic hairline from one hip to the other. The excess skin is then trimmed and the remaining upper abdominal skin is pulled down like a window shade while the remaining skin is sutured together.
Thigh and Buttock Lift
A thigh and buttock lift surgery will remove excess droopy buttock skin and tighten the skin of the outer thigh area. The incision is made at the top part of the buttocks from one side of the body to the other. Liposuction is commonly used during the procedure to remove excess fat and to help mobilise the skin resulting in a tighter skin closure and more loose skin removal.
An arm lift is a surgical solution for men who have sagging skin on their upper arms and hope to regain the appearance of definition and muscle tone. Through an incision made on the inner side of the upper arm, loose skin and excess fat are removed to get a shapelier and more masculine upper arm appearance. Liposuction is always used in these procedures.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery
Male breast reduction surgery can be performed to remove excess skin and reshape the breast and chest area to achieve a firmer and lifted contour. The scars from this procedure depend on how large and how low the breasts are sitting initially.
Your Male Excess Skin Removal Post Weight Loss Surgical Journey
An initial consultation with Dr Doyle is the first step of excess skin removal post weight loss. Dr Doyle will determine which procedures you need and determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. During the consultation period, Dr Doyle will explain the details of the skin removal procedure along with the benefits and risks of it so you can decide if it is the right choice for you.
As male loose skin removal surgery is a complex surgery, it is best to choose a specialist surgeon with considerable experience in male body sculpting surgery.
Complications of Male Excess Skin Removal Surgery
To maximise the healing timeline and quality of your wounds, you should be willing to eat well in the weeks leading up to and following your surgery. We’ve outlined the recommended nutritional advice for optimal wound healing on our website for you to follow. This can help to reduce the risks associated with male body contouring surgery after weight loss.
Early complications arising following skin removal surgery may include:
- Bleeding: Bleeding increases the risk of wound infection, causes swelling and discomfort.
- Damage to the surrounding structures: Underlying important structures such as nerve or blood vessels close to the skin may get damaged.
- Adverse reaction due to medication: Medications used immediately or before surgery may sometimes produce an adverse effect like headache, chest pain, and high blood pressure.
The late complications following skin removal surgery include:
- Wound infection: The sign of wound infection includes redness, swelling, and pain around the wound. Pus discharge may be seen from the wound.
- Wound breakdown: This is often associated with infection and is very common in those patients who start smoking after their procedure. This may need more surgery to correct.
- Unsightly cosmetic result: A loss of skin colour, darker skin and thick raised scar tissue can occur which result in an unsightly cosmetic surgery result.
The recovery period is directly proportional to the size of the procedure performed. If you are having a body lift, you should allow six weeks off following your surgery depending on your type of employment. Smaller procedures such as breast reduction surgery or upper arm lift may need 2 to 3 weeks off work. Regardless of the procedure, during the first 2 to 3 weeks of recovery, you need to focus on healing.
Without any complications, you will be able to resume your activities in about 4-6 weeks. The first few days you might notice swelling, soreness, and bruising, for which Dr Doyle will provide you pain medication to keep you comfortable. Drinking lots of water, taking a short walk, when you are able and eating healthy will speed up your recovery.
It is very important to take care of yourself during the recovery period to prevent complications. Rest and not being under any stress are very important during the recovery period. The healing is quite prompt and occurs without any hindrance in the nonsmoker.
Male Body Lift Frequently Asked Questions
How much does excess skin removal surgery for men cost?
There are different kinds of skin removal treatments. Each of these has a different cost. The cost varies according to the complexity of treating the area. When you are considering surgery, it is very important to choose an experienced surgeon rather than choosing a surgeon based on their fees.
This procedure requires an extensive amount of time in theatre and prices reflect that. To find out more about the cost of male body lift surgery, you can book a consultation with Dr Doyle or view our pricing resources:
Is excess skin removal surgery covered by insurance?
Insurances typically cover the medically necessary procedures but not the cosmetic ones. As skin removal surgery is a cosmetic procedure, only under rare circumstances, it may be approved by some insurance company. You must meet strict criteria to qualify for a financial rebate:
In order to qualify for a Medicare and Insurance rebate for body contouring surgery after massive weight loss, you need:
- To have lost at a minimum, 5 BMI points – typically 15kg or more for an average person.
- To have maintained this weight loss by keeping at a stable weight for at least 6 months
- Suffer from skin conditions (rashes or chaffing) that have been treated using non-surgical methods for 3 months with minimal improvement.
- To be able to prove that this excess skin following weight loss interferes with your daily activities including exercise.
If this sounds like your experience, view our Medicare and Plastic Surgery page to read the Item Numbers in more detail.
Is male excess skin removal surgery painful?
As the procedure is done under general anaesthesia, you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. As part of the surgery in the larger procedures like abdominoplasty or body lift, Dr Doyle uses one or more pain pumps to help minimise your postoperative pain. A pain pump consists of a plastic bottle full of local anaesthetic connected to a small plastic tube which is placed under the abdominal or back skin. It automatically squirts local anaesthetic under the skin for 3 days and is very effective in minimising your pain. You will also receive oral medications to keep you comfortable.
How long does it take to recover from male excess skin removal surgery?
More extensive procedures such as a male lower body lift will require a longer recovery and may require a short hospital stay. Temporary drains are kept in for up to seven days to reduce swelling and discomfort. Physical jobs, exercising, and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 6 weeks.
Does loose skin go away?
In those people with a small to moderate amount of weight loss, loose skin will likely retract on its own over time. However, those who have achieved major weight loss may need body-contouring surgery or other medical procedures to tighten or get rid of loose skin.
What is a hanging stomach called?
The most common name for a hanging stomach is an apron and occurs in those who have lost a massive amount of weight.
How do you avoid excess skin when losing weight?
Losing weight slowly is the best way to avoid excess skin. It is recommended to lose around 1 kg a week. Loose skin is a problem after drastic weight loss over a short period. There may be an improvement in skin elasticity over time, but surgery may be required to remove excess skin.
What qualifies you for am Abdominoplasty?
You are a good abdominoplasty candidate if:
- You are physically sound and have a constant weight for around a year
- You have realistic expectations
- You are a non-smoker
- You are constantly worried about how your abdomen looks
- You have recurring infections underneath the hanging fold of skin
How long does loose skin take to tighten naturally?
The skin is the largest organ in the body and forms a protective barrier to the body. During weight gain, the skin expands and makes room for increased growth in the abdomen and other parts of the body. Following significant weight loss, excess skin hangs from the body. For people who have a small to moderate amount of weight loss, the skin will retract eventually. However, individuals who have achieved major weight loss may need body contouring surgery to get rid of excess skin.
How can I tighten my loose belly skin?
Loose skin can be frustrating and have an impact on self-esteem. While there are many ways of getting loose skin such as weight loss and aging, there are not many ways to fix the problem other than aesthetic surgery. Many other options exist for people who would rather avoid surgical procedures, but are not very effective. These include:
- Firming products
Can you tighten loose skin without surgery?
It’s not uncommon to have loose skin following weight loss. This can be anywhere especially in your arms, abdomen, chest, butts, and thigh. This can be uncomfortable physically as well as psychologically too, impacting your confidence level. A body-contouring surgery such as male body lift surgery will give you the most dramatic result. Here are some non-surgical options to tighten loose skin without surgery:
- Skin-firming creams and lotion
- Heat ultrasound
- Laser treatment
- Laser resurfacing
Can you lose hanging belly fat?
The best way to reduce belly fat is through overall weight reduction via surgical and nonsurgical options. Weight reduction can be achieved by healthy living and exercise. The surgical options include liposuction, body lift and apronectomy. The non-surgical options include skin-firming creams and lotion, heat ultrasound, radio-frequency, laser treatment, and laser resurfacing. The surgical options have been shown to give a dramatic result. You can book a consultation with our expert surgeon to discuss the procedure that is best for you.
How much does it cost to get rid of loose skin after weight loss?
The cost to get rid of loose skin after weight loss varies significantly, and this is dependent on several factors. The surgeon’s level of expertise, the condition and amount of your skin, the extent of the procedure and treatment modalities you prefer are responsible for the variation of price. The type of excess skin removal surgery that is right for you can be assessed in an in-person consultation with our expert surgeon Dr Doyle.
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- Anderson WA, Greene GW, Forse RA, Apovian CM, Istfan NW. Weight loss and health outcomes in African Americans and whites after gastric bypass surgery