For patients who have experienced significant weight loss, the body can be left with excessive, saggy skin that’s not only unattractive but can be embarrassing. In this case, a patient might choose after weight loss surgery, a variety of cosmetic procedures that remove extra skin and contours the body for a more streamlined look. Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Karol Gutowski, removes the unwanted fat and tightens the underneath tissue to provide patients with beautiful results. Dr. Gutowski can perform procedures on problem areas such as the stomach, back, thighs, buttocks, arms and face.
"I feel natural, and I can't put a price tag on how I feel with self confidence - After having 4 kids naturally I was uncomfortable with how my body looked. Nursing had depleted my breasts and my belly button still stuck out like I was 9 months pregnant. My husband and I agree that my body needed some attention. I needed a breast augmentation and surgery to push my belly button back in. After an intensive research process which also included 4 in-person consultations in..."- B. / RealSelf / May 28, 2017
"Breast Implant Revision - Honestly, if you are looking for the best, look no further because I can’t recommend him enough!!"- L. / RealSelf / Jun 11, 2017
"Best PS in Illinois - Chicago, IL - After consulting 4 other doctors I knew my search was over when I met Dr. Gutowski. His bedside manners were impeccable, he asked the right questions, was realistic with me, and kept me informed the whole time. I knew my case wouldn't be easy because I have a pre-existing condition that causes Chronic Anemia. For my story to be a success I needed a PS who excels at what he does, and 4 weeks..."- X. / RealSelf / Jun 08, 2017
"Couldn't be happier! - Could not be more grateful that I choose Dr. Gutowski to perform my explant. Long story short...I have always wanted breast implants and then one day decided to do it. However, they came out bigger than what I had wanted and after 3 years and just couldn't do it anymore. Hard to sleep, workout, breathe..just wanted them out. I chose Dr. Gutowski because I felt comfortable with him and his..."- L. / RealSelf / Jun 04, 2017
"56 Year Old Women. Lost 90 Pounds on my Own - Chicago, IL - Dr. Gutowski was so passionate about his work. I felt safe and informed at all times. I had received all my before and aftercare instructions immediately. I had almost ten hours of surgery and walked out of surgery center that day. The recovery took awhile but the pain was manageable. The doctor answered all calls and emails personally. Amazing job!"- M. / RealSelf / Sep 11, 2016
Weight loss patients often realize the need for skin removal surgery when the following conditions become evident as they near their goal weight:
- Sagging breasts
- Loose folds of skin around the abdomen
- Hanging skin and fat pockets around the hips
- Sagging skin and excessive wrinkling around the buttocks area
- Hanging skin from the inner thigh to the knee area
- “Bat wings” or loose skin on the underside of the arms
- “Turtle neck” or loose skin around the neck
Many of these conditions are inevitable after any major weight loss because skin, when stretched for a long time, loses its elasticity and fails to shrink back as the body becomes smaller.
After weight loss surgeries are ideal to trim down this excess of skin resulting in a tighter and firmer appearance. Many surgeons recommend grouping certain treatments together as they relate to the lower or upper body in order to minimize the risks of complications. An example of how a surgeon may group the surgeries include:
- The upper body: Procedures such as liposuction, breast lift, tummy tuck and arm lift may be performed.
- The lower body: Procedures such as liposuction, butt and thigh lift, lower body lift may be performed.
After weight loss surgery is considered a major operation in which the patient is put under general anesthesia. The number of hours it takes to complete this surgery varies, but on average it is between 4-7 hours. Overnight stay in the hospital is required so that patients can be closely monitored. While scarring is a part of this surgical process, a skilled plastic surgeon will make every effort to ensure that the incisions are kept as inconspicuous as possible. Post-surgery care is also prescribed so that the scars will heal properly. For many patients, the results after surgery are so positive and impactful, they are life-changing.
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After Weight Loss Surgery FAQs
Common Areas Treated?
Typical body parts that are addressed for surgery are the abdomen, buttocks, upper thighs, breasts, arms and neck. The most common areas for improvement include the breasts and abdominal area, which can usually be done at the same time. During the course of losing weight, the areas of loose skin will become more obvious and it is usually around this time that patients begin consulting with a plastic surgeon.
Before moving forward with this procedure, patients should be at or near their goal weight. Sometimes, removing the loose skin helps accelerate weight loss. This is the case when loose skin gets in the way of the patient’s daily physical activities.
Will Insurance Cover the Cost?
Insurance companies, for the most part, will not cover the expenses associated with cosmetic surgery. However, coverage does vary and sometimes may apply to weight loss patients where loose skin becomes a medical problem. Our billing coordinator works to provide accurate estimates and will thoroughly check the benefits of each provider.