Surgeries for Hanging Skin Removal Boom in Wake of Weight Loss Surgeries

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, weight loss surgeries are on the rise, and with it we’ve seen increases in the frequency of procedures associated with weight loss, such as tummy tucks, breast lifts, thigh and upper arm lifts.

“We’re seeing exponential growth in concurrent surgeries, and we’re realizing that this is really a continuum of care for these patients” stated ASPS President Dr. Scot Glasberg in an interview with Reuters “Hanging skin can be very painful and get in the way for daily activities.”

In the latest report from the ASPS an estimated 1.7 million cosmetic surgeries were performedby board­certified surgeons in the United States. Breast lifts were up 3% since 2013 and 75 percent since 2000, with an estimated 92,724 performed in 2014. Among people who experienced massive weight loss, the procedures increased by 10% just since 2013.

Tummy tuck and thigh lift procedures increased by five% between 2013 and 2014 and more than 70% each since 2000. Upper arm lifts are up over 4000% compared with statistics reported in the year 2000, skyrocketing from about 300 to 16,000.

According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, there were almost 180,000 weight loss surgeries in the U.S. in 2013.

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor chief of minimally invasive surgery Dr. Justin B. Dimick states that “bariatric surgery has become much more common over the past decade, as these patients lose weight they may have excess ‘loose’ skin and need plastic surgery procedures to remove it a year or two later.”

Roughly one in five people who have weight loss surgery will need body contouring as well, he said.

Currently, insurance covers most bariatric surgeries but covers less than half of post­weight loss body contouring procedures, according to Glasberg. He states that those who can get body contouring after weight loss are some of the happiest patients in his practice, he said, and warned that patients pursuing weight loss surgery and body contouring should make sure they see a board certified plastic surgeon at an accredited facility.