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Major weight loss, whether through surgery or diet and exercise, is highly transformative for patients, leaving them healthier, happier, and more energetic. However, the weight loss is often just the first step in their journey. In many cases, as the body shrinks down to its new, smaller, healthier size, the skin cannot shrink along with it due to a loss of elasticity.

The result is excess skin along the face, breast, arms, waist, and thighs that detracts from the new hard-earned physique. You can fix this with a cosmetic body procedure. A post-weight loss or post bariatric procedure in Fort Worth can help remove this excess skin so you can admire your new look.

Plastic surgery after weight loss or bariatric surgery, ranging from a mini tummy tuck to a full “body lift,” can dramatically reverse these changes. Each treatment approach will be different depending on your goals and priorities, so the first step will always be talking to a plastic surgeon in Fort Worth who specializes in post-weight loss surgery about what will work for you.

Dr. Matthew H Steele is a double-board certified plastic surgeon who can help make your cosmetic goals a reality. If you are ready to learn more about post bariatric or post-weight loss surgery, request a consultation online with Dr. Steele, or call our office.

Common Challenges after Major Weight Loss

As people gain weight, their skin stretches over time to accommodate their growing body mass. After significant weight loss through diet and exercise or surgical intervention, people can have substantial health benefits but tend to be left with excess skin that hangs from the abdomen, upper arms, thighs, or buttocks and makes it difficult to move around. If the skin has stretched, it will not always be able to snap back to its previous form due to the loss of collagen and elasticity over time.

Excess skin can cause significant mental distress despite the victory of having lost so much weight. Large amounts of loose skin can make exercise difficult, the heaviness of hanging skin might cause joint or muscle pain, and skin folds can become irritated with rashes or sores. For these reasons, some people in Fort Worth find excess skin removal surgery a transformative final step in their weight loss journey.

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Case #1
This 32-year-old mother of one child lost over 200 pounds after a gastric bypass in 2009. She presented to Dr. Steele…
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Case #2
This 27-year-old West Texas mother of 3 children lost over 100 pounds after a gastric sleeve procedure…
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Case #3
After losing 130 pounds the hard way (diet and exercise!), this 39-year-old mother of 2 children was unhappy with the result…
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Your Surgical Options

Many patients who have achieved significant weight loss will require more than one body contouring procedure, often in stages. Additional procedures can improve the appearance of the breast, arms, and face. If you have obtained a stable weight and are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the time may be right to visit Dr. Steele in Fort Worth for body contouring surgery. Because weight loss affects each patient differently, Dr. Steele will take the time to answer your questions and help design an individualized surgical plan to optimally and safely achieve your goals. Weight loss patients commonly undergo the following lifting and tightening surgeries:

Upper Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

This procedure is designed to deal with upper arm skin and fat (often called “bat wings”). Through an incision along the inner arm running from the elbow to the armpit, the skin and fat is excised, often in conjunction with liposuction of the arm. In milder cases, a limited-incision brachioplasty may be an option with the incision limited to the armpit. Click here to see arm lift photos.

Lower Body Lift

A lower body lift, also referred to as a circumferential tummy tuck or belt lipectomy, is an extension of a tummy tuck that removes excess skin along the upper hips and buttocks. The result is improved contour and skin tightening around the entire trunk. Click here to see body lift photos.

Inner Thigh Lift

Similar to the upper arm, the inner thigh can be left with residual skin and fat after weight loss. An inner thigh lift, often combined with liposuction, will rejuvenate and tighten the inner thigh. After a body lift, most patients will notice a small improvement in the upper/inner thigh. For that reason, the inner thigh lift is typically performed in a staged fashion after the body lift or tummy tuck procedure

Breast Lift

Like many women who have had children, weight loss patients will often note significant sagging and loss of breast volume. A breast lift or breast lift with implants may be an option to rejuvenate the breast by reshaping the breast, while adding volume to the upper breast. In some weight loss patients, the extent of sagging can be such that it is unsafe to combine a lift with implant at the same operation. In these cases, Dr. Steele recommends proceeding first with a mastopexy (lift) with a delayed breast augmentation 3-6 months later.


Because of the poor skin quality in most weight loss patients, liposuction alone is typically not performed due to worsening of the skin laxity. However, many of the above procedures will be combined liposuction to remove fat in combination with skin excision for tightening.


Unfortunately, significant weight loss can result in loss skin in the face resulting in a turkey neck and jowling. This often makes people look older than their actual age. A facelift can tighten the face/neck skin and reposition the tissues into a more youthful position.

During/After Surgery

A Fort Worth body lift surgery typically requires an overnight stay due to the length of surgery. Other procedures may be performed on an outpatient basis, however, if multiple procedures are combined together, an overnight stay may also be required.

Recovery time will vary depending on the procedures performed. For a body lift, patients generally need about two weeks off from work. Other procedures such as an arm lift or breast lift have a speedier recovery, often getting back to work within the week. Patients need to avoid cardio activity for 4 weeks and avoid lifting more than 15 pounds for 6 weeks. More vigorous activity like push-ups and planks can be started at 2 months. Depending on the surgery performed, a compression garment or bra may be necessary. Many of these procedures require the use of drain tubes that may stay in place for a few weeks depending on fluid output. You will be given antibiotics, pain pills, anti-nausea pills, muscle relaxants, and for some patients, blood thinning shots to cut down on the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots. Although these procedures result in lengthy scars, Dr. Steele will provide optimal scar care instructions to give you the finest scar possible.

Plastic Surgery in Fort Worth as the Final Steps on Your Weight Loss Path

If you have achieved your weight loss goals but still feel uncomfortable in your skin, you have options. A consultation with Dr. Steele about post-weight loss or post bariatric surgery in Fort Worth can help you decide what is best for you. Call our office today.

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