Plastic surgery after weight loss: types, costs, NHS options [EXPLANATION]

Added by Klaudia Grabowska on 15.12.2020

Plastic surgery after weight loss

A massive weight loss is a lifetime achievement which requires a great commitment, motivation and discipline. It brings back health, improves the quality of daily life and totally changes the physical look. So, why there might be the need for plastic surgery after weight loss or plastic surgery after weight loss surgery? Well, those who have lost dozens or sometimes hundreds of excessive kilograms may struggle with loose skin. 

Obesity is usually a result of long-term actions – a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet rich in fast foods, and self-neglect, so the skin stretches over years of gaining weight. Weight loss is always a shorter process than weight gain, no wonder there is loose skin after weight loss surgery. 

sad sitting on the bed

When the patient struggles with loose skin after bariatric surgery esthetic medicine can help

Plastic surgery is a last resort for loose skin weight loss. It is recommended when strength training, massages, diet tricks and cosmetic procedures are ineffective and when people who have lost weight feel uncomfortable and unattractive with excessive skin – particularly it concerns loose skin after bariatric surgery when there is a dramatic weight loss in a short time. The good news is that plastic surgeries are tried and tested – they always bring the desired results. 

Who should consider such a plastic surgery:

  • people who have had a weight loss surgery or lost large-scale weight through diet;
  • people who struggle with loose skin in numerous body areas, e.g. tummy, arms, thighs, breasts, or face;
  • people who have finished the dieting process (for bariatric patients, the surgery is possible 18 months after the surgery).

Who is a good candidate for such a plastic surgery:

  • people whose weight is already stabilized;
  • people who are in good health and do not suffer from serious chronic conditions, e.g. heart disease or diabetes;
  • people who follow a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet;
  • nonsmokers;
  • people with realistic expectations and mental stamina.

Remember that it is always the plastic surgeon who may qualify you for plastic surgery. It is important to share with him all the medical problems, conditions and concerns because only then can the surgery be safe and effective.

Below, we describe all the options of plastic surgeries for patients after a significant weight loss.  

Types of plastic surgery after weight loss

Weight loss surgery triggers a massive weight loss in a short time and while it has a lot of advantages, there is also one significant drawback – loose skin. The more fat is burnt, the more sagging skin there is. Thus, skin removal surgery is a common procedure for bariatric surgery patients.

To make things clear:

  • bariatric surgery patients should follow exercising routine, including strength training 
  • they should strictly keep to the diet plan and supplementation
  • they should try home remedies for loose skin
  • excess skin removal surgery may be considered no sooner than 18 months after the bariatric surgery.

Many people following the above rules are able to improve skin elasticity and firmness within a few years after surgery, so plastic surgery for loose skin is not necessary at all. Yet, others find their sagging skin so problematic and unattractive that only plastic surgery can help

The most frequent plastic surgeries for bariatric patients include the following areas:

  • abdomen – if you wonder how to get rid of a hanging belly, a tummy tuck is the most effective solution; tummy is usually the area where the loose skin is accumulated and the surgery allows for removing the skin, fat and tightening the muscles in this body part;
  • breasts – drooping breasts are a concern of many women after the weight loss surgery, they may opt for breast uplift, reduction, implants, of filling them with fat; men also face this problem and then, gynecomastia procedure would be highly effective;
  • buttocks and thighs – these body parts become flat and droopy which gives the impression of hanging; a lower body lift is a surgery which addresses these areas – removes the skin and lifts the buttocks;
  • face – the loss of volume in this body part makes it look gaunt and provokes jowls creation, here fat grafting to face might be beneficial;
  • arms (especially upper arms) – after weight loss, the skin tends to hang in the upper arms, arm lift (brachioplasty) is a procedure dedicated to this area
skin

There are many types of plastic surgery but the most popular procedures after massive weight loss are tummy tuck and body lift

Weight loss surgery patients have also a chance to have combined surgery which involves more than one body part. However, we advise you to prioritize which body part is the most problematic and needs improving because you might not be qualified for the combined procedure due to too much risk. Also, remember that the fact that you have lost so much weight is a great accomplishment and try to determine whether plastic surgery is something you really need or is just a temporary whim. If you are not sure, you may always visit a plastic surgeon who will advise you whether you need the surgery to look good or some less invasive cosmetic procedures and home methods would help.

Cost of plastic surgery after weight loss

The main factors that influence cost of plastic surgery after weight loss are:

  • the type of surgery
  • the complexity of the surgery
  • the clinic and doctors reputation
  • the country.

Usually, plastic surgery after weight loss NHS or insurance is not available because they are elective procedures and must be fully paid for. However, there are some surgeries that may be funded – the main criterion is that the excessive skin causes health problems and causes serious restrictions in everyday life. 

What we recommend is that you look for an experienced plastic surgeon whom you can trust. The plastic surgery after weight loss cost should not be the main factor because once done improperly, plastic surgery is ineffective, leaves scars and needs revision in the future. Once the cost of plastic surgery exceeds your budget, you may consider the plastic surgery abroad – done in a top clinic, by an experienced surgeon and at the low cost at the same time. 

Let’s see the average prices for the most common plastic surgeries for skin removal in the UK, the USA, Germany and Poland.

PROCEDURE

The UK cost

the USA cost

Germany cost

Poland cost


TUMMY TUCK


6800 EUR7000 EUR6100 EUR4300 EUR

BODY LIFT


13 300 EUR12 000 EUR9900 EUR5600 EUR

BREAST LIFT


7000 EUR8500 EUR8000 EUR3200 EUR

GYNECOMASTIA


5500 EUR4500 EUR5000 EUR1850 EUR

TUMMY LIPOSUCTION


6000 EUR5800 EUR11 000 EUR1500 EUR

Tummy tuck after weight loss

lady in uderwear with flower

Tummy tuck allows for removing loose skin and fat. It also tightens the abdomen muscles and as a result, the whole abdomen area is flat, firm, and is naturally shaped

Tummy tuck for loose skin is also called abdominoplasty – depending on the amount of excessive skin, the surgery refers to a full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck. Tummy tuck after weight loss surgery allows for removing loose skin, fat, and stretch marks. It also tightens the abdomen muscles. As a result, the whole abdomen area is flat, firm, and is naturally shaped. 

A tummy tuck is not dedicated exclusively to women, male tummy tuck after weight loss is popular as well. The main criteria for this surgery include: a good health condition, healthy BMI, excessive skin accumulated in the abdomen area, and inability to improve skin condition through exercising. Regarding bariatric patients, they may be qualified for abdominoplasty after weight loss only when they end the dieting period and stabilize their weight and health condition. Does everyone need a tummy tuck after weight loss? No, it is very individual and there are many bariatric patients who do need it at all. 

What is tummy tuck?

What is tummy tuck surgery? It is a cosmetic procedure performed under general anaesthesia. It involves the following steps:

  • making two incisions – the first is a horizontal incision across the tummy (just above the pubic area) from hip to hip and the second is an incision that separates the belly button from the surrounding tissues;
  • separating the skin from the abdomen;
  • readjusting the abdomen muscles;
  • removing the excessive skin and fat;
  • repositioning a belly button;
  • pulling the skin together and stitching it.

The surgery is quite extensive, it may take about 2-5 hours and requires a patient to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. The recovery lasts about 6 weeks – patients cannot exercise, lift, or drive at that time and must wear special post-op clothing that holds a tummy. Once the recovery is over, patients may enjoy the surgery results. The surgery is usually unavailable on the NHS, so how much does a tummy tuck costs? The average UK price is 6000 GBP.

What is fleur-de-lis tummy tuck

Fleur-de-lis abdominoplasty is a type of tummy tuck, which is more extended than usual. It is a plastic surgery dedicated to people after a massive weight loss who needs skin removal not only from the abdomen but also from sides and back areas. Fleur-de-lis tummy tuck also improves the lax muscles around the hips.

Tummy tuck after weight loss cost

Tummy tuck cost depends on the surgery type: mini tummy tuck is the cheapest, full and fleur de lis tummy tuck are much more expensive. Each private clinic set its own cost of tummy tuck after weight loss, so the prices vary. Most clinics list the price lists on their websites, so we advise that you do the research which will allow you to get the high quality and low cost for a tummy tuck after weight loss. 

Does insurance cover tummy tuck after weight loss?

skin

Plastic surgeries on the NHS are not available, only in case of serious health problems the doctor can assess whether the surgery can be funded

NHS tummy tuck after weight loss is usually not possible. Excessive skin on the abdomen area is rather a cosmetic problem that is not dangerous to our health, so once we want to get rid of it, we need to find a private clinic. However, when morbidly obese people have weight loss surgery, their sagging skin may pose a health problem, and then tummy tuck after weight loss NHS may be the option – however, it is always a doctor who assess whether the surgery can be funded.

Body Lift after weight loss

Body lift after weight loss is a surgery that reshapes the tummy, waist, buttocks, hips and thighs. Such a body contouring after weight loss surgery is dedicated to people who have much loose skin and only little fat on the problematic areas. Thanks to full body lift after weight loss, the sagging skin is removed from the abdomen and sides areas, buttocks, hips, inner and outer thighs. The body lift may also stand for only upper body lift after weight loss surgery or only lower body lift after weight loss depending on the areas involved. 

What is body lift surgery

What is a body lift plastic surgery? It is an extensive procedure on several body parts.

It includes the following stages:

  • making incisions starting at the back, going through the hips and ending in the thighs;
  • removing the loose skin and fat tissues accumulated below the incision;
  • after the excessive skin at the back is removed, patients are repositioned and the skin from hips and thighs areas is addressed;
  • the sagging skin from the abdomen area is removed;
  • when the remaining skin and tissues are pulled together, the incision is closed with stitches.

Body lift surgery lasts a few hours – it is always an extensive procedure which requires general anaesthesia and hospitalization. The recovery lasts about 8 weeks. Body lift guarantees the immediate results, yet the body is shaping even up to a year after the surgery. 

Cost of body lift after weight loss

Hands holding price word in balloon letters

There are full-body lift, lower body lift, upper body lift or combination of body lift and other procedures the price depends on the scope of the surgery

How much is a body lift after weight loss? Well, the term body lift is too general and the cost of body lift after weight loss depends on the body parts that are involved. Patients can undergo a full-body lift, lower body lift, upper body lift or combination of body lift and other procedure e.g. tummy tuck. So firstly, you need to think which parts of the body need improvement and ask the plastic surgeon for advice. Once you know what to expect and what will be effective for you, you may do the price research. The average body lift after weight loss cost in the UK is 13 300 EUR.

Breast lift after weight loss

Breast lift after weight loss surgery solves such problems as uneven breasts, stretched areolas, sagging breasts lacking volume, drooping nipples. Breast lift not only lifts the breasts but also gives them volume and shape. Sometimes, a breast lift is combined with the reduction of breasts or implants depending on women’s needs. Breast lift is such a plastic surgery that it is possible to get it on the NHS. Breast lift after weight loss NHS is possible when sagging breasts cause harm to health, especially spine problems or backache

What is a breast lift?

Breast lift surgery addresses women breasts.

The surgery involves the following steps:

  • making the incisions – the incisions places differ depending on the nipples position, the amount of sagging skin, and patient’s expectations;
  • repositioning and reshaping breast tissue and skin removing
  • repositioning areola and nipples; sometimes there is a need of resizing the areola
  • tightening of the skin and closing the incisions with sutures.

Breast lift is a surgery done under general anaesthesia. The recovery lasts usually 6 weeks and requires wearing a special bra. The results are long-lasting, but patients must remember that it will not prevent ageing or gravity and over time, the skin tissue may become loose again. However, with a healthy lifestyle and exercising, the results will last for many years. 

How much is a breast lift?

Breast lift cost varies from clinic to clinic. The average breast lift prices in the UK are 7000 EUR, however, they may be much lower or much higher depending on the location. If you cannot afford breast lift in a private clinic, check whether you may apply for NHS funding or look for the surgery abroad – breast lift after weight loss cost in Poland or Turkey is 2-3 times cheaper than in the UK.

Liposuction after weight loss

Chubby woman in sports clothing

Liposuction is a fat removal surgery that contours specific body parts. Liposuction after weight loss surgery is not as frequent as a tummy tuck or body lift

Liposuction after weight loss surgery is not as frequent as the previously described procedures, but it is a really good way of keeping the weight loss results permanent. Most bariatric patients decide for liposuction after weight loss to make weight gain harder – and it really works. Liposuction may involve almost each body part, but the most popular areas are stomach and weist, back, arms and thighs. It is also recommended when people have lost much weight after bariatric surgery, but for some reason, the weight loss process has stopped

What is liposuction?

What’s liposuction? Liposuction is a fat removal surgery which contours specific body parts. There are several types of lipo surgery, the most popular of which are: vaser liposuction, body jet liposuction surgery, SmartLipo and Vibro Lipo. The effectiveness of the liposuction types is pretty the same, the main difference is just in the method.

 

The surgery steps are:

  • making small incisions in the areas involved;
  • inserting a cannula through the incisions and making tunnels for fat movement;
  • making suction which takes the fat through the cannula;
  • closing the incisions. 

Liposuction is the most popular plastic surgery and it has been so developed and advanced that now it is minimally invasive and highly effective. The surgery may be done under local or general anaesthesia depending on the complexity, body parts involved and lipo method. The recovery is very fast, but the body needs some time to achieve the final look after the surgery. 

How much is liposuction?

How much does liposuction cost? It is hard to generalize because the small body parts e.g. knees or chin are really affordable, but the more extensive the area (stomach, back, thighs), the higher cost of liposuction is. Also, it is very frequent that patients have liposuction of multiple body parts – usually 2-3 areas may be involved during one surgery, so naturally, the price is higher. Regarding tummy liposuction, the average UK cost is 6000 EUR. If you wonder how much is liposuction abroad, it may be even twice as cheap, so definitely you should consider all the options.

Does insurance cover plastic surgery after weight loss?

Generally, all plastic surgeries done for aesthetic reasons need to be fully paid for. However, there are some exceptions for plastic surgery NHS.

The procedures that may be done on the NHS include:

  • women breast reduction (when breasts cause deep distress and health problems e.g. backache)
  • men breast reduction (when there is gynecomastia issue which causes physical pain and psychological harm)
  • breast implants (when women have no breasts or they are uneven, which causes psychological harm)
  • otoplasty (when protruding ears cause deep distress for children or adults)
  • rhinoplasty (when there are breathing problems).

The NHS does not provide any criteria for plastic surgery after weight loss NHS. The main plastic surgery NHS criteria concern health problems that can be eliminated by the cosmetic procedure. 

Regarding the insurance, here it is more likely to get the surgery covered. Some insurance may cover part or the full cost of plastic surgery after weight loss.

There are certain criteria for funding that differ for each insurance company, but usually, they include:

  • losing at least 45 kilograms
  • keeping a stable weight for 6 months at least
  • having had a weight loss surgery no sooner than a year ago
  • have medical reports and documents proving that excessive skin causes some disorders
  • having a recommendation of a skin removing surgery from a doctor.

So, once you are insured, you should ask your insurer about the coverage of such procedures and once you have a chance to do it within your insurance, you should always try. 

Plastic surgery abroad

Holiday and tourism conceptual image with travel accessories

If the price for plastic surgery in the home country is too high it is worth considering cheap plastic surgery abroad

Once you find it impossible to get the plastic surgery within the NHS or insurance and cannot afford it, you may consider having cheap plastic surgery abroad. You may have heard about medical tourism which is travelling abroad to get medical treatment. Nowadays, it is very easy, accessible, safe and affordable to get such a surgery abroad. 

Where to start? Well, you should start with the location. For Europeans, the most attractive countries for plastic surgery abroad are Poland and Turkey, for Americans it is Mexico and for Asians – Thailand. There are many websites listing the clinics that specialise in treating foreign patients – you may find there plastic surgery abroad prices, plastic surgery abroad reviews, and plastic surgeons information. Also, there are medical travel agencies that offer free help in finding the best place for plastic surgery abroad. What’s interesting, many clinics and agencies offer special plastic surgery abroad packages which cover the surgery, all medical costs, accommodation and transfers, so in fact, patients do not need to organise anything. So, if you look for a tummy tuck abroad, you will find numerous clinics and agencies offering a cheap tummy tuck abroad in numerous countries and you can choose the best offer. Travelling for plastic surgery is no more a long expedition that you need to prepare for. It is usually a short 4-5 day trip, during which you get a high-standard surgery done by a professional.

Summary

Weight loss surgery is a milestone which totally changes a patient’s life. It requires great motivation, commitment and discipline. No wonder, when you manage to lose much weight, improve your health, and change your figure, you would like to look as attractive as possible. Sagging skin that is left after losing fat may disturb your self-esteem and make you lose motivation for keeping your weight. But the most important thing is that you don’t give up after such a great accomplishment of losing weight. You should implement strength training and home methods for loose skin to make it firm. Once it doesn’t work, you may consider plastic surgery for skin removing – it is an effective solution that may really fit your budget! If you would like to get more information regarding skin removing surgery abroad, contact Clinic Hunter for more details.

Sources

Anthony Terrasse, MD, et al. “Breast Lift Results.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/breast-lift/results.

“Is a Body Lift After Weight Loss Covered by Insurance? Plus 5 Other Questions You Have About Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring.” Is a Body Lift After Weight Loss Covered by Insurance? Plus 5 Other Questions You Have About Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring | La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa, www.ljcsc.com/blog/plastic-surgeons-answer-your-questions-about-post-weight-loss-body-contouring-surgery/.

Jaliman, Debra. “Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss: Body Lifts, Tummy Tucks or Abdominoplasty, Body Contouring, Breast Lifts.” WebMD, WebMD, 27 Aug. 2019, www.webmd.com/beauty/plastic-surgery-after-weight-loss.

“Liposuction in Warsaw, Poland.” Centrum Liposukcji, centrumliposukcji.pl/en/.

NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/cosmetic-procedures-on-the-nhs/.

NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/tummy-tuck/.

“Plastic Surgery after Dramatic Weight Loss.” Plastic Surgery After Dramatic Weight Loss Overview, www.smartbeautyguide.com/procedures/complete-solutions/plastic-surgery-after-dramatic-weight-loss/.

“Top 7 Plastic Surgery Procedures for Extreme Weight Loss Patients.” Health Travel Guide, 2 May 2019, healthtravelguide.com/top-7-plastic-surgery-procedures-for-extreme-weight-loss-patients/.

“Tummy Tuck with the Fleur De Lis.” KCM Clinic, 27 Aug. 2020, www.kcmclinic.pl/en/plastic-surgery/body-surgery/tummy-tuck-with-the-fleur-de-lis/. 

Klaudia Grabowska

Klaudia started to work for Clinic Hunter many years ago, just after graduating from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin in Poland and since that time, this job has become her biggest passion and inspiration.

She has gained necessary expertise and experience by serving patients from all over the world (mainly the UK, Scandinavian countries, and the USA), taking an active part in numerous live and video trainings with clinics in Poland, Hungary and Turkey, participating in international medical tourism conferences and events, and completing internal Clinic Hunter courses. Now, Klaudia is an accomplished patient advisor specialising in such fields as dentistry, plastic and bariatric surgery and hair loss treatment. Her main idea is helping people nad making their lives better, that is why this job brings her so much satisfaction and joy.

In private, Klaudia is a bike-tour lover. She travelled to over 25 countries and many of them she visited by bike. However, now she spends every spare moment with her little son.

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