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Excess Skin Removal Surgery

Excess Skin Removal Surgery

Here at The Plastic Surgery Clinic we are always in awe of the patients that come to us after having lost a considerable amount of weight. It takes an amazing amount of heart, courage, determination and physical endurance to lose weight and we congratulate and wholeheartedly support each and every one of you who has embarked on this life-changing journey.

If you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight you’ve done the hard part but you are most likely dealing with a significant amount of excess and/or sagging skin that once removed will reveal the body that you have worked so hard for that you deserve to see reflecting back at you in the mirror.

At The Plastic Surgery Clinic we offer a number of excess skin removal procedures that are specifically tailored to your individual goals and needs.

What is Excess Skin Removal Surgery?

Excess skin removal surgery encompasses a wide range of body contouring procedures that address loose, sagging, and excess skin after significant weight loss on various parts of the body such as the arms, thighs, breasts, abdomen, back and buttocks.

Some of the most common excess skin removal surgeries include the following procedures:

Tummy Tuck vs. Panniculectomy

We often have patients who are interested in excess skin removal surgery ask us: what is the difference between the tummy tuck and a panniculectomy.

One of the most common outcomes of significant weight loss is loose excess skin of the lower abdomen. In some patients there is so much loose skin that it actually hangs down below the pubic area. The medical term for this collection of excess skin is a panniculus (or pannus).

Though a panniculectomy may seem similar to a tummy tuck procedure in that the incisions are located in much the same area and excess skin is removed, they are actually two very different operations.

A panniculectomy is an operation performed to improve a patient’s function (e.g. allow them to exercise, reduce pain/rashes or recurrent infections under the hanging skin), while a tummy tuck is an operation performed to improve the shape and appearance of the abdomen and waist. In a panniculectomy, only the loose hanging skin is removed, while a tummy tuck involves tightening the skin of the entire abdomen, including repair of any split in the muscle (a condition called rectus diastasis) and liposuction of any excess fat.

Thigh Lift

A thigh lift usually targets loose skin and excess fat of the inner part of the thigh. Using incisions that are hidden in the crease of the groin and on the inner aspect of the thigh, excess skin and fat are removed and the thigh itself is tightened in order to give shape and definition to the leg.

Buttock Lift

The best way to think about a buttock lift is that it is a tummy tuck on the back. After significant weight loss, patients are often left with a flattened and saggy appearance to the buttock and the outer thigh. By removing loose skin and extra fat with an incision that is placed just above the buttock, a buttock lift re-suspends the buttock to correct the droopy appearance. A buttock lift may be combined with other procedures to add volume and shape to the buttock by moving your own fat into the buttock (also known as a Brazilian Butt Lift).

Male Chest Lift

For men who have lost significant weight, they may be left with excess sagging skin of the chest. To address this issue, a chest lift can remove excess fat and sagging skin to reveal a flatter and firmer masculine chest.

Back Lift or Bra Line Lift

The upper back lift, also known as a “bra line lift,” is a procedure used to remove excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat from the sides of the chest and across the mid- to upper-back, commonly referred to as “bra-rolls.” The incision for this procedure is carefully placed so that it can be hidden under a bra, hence the name “bra line lift.”

Extended Abdominoplasty

In some patients, after significant weight loss there is loose skin at the upper part of the outer thigh and a lack of definition of the waist. Unfortunately, in these patients a traditional tummy tuck will not address the thigh and waist issues.

At The Plastic Surgery Clinic our surgeons Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin have helped develop the extended abdominoplasty procedure. The extended abdominoplasty is essentially a tummy tuck that is extended about ¾ of the way (270 degrees) around the back to lift the upper outer thigh and provide definition of the waist. This procedure has fewer complications than a full lower body (or 360 degree) lift, and is safely performed as an outpatient procedure.

Lower Body Lift or Circumferential Body Lift

In patients with significant weight loss, there can be excess loose skin affecting the abdomen, upper outer thigh, waist, buttocks, and lower back. In these patients, a 360-degree tightening procedure may be required to lift the buttock and thighs while at the same time tightening the excess abdominal skin.

This is a more extensive procedure due to the number of areas that are addressed simultaneously, but it can result in firmer, tighter, smoother skin in all areas (abdomen, buttock, thighs) with a shapelier, more slender and proportional appearance of the lower body.


Not a lot of people are aware that the facelift is considered a type of excess skin removal surgery. Though typically thought of as a procedure to reduce the visible signs of aging, a facelift can address the extra loose skin and the hollow or gaunt look that many people get following significant weight loss.

Other Excess Skin Removal Procedures

Excess skin removal surgeries can also involve a number of upper body lift procedures such as the arm lift as well as the breast lift. hey are also often performed in combination with a number of effective body contouring procedures such as liposuction and the tummy tuck.

Excess Skin Removal Before and After Photos

We have a wide selection of before and after photos available in our clinic, as understandably not every patient consents to the use of their photos on our website. Please feel free to browse our gallery for before and after photos of the procedure you are most interested in. You and your doctor together will determine which procedure is best for you, but it’s always nice to have an idea of what you’re looking to achieve.

The following images are presented for educational purposes only and should be interpreted subjectively. They do not represent the opinion or view of any patient regarding their result, and they are not intended to suggest the result that may be achieved by any other patient. The images are presented as factual guidelines and merely represent results that have been achieved by others. No two patients are alike and no two results are necessarily alike. Only a personal consultation with your surgeon can provide you with a reasonable expectation of the results you may achieve from any specific procedure.

Cost of Excess Skin Removal Surgery

The cost of excess skin removal surgery is entirely dependent on the type of procedure or combination procedure that you have performed. The type of excess skin removal surgery that is right for you can only be assessed in an in person consultation with one of our expert surgeons.

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin, are world authorities on excess skin removal procedures and have helped many patients at The Plastic Surgery Clinic overcome excess skin after weight loss and transform their bodies. They are always ready to meet with new patients, listen to their questions and concerns, and understand their goals.

After a physical examination and an assessment of your individual needs, as well as in keeping in mind the results that you are looking to achieve, they will be able to advise you on what procedure or combination procedure will give you the best possible result and will also then be able to give you a firm quote.

We have a number of financing options available once the cost of your surgery is determined.

We want you to love the way you look and feel absolutely confident about the decisions that you make. Our consultations are always free because we want you to feel no financial obligation to committing to surgery. We want you to feel free to talk to us without any strings attached.

For more information, get in touch with us by e-mail or by phone, or by filling out the form below.

The Best Candidates for Excess Skin Removal Surgery

The best candidates for excess skin removal surgery are patients who have lost significant amounts of weight that have left them with excess and sagging skin. These patients are generally in good health overall, and have reached their goal weight and been stable at that weight for a period of 6-12 months.

Patients need to be prepared for a relatively extensive recovery period following surgery. Although patients undergoing skin removal surgery are up and walking and moving the day of surgery, most patients will require at least 1-2 weeks off from work and their regular daily activities. During that time they will likely need to have a support system in place (friends and family) to assist them through the recovery process. Patients should also be prepared to take 4-8 weeks off from strenuous physical activity (i.e. going to the gym) following most skin removal procedures.

Excess skin removal surgery candidates also need to be prepared for the fact that they will have scars. Though we attempt to place scars so that they are easily hidden by most clothing, the scars may possibly be visible when more revealing types of clothing are worn such as bras or bathing suits. The size and placement of your incisions are very much dependent on the surgery performed.

The best candidates for excess skin removal surgery also have a healthy and reasonable outlook as to what results to expect from their procedures. Most skin removal procedures do result in dramatic changes to the shape and contour of your body; however, skin removal procedures won’t necessarily result in the “perfect” body.

Preparing for Your Excess Skin Removal Surgery

Depending on the type of excess skin removal procedure you are getting, your surgeon will outline ways in which to prepare for your surgery from organizing the proper support system for your recovery to guidelines on what vitamins to take, which medications to take or to avoid, and how to prepare nutritionally.

Patients who smoke will be asked to stop for one month prior to surgery and one month following their procedure, as smoking inhibits proper circulation and wound healing. Patients who have undergone significant weight loss (greater than 50 lbs) are also placed on a high-protein supplement for one month before and one month after surgery to reduce the risk of wound healing complications.

Where Your Excess Skin Removal Surgery is Performed

Excess skin removal surgery is performed by one of our expert surgeons Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin at our state-of-the-art clinic in Mississauga. Our cutting-edge facility meets and exceeds medical standards when it comes to equipment, sanitation, as well as nursing and medical staff.

Our doctors also have privileges at The Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga as well as at the University Health Network and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, should you require your surgery be performed at a hospital.

No matter where your surgery is performed you can rest assured that you will be met with the highest standards of medical care prior to your surgery, during your procedure, and as you recover.

Recovery After Excess Skin Removal Surgery

Recovery after excess skin removal surgery is very much dependent on the type of procedure that you have performed. Less extensive procedures such as the breast lift or the arm lift will require a less extensive recovery period. Patients undergoing these less extensive procedures can usually return to work one week following surgery and can engage in gentle exercise such as walking or using the stairmaster two weeks following surgery. Any high impact exercise such as running or weight training should be avoided for one month.

For more extensive procedures, including the tummy tuck, thigh lift, arm lift, or back/buttock lift, you need to be prepared for a longer recovery period. Patients typically return to office-type work after two to three weeks, although most patients like to give themselves closer to a month before they return to work. It may also take about three to six weeks for you to feel like yourself again. We encourage gentle exercise soon following surgery in these cases; however, strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least six to eight weeks.

We also like to remind our patients to be patient with themselves and their bodies. No matter what procedure you are getting you need to give your body ample time to heal before you see the full impact of your transformation. Swelling typically takes 3-6 months to resolve, while it takes scars up to 1 year to fully mature and fade.

At The Plastic Surgery Clinic, our surgeons, nurses and staff are there with you through every step of the recovery process. We are on call 24 hours a day immediately following your surgery should you have any questions or concerns, and always available to welcome you back to the clinic if you need to be seen by your surgeon or nurse in person outside of your already scheduled post-op appointments.

The Pain Relief Pump

In order to make your recovery more comfortable and manageable immediately following surgery, The Plastic Surgery Clinic has developed The Pain Relief Pump in order to make your first 24 hours pain free. We find that great pain can get in the way of proper healing especially in those crucial hours right after surgery. Our very own Dr. Lista developed the Pain Relief Pump so that our patients could rest more easily in those first hours following their procedure.

The Pain Relief Pump is a small device, smaller than your smartphone, that you wear around your waist for the first 24 hours following your surgery. The device is connected to a thin tube, which automatically delivers local anesthetic to your surgical wound so that you feel no pain immediately after surgery. The Pain Relief Pump is so effective we find that many of our patients do not even need to take pain medication, which for some can have adverse reactions such as nausea and vomiting

Excess Skin Removal Surgery Risks and Complications

Although risks and complications of excess skin removal surgery are rare and our patients can rest assured that they are receiving the highest levels of care, there can be risks associated with any surgical procedure.

Some of these risks may include infection, bleeding (or hematoma), poor wound or incision healing, fluid accumulation (seroma), risks associated with anesthesia, persistent pain, prolonged swelling, and fat necrosis.

In order to ensure proper and speedy healing and recovery and to avoid any risks associated with surgery, we always strongly encourage our patients to follow their surgeons’ post-operative guidelines closely and carefully.

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Step 1: The PSC Consult

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Step 2: The PSC Procedure

Step 2: The PSC Procedure

You’ll arrive on the day of surgery fully prepared and confident in your outcome, because your surgeon is internationally recognized as a leader in their field. You will wake up slightly groggy and a bit uncomfortable, and head home soon after.

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My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


Step 3: The PSC Follow Up

Step 3: The PSC Follow Up

We see every patient the day after surgery. Most find their discomfort extremely manageable, thanks to the pain relief pump. Our post-op nurse will walk you through every step of your recovery and answer all your questions.

One patient's experience...

My overall experience has been nothing less than beyond exceptional! [The PSC] made me feel confident and comfortable from start to finish…


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