Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 300-1779

Surgery After Weight Loss FAQ

After major weight loss through bariatric surgery in Los Angeles, you may be ready to take the next step and remove the loose skin with plastic surgery. Here are some of the common questions Dr. David Stoker answers about plastic surgery in Los Angeles after bariatric surgery or major weight loss.

If you have more specific questions about your options for surgery, request a consultation online or call our office at (310) 300-1779.

Dr. Stoker Answers Your Questions

Who are the best candidates for plastic surgery after weight loss?

The best candidates for surgery after weight loss are healthy non-smokers who have large amounts of excess skin.

Is there more risk for patients who have a history of obesity?

Patients with a history of obesity have a higher rate of complications than patients who have never been overweight. However, they also tend to benefit even more from plastic surgery because of their large amounts of extra skin.

What may a patient do to prepare for plastic surgery following weight loss?

To prepare for surgery, patients should exercise and avoid smoking. Patients tend to recover more quickly when they are in good physical shape before surgery. Patients should also make sure they are nutritionally balanced. It's common for bariatric patients to have vitamin or iron deficiencies, and dietary supplements are usually appropriate for them to take.

What happens if I gain the weight back?

It's never a good idea to gain the weight back. Usually patients will still look better than they would have without the surgery, but obviously they're not making the most of their opportunity.

Is it possible to do more than one operation at a time?

Most of my weight loss patients have more than one procedure with each trip to the operating room. I have published multiple clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of my techniques for these combined surgeries. Breast and abdominal surgery, or multiple facial procedures would be common examples of procedures to perform at the same time.

How many operations does the typical patient have following massive weight loss?

Planning the stages of plastic surgery for weight loss patients is highly individualized in my practice. It's common for my patients to have 2 or 3 different days of surgery, with multiple procedures done at each stage. The age and health of the patient, as well as the scope of the procedures, are key considerations for planning the stages of surgery.

When does insurance cover plastic surgery after weight loss?

Medical insurance frequently covers lower abdominal skin removal (panniculectomy or abdominoplasty) when the patient's excessive skin is so severe that it creates medical problems requiring treatment. Examples include rashes, sores, or infections in the folds of skin. However, patient eligibility and benefits vary greatly between policies.

Do I need to reach my ideal weight to be a candidate for plastic surgery?

In a perfect world, it would be nice for all patients to be at their ideal weight and to remain at their ideal weight. That's not realistic for many patients. Carefully chosen procedures may improve a patient's ability to continue to lose weight and enjoy their lives even before they reach their goal weight. Examples include removing large amounts of hanging skin from the abdomen or fat from the inner thighs if it inhibits the patient's ability to exercise. Plastic surgery is definitely not a substitute for weight loss, but it may be a powerful tool to help patients achieve their goals.

What is the optimal timing for plastic surgery following weight loss?

For patients following bariatric surgery, I typically allow for their weight loss to plateau for several months before scheduling plastic surgery. For patients who are losing weight through diet and exercise, I will sometimes operate earlier if the patient's need and desire for surgery is great. Selected plastic surgery procedures may act as a powerful catalyst for the patient to continue to work hard to achieve their weight goals.

What if I want to have children in the future?

The female body changes quite a bit following pregnancy. It's reasonable for most weight loss patients to wait until after pregnancy for procedures such as a tummy tuck or breast lift. If the weight loss is substantial, however, the loose skin may be a much bigger problem for the patient. In these cases plastic surgery may help a patient's self-esteem in a way that is beneficial to them before having children. In abdominoplasty cases before pregnancy, the abdominal muscles are usually flat enough that they do not require tightening. This speeds the recovery from the surgery.

What are some of the risks of plastic surgery after weight loss?

Some of the more common risks of plastic surgery following weight loss include bleeding, seromas (fluid collections) and delayed wound healing. Patients with complications require more care and recovery time, but they still benefit tremendously from the surgery. Venous blood clots in the legs are also possible. They are reduced in frequency with early ambulation following surgery.

Discover what plastic surgery after weight loss can do for you. Request a consultation online or by contacting our office at (310) 300-1779 for a consultation.

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    Dr. David Stoker

    Educated at some of the most elite institutions in the country, Dr. David Stoker uses his highly advanced knowledge to ensure that each patient achieves beautiful, harmonious results — whether it's through a simple non-surgical procedure or a more advanced surgical transformation. Learn more about his unique credentials and his approach to plastic surgery.

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