Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss

Losing a significant amount of weight—either with or without bariatric surgery—is a notable accomplishment and one you should be proud of. But you may still feel self-conscious if you’re left with excess skin hanging from your new, smaller body. Board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Michelle Spring and Dr. Michael Hromadka perform body contouring plastic surgery in Kalispell to remove sagging skin and put the finishing touches on the accomplishments of their patients from Whitefish and Great Falls, MT; Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, ID; and throughout the Northwest.

Post-Weight Loss Body Contouring Procedures

Different types of plastic surgery procedures may be needed after losing a significant amount of weight. Depending on your condition and cosmetic goals, your surgeon may recommend one or more of the following procedures:

What Is a Body Lift?

A body lift is an extensive procedure that may be performed during a single operation or in stages to address multiple areas of the body. One of our experienced plastic surgeons will work with you to determine the best approach after meeting and examining you.

During a lower body lift, your surgeon makes an incision that extends from the lower abdomen, around the hips, and along the lower back to the buttocks—called a circumferential incision. The surgeons make incisions as inconspicuous as possible, but it’s important to understand that there will be some visible scars. A body lift incorporates a tummy tuck, a panniculectomy (removing the apron of loose skin that hangs over the waist), and an outer thigh lift.

What Is a Thigh Lift?

An outer thigh lift can be performed as a standalone procedure but it typically includes re-contouring the buttocks and removing more tissue. To perform an outer thigh lift, one of our surgeons makes an incision just below your butt at the crease. The extent of the incision depends on your specific needs. Our surgeons take care to make incisions in a location where the scars can be concealed by clothing.

A separate incision in the groin area is needed if you want an inner thigh lift. The procedures are often scheduled after you heal from an outer thigh lift because that operation can take 4 to 6 hours.

What Is an Arm Lift?

Patients who have lost a significant amount of weight typically need an extended arm lift, which involves the surgeon making incision along the arm that extends from the elbow crease to the arm pit. Loose skin and fatty tissue under the arm and along the side of the chest wall is removed.

Are You a Candidate for Plastic Surgery After Weight Loss?

If you’re considering body contouring surgery after weight loss, you should be in good overall health and maintain a stable weight for at least 6 months before the surgery. You should also be committed to maintaining a reasonably steady weight after the procedure because weight fluctuations can compromise the results. Even though these procedures are typically associated with patients after significant weight loss, aging can also result in excess skin on much body.

Besides enhancing your confidence, a body contouring surgery is also appropriate for patients whose excess skin causes chafing, infections, or other skin conditions and makes exercising difficult.

Meet Our Surgeons

The combination of surgical skill and decades of experience sets Dr. Spring and Dr. Hromadka apart from other plastic surgeons not just in Kalispell, but throughout Montana and the Northwest. Assisted by Kristy Ehrmantraut, PA-C, their surgical physician assistant, Dr. Spring and Dr. Hromadka are known for their down-to-earth personalities and for spending the time to truly understand their patients’ goals.

Photo of Michael Hromadka, MD

Michael Hromadka, MD


Credentials You Can Trust

American Board of Plastic Surgery ABMS MOC Certification for Mountain West Plastic SurgeryAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons LogoThe Aesthetic Society Logo
Photo of Michelle Spring, MD

Michelle Spring, MD


Credentials You Can Trust

American Board of Plastic Surgery ABMS MOC Certification for Mountain West Plastic SurgeryAmerican Society of Plastic Surgeons LogoThe Aesthetic Society Logo

How Long Is Recovery?

Because of the unique nature of each body contouring procedure, the recovery time needed varies from patient to patient. Dr. Spring and Dr. Hromadka explain what to expect depending on the extent of your procedure, but you’ll most likely want to plan to take about a month off from work. You may not be fully healed and “back to normal” for another few months.

During the initial recovery phase, you’ll need to wear compression garments to help reduce swelling and help the healing process. You’ll also have surgical drains to prevent fluid accumulation below the skin. It’s very important to avoid putting tension on the incision for several weeks. Even though you’ll have scars, they typically fade about a year after the procedure.

You can expect the results to last for years if you maintain a steady weight.

Choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

Are you ready to discover how body contouring surgery at Mountain West Plastic Surgery can help you look as good as you feel? To discuss your options with one of our two highly trained plastic surgeons, request a consultation using the online form. Or you can call our office at (406) 609-0210 to schedule an appointment.