Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss Part 4: What Is The Recovery And Cost? By Michael A. Devlin, MD on February 12, 2015

So you have lost the weight, congratulations! Now it’s time for body contouring after weight loss or you may have heard it referred as, skin removal surgery.

From my previous blogs you should have learned about setting goals for yourself and prioritizing what area of the body bothers you the most.

I talked about the most common areas of the body affected by massive weight loss and the different procedures that are done.

Skin removal surgeries are typically staged in multiple surgeries for your safety. 


So your next questions should be how long is the recovery and how much is the cost?

Recovery from skin removal surgery is dependent upon several factors: overall health and procedure being performed are the top two.  With all the different contouring surgeries you will have specific restrictions post-operatively.  They range from not being able to lift over 10 pounds for six weeks to wearing a post-operative garment for 6 weeks. 


Financial Issues. Financial issues play a big role in choosing body contouring procedures. Your insurance company may cover or partially cover some operations if the procedure is performed to relieve documented severe symptoms such as rashes, infections, or body aches. The insurance companies will not pay for operations that are primarily intended to change your appearance (cosmetic procedures). Examples of procedures that may be covered are panniculectomy in a patient who has a large apron of skin and has rashes and infections despite using prescription creams given by their primary care doctor, or breast reduction in a patient who has symptoms of upper back pain, bra strap grooving, and severe rash because of large heavy breasts. The insurance companies have requirements for how much weight must be removed from each breast in order to qualify for coverage.These requirements vary from patient to patient based on surface area and your weight.


If insurances companies are not going to cover the procedure, then how do I make it happen, you may ask? There are a number of financial strategies that you can use to help pay for plastic surgery after weight loss such as:

1. Flexible medical spending account. This allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance. Another strategy is to use a

2. Finance company that specializes in cosmetic operations. Just like financing a new car or big screen TV, certain banks will set up a payment plan for your surgical procedure. I can provide you with information about these plans. 

3. Credit cards home equity loans or 401K loans.

4. Start a “new body” savings fund at the time of their gastric bypass. Over a period of 12-18 months, this fund can grow quite a bit, especially if family and friends make contributions on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.


To make it easier for you I have compiled a list of the common procedures, recovery time and costs.

Breast Lift/Breast Reduction

Recovery Time: One week. To return to full activity it is usually six weeks.

Garment: Sport bra and no underwire for six weeks.




Recovery Time: Two weeks.

Restrictions: No heavy lifting over 10 pounds for six weeks

Garment: Abdominal binder for six weeks



Lower Body Lift/Belt Lipectomy

Recovery Time: Two Weeks

Restrictions: No heavy lifting over 10 pound for six weeks

Garment: Full body garment and abdominal binder for six weeks



Brachioplasty/Arm Lift

Recovery Time: One Week

Restrictions: No heavy lifting over

Garment: Arm garment for two weeks




Recovery Time: 5-10 days

Restrictions: No excising that increase heart rate for two weeks

Garment: Facial wrap for 24 hours



If you would like to schedule a time to come in and speak with me regarding skin removal surgery, contact my office today for your individualized treatment plan.

Michael Devlin MD


Related to This

Plastic surgeon Michael Devlin, M.D.

Devlin Cosmetic Surgery: Michael Devlin, M.D.

Dr. Devlin is a cosmetic surgeon who provides each of his patients with personalized care and a compassionate approach. He offers a range of procedures in an environment where patients feel safe, comfortable, and heard. He is affiliated with organizations such as the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (Fellow)
  • American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery
  • American Medical Association
  • Arkansas Medical Society
  • Pulaski County Medical Society

To get started on your plastic surgery journey, fill out our form or call (501) 227-8811.


Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite