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Life After Weight Loss Program: Services and Specialties

You have lost the weight and have enjoyed shopping for new clothes but maybe you're still not comfortable with the way you look and feel. Because your skin has been stretched and cannot conform to your reduced body size, it may now hang loosely from your arms, abdomen, neck and other parts of your body making you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, and dieting and exercising hasn't helped.

There may be other reasons for you to consider body contouring or other plastic surgery. Perhaps your new active lifestyle requires more freedom of movement. Perhaps you want your clothes to fit better. Perhaps you just want to feel better. Those are all valid reasons to seek plastic surgery.

If you've already had weight loss surgery, we understand that making a decision about additional surgery can be difficult. UPMC's Life After Weight Loss staff takes the time to listen to your concerns, and presents you with options to help meet your goals.

On this page:

Common Surgical Procedures

Nonsurgical, Cosmetic Procedures

Common Surgical Procedures

Arms (Brachioplasty)

Sagging skin in the upper arm can be removed with surgery and you can have a nice contour of the arm almost immediately. The scar runs along the inner upper arm to the elbow and cannot be seen from the side or the back but may be seen when your arm is up in the air. Many patients who would never show their arms before this procedure are quite comfortable wearing sleeveless clothes despite the scar.

The average recovery time is one to two weeks and many patients combine this procedure with others, such as a tummy tuck or thigh lift.

Body Contouring

Body contouring combines the elements of a tummy tuck, thigh lift and buttocks lift to reshape the entire lower body. Body contouring can improve dimpled or uneven soft tissue (cellulite), excess fat and tissue, and sagging body contours. Body contouring surgery works best when your weight loss has leveled and you've been at a stable weight for a minimum of three months.

For more information about body contouring surgery and if you may be a suitable candidate, visit the FAQ section of this site.

Breast Reshaping

The goal of breast reshaping surgery is to achieve better size and proportion. This can be accomplished through breast reduction, breast lift and breast implants. In patients who have lost weight, a breast lift and implant may be performed simultaneously, and can usually be done during the same operation. Recovery time is usually one to four weeks, depending on the type of surgery.

Face and Neck

Loose skin on the neck and face can be corrected with a variety of face and neck lift procedures. The common feature of these procedures is that the scar is hidden along the front of the ear and in the hair. This procedure may be done as same day surgery or with an overnight stay.


Liposuction is a technique that uses suction tubes to remove excess fat. The tubes are typically placed through small abdominal incisions. Because this procedure does not tighten skin, weight loss patients usually have it in conjunction with other plastic surgery procedures.

Male Gynecomastia

Obesity in men often leads to breast enlargement that can be treated with a combination of liposuction and skin removal. The recovery time is about a week.

Thighs and Buttock

This procedure removes excess hanging skin from the inner and/or outer thighs – both lifting and tightening for a slimmer, more compact appearance.

Often the outer thighs are lifted during the same operation as a tummy tuck with one continuous scar along the belt line.

Tummy Tuck

Formally called abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck can range from liposuction and loose skin removal to major tightening of the stomach muscles, and is the most common procedure performed after weight loss. The surgery can last from one to four hours and often requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Patients are able to return to work within two to four weeks depending on their job function but heavy lifting should be avoided for six weeks.

Nonsurgical, Cosmetic Procedures

If you want to enhance your appearance but are not ready for surgery, there are a variety of non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures available to reduce facial lines and wrinkles, exfoliate the skin, and enhance particular facial features. Procedures include BOTOX® and other dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.

For more information, visit the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center website.

Skin Care

For patients undergoing procedures that involve the face and neck, a regimen of special skin care can improve elasticity, reduce swelling, shorten recovery, and improve outcomes. The licensed aesthetician at the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center works closely with your surgeon to help prepare your skin for surgery, and to find the right medical-grade prescriptive cosmetics that can reduce your post-surgical scarring. Cosmetic tattooing also is used to reduce the impact of scarring.

For more information, visit the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center website.

Lifestyle Coaching

An important part of the Life After Weight Loss program is the lifestyle coaching component. During your initial consultation with our Life After Weight Loss staff, UPMC's experts from the Weight Management Center will evaluate your current lifestyle, such as your eating and exercising habits, and then tailor a program designed especially for you.

Click here for additional information about our lifestyle coaching program.

UPMC BodyChangers

BodyChangers is an exciting support system designed to help you maintain your weight loss. Located at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital, BodyChangers consists of a community of like-minded individuals who are learning to lead a healthier lifestyle.

BodyChangers offers an array of activities, including:

  • Educational seminars
  • Cooking classes
  • Exercise programs
  • Outings to local supermarkets, parks, trails, farmers' markets, and other sites that promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Group sessions designed to help you develop strategies for permanent weight control

Learn more and sign up today.