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Life After Weight Loss: Body Contouring — Services and Specialties

You've reached your weight-loss goals and enjoyed shopping for new clothes. But maybe you're still not comfortable with the way you look and feel.

Because your skin has stretched and can't conform to your reduced size, it may now hang from certain parts of your body.

That excess, loose skin might be painful or make you feel self-conscious, especially if diet and exercise aren’t helping.

In that case, body contouring might be the right next step for you.

UPMC provides a range of techniques that can fix problems that come up after major weight loss.

Body contouring surgery works best when your weight loss levels off, and you've been at a stable weight for at least three months.

It can help you overcome problems, such as:

  • Excess skin and fat.
  • Rashes, sores, and infections caused by skin rubbing against itself.
  • Motion problems.
  • Poor skin elasticity.
  • Self-esteem or self-image problems.
  • Discomfort with your new body.

You might have trouble deciding whether to have a procedure, especially if you’ve already had weight-loss surgery.

UPMC’s Life After Weight Loss staff will listen to your concerns. We'll assess your lifestyle and work with you to chart the best course of care for reaching your goals.

See our FAQ to learn more about body contouring and see if it's right for you.

To schedule a consultation with the UPMC Life After Weight Loss team, call 412-641-3960 or 1-877-639-9688 (1-877-NEWYOU8). Or request an appointment online.

On This Page — Surgical and Nonsurgical Procedures After Weight Loss

Body contouring surgery

Other services

Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Surgeons can remove sagging skin in the upper arm, leaving an improved contour of the arm almost instantly.

The scar runs along the inner upper arm to the elbow. You can't see it from the side or the back but might see it when you raise your arm.

The average recovery time is one to two weeks.

People who would never show their arms before feel fine wearing sleeveless clothes after their arm lift. Many people combine an arm lift with procedures, such as a tummy tuck or thigh lift.

» Learn more about arm lifts.

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Breast Reshaping

The goal of breast reshaping surgery is to achieve better size and scale, either through:

In people who have lost weight, surgeons may perform a breast lift and implant at the same time.

Recovery time may range from one to four weeks, based on the type of surgery.

» Learn more about breast reshaping.

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Face and Neck Lift

UPMC can correct loose skin on the neck and face with a range of face and neck lift techniques.

The common feature of these procedures is that surgeons hide the scar along the front of the ear and in the hairline.

Your face and neck lift may be same-day surgery, or you might need to stay overnight.

» Learn more about face and neck lifts.

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Liposuction uses suction tubes to remove excess fat. Surgeons place the tubes through small incisions.

Because this technique doesn't tighten skin, people who've lost weight often combine it with other types of plastic surgery.

» Learn more about liposuction.

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Lower Body Lift

A lower body lift removes excess skin from the outer thighs and buttocks, which can dramatically tighten the skin. New techniques can prevent a flattening effect.

Surgeons often lift the outer thighs during a tummy tuck operation, leaving only one scar along the beltline.

» Learn more about body lifts.

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Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Repair)

Obesity in men often leads to enlarged breasts that surgeons can treat with both liposuction and skin removal.

The recovery time is about a week.

» Learn more about male breast reduction.

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A panniculectomy removes excess skin from your lower belly. Unlike a tummy tuck, a panniculectomy is not a cosmetic procedure.

It aims to relieve symptoms caused by an overhanging apron of skin, such as:

  • Skin rash or irritation
  • Fungal infection
  • Lower back pain

The operation will leave a permanent scar on your lower abdomen, and it may not preserve your belly button.

» Learn more about panniculectomy.

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Thigh and Buttock Lift

A thigh lift removes excess hanging skin from the inner thighs — both lifting and tightening for a slimmer, more compact appearance.

Removing large amounts of excess skin and fat can lead to a scar that runs the full length of the thigh.

» Learn more about thigh lifts.

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Tummy Tuck

Formally called abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck can range from liposuction and loose skin removal to major tightening of the stomach muscles.

It's the most common body contouring technique performed after weight loss.

» Learn more about tummy tucks.

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Upper Body Lift

An upper body, or bra-line, lift  removes excess skin from the upper back and side of the chest. Surgeons often use this technique on people who have lost a large amount of weight and have loose sagging skin.

Upper body lifts can dramatically tighten the loose skin of the back.

The surgery leaves a permanent scar that runs along the inside of the upper arms.

» Learn more about upper body lifts.

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Cosmetic Skin Care After Weight Loss

While many people have surgery after extreme weight loss, it might not be for you.

Maybe you're still losing weight, or perhaps you have a health issue that could affect the procedure. Maybe you just don’t want surgery.

We offer effective, nonsurgical options that can help:

  • Tighten your skin.
  • Reduce the appearance of scarring, wrinkles, or stretch marks.
  • Improve your self-esteem.

If you want to enhance your appearance but aren’t ready for surgery, we offer many nonsurgical, minimally invasive skin care options like:

They can:

  • Reduce lines and wrinkles on the face.
  • Exfoliate the skin.
  • Enhance facial features.

Other skin services

For people having a face and neck lift, a special skin care plan can:

  • Improve elasticity.
  • Reduce swelling.
  • Shorten healing time.
  • Improve outcomes.

The licensed aestheticians at the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center work with your surgeon to help prep your skin for surgery.

They'll find the right medical-grade prescription cosmetics that can reduce post-op scarring. Cosmetic tattooing can also reduce the impact of scarring.

» Learn more about skin care at the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center.

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Which Body Contouring Option Is Right for Me?

With the number of options available, it might be hard for you to figure out your best course of treatment.

That’s where we come in. Our surgeons and aestheticians will start by asking you about your goals and discuss ways we can help you achieve them.

Based on your answers and preferences, we’ll work with you to tailor a custom treatment plan that meets your lifestyle and needs.

Our plastic surgery and body contouring FAQ can also help guide you.

To schedule a consultation with one of our plastic surgeons or aestheticians, call 412-641-3960 or 1-877-639-9688 (1-877-NEWYOU8). Or request an appointment online.

Life After Weight Loss Patient Stories

Your significant weight loss is a huge success, but you may still need a little support.

Read stories from our body contouring patients who have maintained their weight-loss success and restored their self-confidence.

Contact the UPMC Life After Weight Loss Program

To schedule a consultation, call 412-641-3960 or 1-877-639-9688 (1-877-NEWYOU8).

The Life After Weight Loss Program at the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center
3380 Blvd. of the Allies, Suite 158
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Free parking next to our building.