Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss

Body Contouring or a Body Lift After Massive Weight loss


Body contouring or body lift surgeries can help reduce excess skin after massive weight loss.

About a 3rd of patients lose the weight through their own efforts without Bariatric Surgeries such as:

  • Gastric Sleeve – feel less hungry & full sooner while eating
  • Gastric Bypass – feel full sooner while eating & absorb fewer minerals
  • Duodenal Switch – feel less hungry & full sooner while eating, absorb fewer calories and minerals
  • LAP-BAND® – feel full sooner while eating
  • Gastric Balloon – temporarily feel full sooner while eating (balloon removed after 6 months)


Who might need Body Contouring?

Anyone whose activities of daily living are impacted adversely by their excess skin or fat.


What things do you need to think about?

  • Scarring
  • Wound breakdown and other complications
  • Time off work post-op


Should you wait until you have achieved your target weight?

Generally it is advantageous to have reached your target weight before body contouring surgery, but if you have plateaued it is best to press on with the contouring surgery as this often facilitates further weight loss eg through the loss of a large abdominal apron.

An ideal Body Mass Index (BMI = Height2(m)/wt kg) at which surgery is indicated is 30, but as mentioned in the previous paragraph it may be appropriate to operate at significantly higher BMI’s.



body contouring

Can you minimise loose skin after massive weight loss?

It is not possible to minimise loose skin after MWL. Some people have more elastic skin than others, especially younger patients. It is a common fallacy that working on the muscles deep to the skin excess will tighten the overlying skin.


What does the surgery entail?

Body Contouring surgery entails excision of the skin excess after the subcutaneous fat has been completely removed by liposuction, followed by compressive dressings/garments for 4 -6 weeks.


Download Our Excess Skin Reduction Guide

Excess Skin Reduction Guide


What Surgical Procedures are performed after massive weight loss?


What are the risks and complications of body contouring?

Some risks are common to all surgical procedures, such as a seroma, haematoma, DVT/PE, wound infection, wound dehiscence.

Other risks are specific to the procedure in question, for example nipple ischaemia (reduced blood supply) in a breast lift/reduction.

Dr Maxwell will cover all the possible complications in detail during the consultation.


How much time off work will I need?

This varies for each procedure. Generally, it’s 2-3 weeks off for sedentary workers and 4-6 weeks for physically active patients.

About Dr Richard Maxwell – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Mr. Richard Maxwell is a widely respected Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon Melbourne providing safe and effective treatments for cosmetic enhancement and rejuvenation. Mr. Maxwell offers a comprehensive range of procedures, from popular surgical procedures such as breast enlargement and facelift to procedures specifically for men and a range of convenient non-surgical treatments.

Dr Richard Maxwell Plastic Surgeon Cosmetic Surgeon

Please phone our Patient Care Advisors on (03) 8849 1462 to arrange a confidential consultation with one of Melbourne’s leading Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeons, Mr Richard Maxwell.

Or send a CONFIDENTIAL ENQUIRY and one of our Team will respond shortly.


Last updated: September 14, 2021
Author profile image
Dr Richard Maxwell MBBS FRACS(Plas)
Mr. Richard Maxwell graduated in medicine from Monash University in Melbourne in 1981. He trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Alfred Hospital, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit in Melbourne. He completed his training in 1989, gaining the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

1 1