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What is contouring surgery after massive weight loss?

While massive weight loss leads to huge improvements in overall medical condition and quality of life, some individuals experience the undesirable side-effects which may occur: skin excess, overhang, deflation and laxity. This puts a damper on what should be a joyous achievement.

Dr. Shermak is a leader in Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss, speaking internationally and publishing a surgical atlas describing techniques that safely help patients officially complete their treatment in weight loss, with a body they can enjoy and be proud of!

Body contouring after weight loss comprises a menu of surgery from which the patient may choose, including facelift and neck lift, breast lift and/or augmentation, arm lift, upper or lower back lift, tummy tuck, thigh lift and fat grafting. Surgical procedures range from focus on a single body region to composite procedures addressing the upper or lower body, or other combinations. Please visit each link to learn more specifically about each procedure. Surgery may be staged or may address multiple body regions at once, with the key being to achieve goals in the safest manner possible, with the most impactful results.

Dr. Shermak's Work On Body Contouring After Weight Loss

Body Contouring After Weight Loss

The procedures at a glance:


This procedure helps to combat drooping, superfluous skin around the face and neck, and to restore a more youthful, full and well-rested countenance to the aging face.

Facial rejuvenation with dermal fillers

These non-surgical, non-invasive approaches can reverse the deflation and sagging that may take place in the face after massive weight loss, reshaping the features to reflect a more youthful, lifted, energetic appearance.

Breast lift

The breast lift procedure addresses breast ptosis, or sagging, low hanging breasts where full tissue has deflated and the nipple has drifted to below the breast crease. The breast lift is often a major component of a mommy makeover, but is also quite relevant to massive weight loss patients who find that their breasts may have drooped significantly. Breastlift may be optimized in combination with breast augmentation to add volume to the cleavage area of the chest.

Breast augmentation

With weight loss can come a loss of breast volume. The augmentation process reverses this through the use of silicone or saline implants, giving the chest a fuller, more feminine appearance. Breast augmentation can correct visible deformities in the breast area while also adding fullness to improve the body’s proportions.

Arm lift

The arms are an area that are hit especially hard by massive weight loss. The hanging skin in the upper arms can be very unattractive, and require the patient to avoid wearing short sleeves or swimwear. An arm lift contours the upper arms for a trimmer, slimmer aesthetic through thin scars placed strategically on the inner arm.

Back lift

A back lift treats the upper and lower back, trimming unwanted fat and restoring a shapelier, more streamlined physique. Improvement with these procedures will be seen not only in the treated area but also in the adjacent body regions, such as the thigh and buttock with lower back lift.

Tummy tuck

When the abdomen has undergone massive weight loss, the belly may be left in a state of flab, and excess stretched, deflated skin, with the muscles relaxed and splayed. A tummy tuck can help restore tone and core strength to the middle of the torso, while tightening the six-pack muscles.

Fat grafting

Fat grafting takes unwanted fat through the liposuction process from areas such as the hips, thighs and belly, and transfers it to areas of low volume, such as the lips, the cheeks, the eye region, the breasts or the buttocks. This makes for a “win-win” recycling procedure, since it contours two areas at the same time.

Thigh lift

After massive weight loss, the thighs may suffer from unwanted hanging skin that can chafe and cause discomfort while walking or exercising. A thigh lift beautifully reshapes the upper leg area for a better fit in clothing and an improved self-image. Approaches vary depending on skin excess and presentation, from minimal scars hidden in the creases of the groin, to incisions extending from the pubis to the knee for more significant reduction and improvement.

Maximum Weight Loss for Body Contouring: Candidates for Surgery

Individuals who sustain weight loss approximating half of their excess body weight often seek plastic surgery to reduce the excess skin that may have resulted from such significant weight loss.

  • For example, someone whose baseline weight was 300 lbs loses 150 lbs and is currently 150 lbs would see great benefits from plastic surgery to reduce the resultant excess skin.

The parameters need not be exactly 50 percent: Any weight loss surpassing 50 lbs can result in notable skin excess. Plastic surgery procedures can treat various body regions spanning from head to toe, and these procedures include:

  • Face and necklift
  • Arm lift
  • Breast lift or male chest reduction
  • Panniculectomy; a surgical procedure to remove the pannus, or excess skin and tissue from the lower abdomen that is sometimes referred to as an apron.
  • Tummy tuck
  • Upper and/or lower back lift
  • Thigh lift

Who are optimal candidates for body contouring?

Optimal candidates are those individuals who have stabilized their weight loss, which typically occurs 9 months to a year after launching their diet and/or surgical weight loss journey. Nutrition is so important to healing, and while weight fluctuations do occur, nutritional parameters may not yet be at optimal levels. Significant weight loss optimizes many health risks and any modifiable health conditions need to be optimized. Those who smoke would need to stop smoking, as smoking definitely impairs wound healing. Optimized health optimizes surgical outcomes.

Body contouring recovery

Any surgery also requires a recovery period. Recovery will require time off from work, typically on the order of 2-4 weeks, depending on the surgical procedures performed. Assistance from a friend, family member or professional medical aide is important to arrange prior to surgery to help allow for recovery and coverage of responsibilities that the surgical patient cannot meet. Your plastic surgeon will help provide a list of all the needs and restrictions you can proactively address while awaiting your surgery date.

On a scale of 1 to 10, body contouring after significant weight loss is an 11! Those who undergo surgery will surely have a life-changing experience that is so satisfying! And as a plastic surgeon who is the vehicle to such a gratifying end, this is incredibly fulfilling!

Moving forward Scheduling a Consultation

We invite you to call Dr. Shermak’s Baltimore plastic surgery office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal consultation today regarding skin tightening after weight loss.

1304 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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View Update Virtual Consultation Skinstore

We are officially open, thanks to Governor Hogan!

We welcome new patients and are looking forward to performing elective surgical procedures, starting the week of May 11.

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued risk COVID-19 presents. For this reason, we will be instituting the following protocols:

  • We will have Sandy stationed at our entryway with sterilizer and a COVID-19 survey for our new patients to fill out. Sandy will also check your temperature and collect your paperwork at the door – our medical intake form can be filled out prior to your coming to the office, or you can fill it out after you arrive.
  • Please bring a mask for any in-office visits. If you are coming for surgery, please bring a paper mask if you have one. For any other visits, cloth masks or paper masks are fine.
  • We need any patient waiting to be seen to wait in your car until we can safely accommodate you in an exam room. We need to respect social distancing and are spacing our patients out to assure safety.
  • We can only allow the patient to come in to the office for examination. Friends or family will need to wait outside the office.
  • For those assisting our postoperative patients on the day of surgery: we ask that you kindly wait in your car and we will call you in to discuss postoperative instructions.
  • I am continuing to schedule Virtual Consultations which is exciting and new! Check out my Resources section or header at drshermak.com to get started!

I look forward to seeing you soon!


As of July 1st, the staff members at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland will no longer routinely be wearing masks following the state guidelines per Governor Hogan.

All of our staff members are vaccinated.

If any patient would prefer that the medical staff member caring for them wear a mask, please let us know and we will gladly do so.

We treat patients with compormised immune systems and we need to be respectful of their needs.

We are asking patients who are not fully vaccinated to please wear masks while in our office so that we may continue to safely accomodate our patients with weakened immune systems.

Thank you!

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