This article is part of a weekly Q & A blog series by Steven J. Rottman, MD, a Baltimore Top Doc, and double board certified plastic surgeon. This is published in syndication on Mink + Rich, Baltimore’s premier destination for wellness and beauty.
Dear Dr. Rottman,
Over the last year I have lost in excess of 100 pounds following bariatric surgery. While I am thrilled to have lost the weight and to be freed from the burdens of chronic illness, I can’t help but feel unhappy with the excess loose skin remaining. This greatly affects my confidence and self-esteem, as my arms and legs have so much sagging skin I struggle to find clothes that fit properly. My deflated stomach is a hot bed for irritation, rashes and fungal infections.
I don’t have unrealistic expectations. I just want to be comfortable and enjoy the fruits of my hard work. What can be done and at what cost? Is there any chance insurance will help
pay? Am I looking at one surgery or multiple surgeries to address all my problem areas?
Body Conscience in Baltimore
Dear Body Conscience in Baltimore,
Congratulations on losing so much weight! That is no small feat and does wonders for your physical well being. Mentally however, patients often struggle with persistent body insecurities.
In my practice, I frequently treat patients in your same predicament and am quite familiar with the frustrations you speak of caused by the lost ability for the skin to retract. Typically, patients who have lost over 100 pounds greatly benefit from post weight lost body contouring procedures. Various procedures can address excess skin anywhere on the body, including the arms, thighs, tummy, back and breast. You would be able to choose depending on your priorities and financial circumstances. The procedures are typically divided into two separate surgeries – one for upper body and a second for lower body.
As far as insurance goes, it is very difficult to get insurance companies to pay for these types of procedures as they are usually classified as cosmetic in nature. This is frustrating as many patients do actually suffer both mentally and physically from what remains following massive weight loss.
While it is unlikely that insurance will cover these procedures, we are happy to submit your claim to your insurance company for potential coverage. I encourage you to document any and all aliments or side effects that you may suffer from due to your remaining excess skin. Examples would be rashes, infections and any other related ailment. We do offer medical financing options through Care Credit and are happy to help you apply in our office.
I would be happy to see you in my office to provide a complimentary consultation to you or anyone else who may be interested in learning about surgical options following massive weight loss.
Again, I congratulate you on your successful weight loss and hope I can help you find the body you have worked so hard to achieve.
Steven J Rottman, M.D.
Dr. Steven J Rottman, MD is a Double Board Certified, Georgetown University trained and Award Winning, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon with two office locations in the Baltimore Area.
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