Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)

This article, written by Dr. Matthew Brengman, was featured on the Advanced Surgical Partners of Virginia website:

Patients who experience significant weight loss, whether through diet and exercise, balloon therapy, or surgical therapy, can develop significant extra skin on their abdomen. Some patients will consider surgical removal of this skin – a procedure called abdominoplasty, and sometimes referred to as a “tummy tuck.”

There are medical reasons to consider removal, with the most frequent being irritation and skin ulcer formation due to the folding of the skin, usually caused by a fungus called candida. In hot weather, candida can be particularly difficult to treat even with prescription medications. Skin removal usually resolves this issue. For those whose develop very low lying skin folds (usually to the mid-thigh or knee) the fold can interfere with the patient’s walking, and can lead to falls. Clearly, this skin should be removed, and in this case, the procedure is usually covered by insurance.

However, the most common reason to seek skin removal is to improve body image. Patients who lose extreme amounts of weight can still struggle when they see the cosmetic results. It is perfectly appropriate to seek skin removal in this setting.

Unfortunately, skin removal is not, by itself, a weight loss procedure. Even in extreme cases, the total weight of skin removed is rarely more than 15 pounds. In addition, weight loss through excision rarely leads to improvement in a patient’s weight related medical problems such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension, among others.

Finally, patients who have had weight loss surgery and are still losing weight should delay skin reduction surgery. I usually recommend waiting until the weight has been stabilized for three to six months, which usually occurs between 15-18 months post-procedure.

If you would like to speak with Dr. Brengman, you can contact him here.

What patients are saying…

“Dr. Brengman is GREAT! He took time to answer all my questions and address all my concerns. He is very personable as well and easy to talk to… He is concerned with his patients and their progress, both before and after surgery. He went over everything with me, including risks and aftercare. I felt very comfortable with my decision to have Lap-Band surgery.”
“I think Dr. B is a GREAT Doc. He takes his time with you, listens to you and doesn’t rush you at your visits. He explained everything to me and my mother and is very upfront about things you should or shouldn’t be doing… I would recommend him to anyone that is thinking about having weight loss surgery”
“Dr. Brengman was very pleasant and willing to answer my questions… Surgery went well, no pain, and I am very pleased. Dr. Brengman was caring enough to stay late to visit his patients and back in the next morning to do the same.”