Healthy Tidbits

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Weight Loss Surgery and Excess Skin

Nov 20, 2014

Weight loss surgery puts people back in control of their lives, allowing them to finally take the weight off that has likely plagued them for years. Most people do not choose such surgery lightly. It is a decision that is made over many years of struggling with losing and gaining weight and even the many medical conditions that may come along with obesity; conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and more.

By the time we’ve gotten to surgery time, we’ve considered all the outcomes of surgery – how it will change our lives physically and even emotionally. We’ve put our ducks in a row so that we have everything we need to be successful including nutritional support, physical trainers, support groups, and more. We expect rapid weight loss in the beginning and we get it. But as we shrink, we get something else as well – excess skin.

Excess skin is something that many people forget about when they are considering the weight loss surgery that will cause them to lose a lot of weight very quickly. Excess skin that remains while fat disappears can be bothersome, uncomfortable, and for sure frustrating, especially since skin can weigh quite a bit and therefore can be an impediment to the number on the scale going down.

Excess skin, luckily, can be removed following weight loss surgery but it’s typically considered a cosmetic procedure and, therefore, is not covered by most insurance policies. However, in some cases, where excess skin is causing a physical problem, its removal may be considered medically necessary. A procedure to remove skin under these circumstances may be covered by insurance so it’s important to check with your health insurance carrier to identify what is and is not covered so you can plan accordingly.

Most people will benefit tremendously from the removal of excess, sagging skin and it can certainly go a long way to helping a weight loss surgery patient reach their physical goals – so it’s important to look into all the options that are available to you on this front so that you can make the best decision for your particular situation.