Dr. Tholen & Dr. Gervais | Minneapolis Body Contouring after Massive Weight Loss

Body Contouring after Weight Loss

After a person has lost a significant amount of weight, either through bariatric surgery or diet and rigorous exercise, he or she should feel a well-earned sense of pride and excitement. However, excess skin left over after the weight loss can make it impossible to comfortably live a new, active lifestyle. Some areas of excess skin may have the remaining tone and elasticity to fit the new leaner body shape over time, but in cases in which a great deal of weight is lost, body contouring surgery at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD. may be a better option. Body contouring surgery can remove excess skin and fatty tissue from one or more areas of the abdomen, hips, buttocks, thighs, chest, arms, flanks, or breasts leaving a more sleek and toned appearance. Often, operations on several areas can be combined into one procedure.

Candidates for Body Contouring Surgery

Good candidates for body contouring surgery include most people who have excess skin due to weight loss. If your weight is still fluctuating, or if you plan to lose more weight or become pregnant, it may be best to postpone this surgery.

If you are at a stable weight (even if you have not yet reached your goal weight), you may still be a good candidate for surgery when your metabolism is normal and able to heal, rather than losing more weight in an unhealthy attempt to reach a preconceived number. Fewer complications are seen in patients who are close to their ideal weight, as long as their weight is stable and their overall health is good. Surgery is safer on patients that are healthy and still not at “ideal” weight as compared to patients that starve themselves into an unhealthy metabolic state that does not facilitate good healing. Candidates may include:

  • Post-bariatric-surgery patients (after gastric bypass or lap band surgery)
  • People who have lost weight through diet and exercise
  • Women who have been pregnant and do not plan to conceive more children
  • Patients whose weight is not fluctuating and whose health allows good healing


Post-weight-loss body contouring surgery often involves the removal of loose or sagging skin and fatty tissue in several areas of the body:

Body contouring surgery also involves the use of liposuction to treat remaining pockets of unwanted fat. To perform this surgery, incisions are made to remove the unwanted skin and adjacent fat.  Because this surgery is highly customized to the individual patient, the exact procedure will vary depending on the amount and location of skin and fatty tissue to be removed. Multiple areas may be lifted and tightened at one operation, reducing the cost and recovery of multiple separate procedures. Liposuction or tummy tuck can be combined with a breast lift, male breast reduction, or even a complete lower body lift for a more comprehensive body makeover. Please contact Dr. Richard H. Tholen and Dr. Douglas L. Gervais at their Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota area office for a complimentary consultation to ask your body contouring questions and learn more about how specific procedures can help you achieve a body that looks as good as you feel.

Recovery and Results

The amount of recovery time necessary for the patient to fully heal after body contouring surgery depends on the extent of treatment that he or she undergoes. A patient who only needs skin removed from the flanks, for example, may recover more rapidly than a patient who has excess tissue removed from several areas, or has deeper tissue tightening. Depending on the number of surgical sites, as well as the amount of tissue removed, some patients may return to work as soon as a few days or week after surgery; others may take several weeks to return to full activity.  Scars mature and fade over 6-12 months, and “final” outcome is not completely visible until that same time period has elapsed. The results are worthwhile, however—most patients are thrilled with their new bodies.

Cost of Body Contouring After Weight Loss

An extended tummy tuck (not a full circumferential lower body lift) will require about 3 hours’ operating time, and total costs are approximately $14000. Depending on the size and amount of skin and tissue to be removed with circumferential lower body lift, this operation requires 5-7 hours; total costs are in the $20000-25000 range, substantially lower than hospital costs that can be 35-50 thousand dollars or more! Variable costs are based on time required. Liposuction costs are determined by the number of areas treated, and the operating and anesthesia time necessary to sculpt those areas. Costs for one (bilateral) area may be around $3900; more areas and time will be charged accordingly. Adding one or more areas of liposuction at the time of abdominoplasty, extended abdominoplasty, or circumferential lower body lift is always less costly than performing liposuction as a separate stand-alone operation. Exact cost quotes are always given at the time of complimentary consultations by our American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeons. Please call 763-545-0443 or contact us for a no-obligation appointment. Financing options are available.

Because of the high demand for free consultations with our plastic surgeons, our staff will ask for a credit card number in order to schedule a consultation; there is no charge whatsoever for appointments that are kept–you will be charged $100 only if you fail to keep a scheduled appointment, or fail to cancel at least 48 hours in advance of your appointment time–for Monday appointments, you must cancel no later than noon on the previous Thursday; for Tuesday appointments, you must cancel by noon on the previous Friday.

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