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Weight Loss Medication and Plastic Surgery | Skin Removal

The Impact of Weight Loss Medication on Plastic Surgery Skin Removal Surgery

Dr David Sharp

Dr David Sharp

Specialist Plastic Surgeon + Registered Medical Practitioner

Article written by Director and Journalist Liz Washington B.Journ, and medically reviewed by Dr. David Sharp, MBBS, FRACS (Plast)

The use of weight loss medication to induce massive weightloss has brought a significant change in patients seeking skin removal and reduction procedures, following weight loss. Our plastic and cosmetic surgery clinic in Brisbane has notice an increase in patients pursuing procedures such as abdominoplasty or tummy tuck surgery, breast reduction or lift (mastopexy), arm lift (brachioplasty) or facelift (rhytidectomy) following substantial weight loss journeys.

Unlike conventional weight management methods, or bariatric surgery, this increase is attributed to the accessibility of newly adopted weightloss medications. 

Patients, having achieved their healthy weight objectives, may then seek cosmetic or plastic surgery to complete their weight loss journey.

As patients may experience excess skin on their face, breast and body after losing weight, plastic surgeons have been frontline observers of this evolving landscape in recent years.

Pictured, left: before and 3 months after breast lift (mastopexy), breast augmentation and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) with Dr Sharp. 

Breast and abdominal surgery

The Role of Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery in Excess Skin Removal

Excess skin can cause hygiene issues, pain and even skin breakdown or infections. Therefore, many skin reduction procedures are considered to be medically required, meeting the Medicare Benefits Schedule’s (MBS) item number criteria. This means that a patient may be able to claim Medicare rebates or use their private health insurance to cover some costs of the surgery, if eligible.

Patients undergoing significant weight loss often grapple with excess skin, particularly in areas such as the arms, abdomen, thighs, and more. Specialist plastic surgeons like Dr David Sharp are trained and qualified in the surgical technique required to offer tailored solutions through skin tightening and skin removal procedures, including body lifts, facelifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks and breast lifts. Sometimes, these procedures can be combined; click here for more information. 

As weight loss medications continue to revolutionise weight management, the intersection between weight loss and plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures becomes increasingly intertwined. Surgeons like Dr David Sharp have extensive experience over decades of operating, to apply plastic surgery techniques and principles to these often-complex procedures.

Understanding Body Lift and Skin Removal Surgery

Skin removal surgery can encompass a series of surgical interventions aimed at reducing unwanted excess skin and small areas of fat post weight loss, while lifting or tightening underlying tissues. These procedures may involve upper body lifts addressing the chest, back and arms, as well as lower body lifts targeting the abdomen or mons area.

Ideal candidates for body lifts are individuals who have a stable, healthy weight, a BMI under 30, maintain good health and nutrient rich diet and have realistic expectations regarding surgical outcomes. Recovery from these comprehensive procedures entails significant downtime and meticulous post-operative care to optimise results. Visit the patient education pages linked in this article to start your surgical journey by reading more about the benefits, risks and recovery involved.

After familiarising yourself with these procedures, the next step is to book at least two consultations, with two specialist plastic surgeons of your choice. We recommend finding a surgeon that makes you feel comfortable and understood. They should also have experience performing the procedures you are considering and be able to provide you with ongoing postoperative care, as some skin removal procedures can involve longer recovery periods.

Skin Removal Plastic Surgery After Weightloss for Regional or Remote Patients

If you live remotely or regionally in Queensland, it is also important to consider the location of your specialist plastic surgeon and your ability to attend their clinic for postoperative care and follow up, as required.

Surgeons are prohibited from offering surgery and accommodation packages, but your surgeon’s office should be able to provide advice regarding nearby accommodation options with easy access to their clinic, during your immediate postoperative period and also for visits to the clinic for routine follow ups.

Why Your Surgeon’s Qualifications Matter When Having Skin Removal Plastic Surgery

The landscape of plastic surgery has undergone a profound transformation over the past 20 years as bariatric surgery, and now weight loss pharmaceuticals, redefined weight loss paradigms. As obesity levels increase in our community, demand for weight loss options surge, and the necessity for appropriately qualified, specialist plastic surgeons, to both manage and prevent complications in skin removal procedures has been underlined by media and scientific reporting. Complications can happen for any patient with any surgeon, but seeking cut price surgery via ‘surgical tourism’ or doctors who perform surgery without appropriate plastic surgery qualifications increases the risk of being unable to receive continuity of care in an appropriate local inpatient facility should a complication or serious concern arise postoperatively. 

For individuals contemplating cosmetic or reconstructive procedures, it is imperative to consult with a Royal Australasian College Of Surgeons (RACS) qualified plastic surgeon and member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). ASPS and RACS members adhere to stringent standards of safety and ethics, ensuring best practice patient care and surgical outcomes. 

Please note: our practice does not recommend, endorse or supply weight loss medication. If you are interested exploring options for weight loss, please visit your General Practitioner for a consultation to discuss weightloss plan suitable for you.

Dr David Sharp plastic surgery Brisbane

About Dr. David Sharp:

Dr. David Sharp is an experienced specialist plastic surgeon in Brisbane, with a special interest in breast, body and facial cosmetic surgery.

With over two decades of experience in medicine, Dr. Sharp has performed over 20,000 surgical procedures in Australia and has an established surgical and non surgical practice in Brisbane.

Read more about Dr Sharp's credentials and expertise here. 

For more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. David Sharp, please contact our patient support team at 3202 4744 or visit our online booking request form here.

This information is intended for general knowledge and should not replace personalised advice from your surgeon. Always consult with your surgeon for individual care.