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Will I need skin removal surgery after Lap-Band®?

March 5, 2020

Many people that are about to embark on the Lap-Band® Procedure, or are at least weighing the options, wonder if excess skin removal will be necessary once they’ve lost a majority of their weight. Many patients will lose weight in excess of 100 pounds, which can cause excess skin around the belly. Some individuals may become so frustrated with their excess skin, that they feel as if the way they feel on the inside does not match how they look on the outside.

If you have excess skin following bariatric surgery, you can opt to meet with a plastic surgeon and talk about having loose skin removed. Plastic surgeons can complete a series of surgeries to trim excess skin from different areas of the body called body contouring. While many consider plastic surgery to be a cosmetic procedure, it can actually be considered a practical procedure for individuals with excess skin. The loose skin can become uncomfortable—causing rashes and chafing. Sometimes, it can become a medical necessity to have it removed because of infection. Body contouring can be done on the tummy area, chest, face, thighs, and upper arms. The surgeries are both a time and money commit, and patients need to mentally prepare for the surgeries because they require months of recovery. However, the procedures are highly effective in removing excess skin and helping to reshape the tissue.

It is important to note that loose skin after weight loss is most common when weight is lost very quickly and drastically. Because the Lap-Band helps you lose weight more gradually than other bariatric procedures, you may not experience saggy skin. It also depends largely upon your body; everyone is different, and age and skin quality plays a role. One of the ways in which you can help prevent saggy skin during weight loss is to not only focus on gradual weight loss that will give your skin adequate time to contract and adjust, but to build muscle and take care of your skin. Use sunscreen, don’t smoke, avoid high alcohol consumption, and follow a healthy diet.

It’s important to note that, if you do experience excess skin after major weight loss, it is your decision whether or not you elect to have it removed. You should wait approximately one year after you’ve lost most of your weight to give your skin enough time to adjust and tighten. If you aren’t satisfied after one year, then talk with a doctor.


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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.