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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 ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.