Skip Navigation

Body Contouring Surgery for Excess Skin

Body contouring is a type of plastic surgery that can help you reshape your body so that you feel more confident. Whether you struggle with excess skin after the success of losing weight, or you've noticed a lack of body tone due to aging, our specialists can help.

What is body contouring surgery?

Body contouring refers to various plastic surgery procedures that generally address the torso, upper arms and legs and neck/face areas. Typically, body contouring surgery is performed to address concerns over excess skin and tissue following major weight loss, including weight that’s lost after bariatric surgery. However, body contouring can also be used to address lax skin and additional fat that often accompanies aging.

Usually, excess skin and tissue cannot be further reduced through diet or exercise. It can, however, be surgically removed through 1 or more body contouring procedures.

We offer a variety of appointment types. Learn more or call 913-588-1227 to schedule now.

Who can have body contouring plastic surgery?

Ideal candidates for body contouring are healthy adults who have reached a stable body weight but are bothered by loose skin or excess fat on areas such as the:

  • Abdomen
  • Arms
  • Back
  • Buttocks
  • Flanks
  • Thighs

If you have successfully lost weight and are now ready and motivated to continue on that journey with body contouring, you may also be a good candidate for body contouring surgery.

How does body contouring work?

Depending on the specific type of procedure performed, body contouring surgery can:

  • Remove excess skin
  • Remove stubborn fat deposits
  • Tighten remaining skin

Body contouring can also be combined with breast enhancement procedures like breast augmentation for even more dramatic results.

Group of happy doctors and researchers

Find a doctor

Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System are care providers and researchers at the forefront of new medical discoveries. From primary care to complex conditions, we offer hundreds of specialists.

Find a doctor

Benefits and risks of body contouring surgery

If you're considering body contouring plastic surgery, it's important to maintain realistic expectations about the outcome and the risks involved. Possible side effects of some body contouring procedures may include infection, scarring or unmet expectations.

However, body contouring surgery is the only option to remove excess skin and tissue following a significant amount of weight loss. Many people view body contouring surgery as the final step in their weight-loss journey.

Some of the benefits of body contouring surgery include:

  • Enhanced comfort during exercise
  • Improved self-confidence
  • More flattering body shape
  • Smoother, tighter body contours

What happens during body contouring surgery?

Your body contouring surgery will be customized to meet your unique goals. Our specialists perform a variety of body contouring procedures to remove stubborn fat deposits and skin.

The best decision ever

Melody Griffin hit a low point when her weight reached 256 pounds in 2006. For her 4-foot, 9-inch frame, she was severely obese. She struggled with diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea – and she knew she had to do something. After having gastric bypass surgery in 2006, she lost 130 pounds. Within months, her chronic health conditions resolved. She no longer requires long-term medication.

Melody calls gastric bypass “the best decision ever” – but it was just the start of her journey to overall health. Because of her significant weight loss, Melody had excess skin that slowed her down and made exercising difficult. Melody is thankful for the team of skilled plastic surgeons at The University of Kansas Health System, particularly Julie Holding, MD who performed Melody’s skin removal surgery. “I was so, so impressed with [Dr. Holding].”

In Dr. Holding’s words, “She’s done all the work; I’m just going to show it to her by taking the skin off.” Dr. Holding removed approximately 3 feet of excess skin during Melody’s procedure. Dr. Holding notes that, for many patients, excess skin can cause significant health concerns, including skin infections, chaffing and skin tears. Extra skin can be a painful reminder of the past – and it poses challenges for the future.

After significant weight loss, excess skin can only be removed through skin removal surgery. Dr. Holding and her colleague Michelle De Souza, MD, plastic surgeon at The University of Kansas Health System, recommend seeking help from a board-certified plastic surgeon who is specially trained to perform these types of procedures.

To this day, Melody is grateful for the support she received from her care team, who advocated for her with her insurance company and continue to encourage her on her path to overall health.

Watch Melody’s story

Melody Griffin shares her journey through gastric bypass surgery, ovarian cancer and skin removal surgery.

Speaker 1:
Melody overcame multiple health problems including cancer, but she had one more major surgery to fulfill a dream 17 years in the making.

Melody Griffin:
I’ve wanted this for so long.

Speaker 1:
In 2006, Melody Griffin hit a low point when her weight hit an all-time high at 256 pounds. For her tiny 4’ 9” frame, she was severely obese, she had diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Melody Griffin:
I was going to die early.

Speaker 1:
Melody knew she had to do something. That same year she had gastric bypass surgery.

Melody Griffin:
I lost almost 130 pounds and that’s about what I weigh now, so half of me disappeared. It was the best decision ever.

Speaker 1:
Melody’s chronic health conditions disappeared quickly and within months, she was off all of her medications. Her sleep apnea was a thing of the past, but losing all that weight did leave Melody with something that slowed her down.

Melody Griffin:
So much skin, I had a personal trainer and she would tell me to sit down, but then I’d have to lift my leg and touch my toes. And I’d have to lean way back just so the skin would move enough that I could, and I could barely reach them.

Speaker 1:
Melody tried to get her insurance to approve skin removal surgery, but got turned down time and time again. Then in 2017, Melody felt a lump in her abdomen, it turned out to be ovarian cancer.

Melody Griffin:
If I hadn’t lost the weight, I wouldn’t have felt it as soon as I did, and it would have progressed further.

Speaker 1:
Beating obesity, then cancer, Melody was more determined than ever to get her skin removal surgery.

Melody Griffin:

Julie Holding, MD:
Hi, how are you!

Speaker 1:
She turned to Dr. Julie Holding at The University of Kansas Health System.

Melody Griffin:
When I came to see Dr. Holding, I was so, so impressed with her and she took care of everything and was so great about getting all the documentation that they needed so that it was approved the first time.

Speaker 1:
Doctor Holding says patients like Melody who put in the work to lose all that weight want the skin gone. As a doctor, she knows it can lead to skin infections. She finds doing skin removal surgery rewarding.

Julie Holding, MD:
She’s done all the work, I’m just going to show it to her by taking the skin off.

Why choose us for body contouring surgery?

For patients considering plastic surgery, choosing the best surgical team is essential to ensuring your ideal outcome. Whether seeking a cosmetic enhancement or reconstructive procedure, our team of specialists offers the right combination of support and education so you can make the best decision about your care. Our care team is here to support you.

Still the best
Our hospital continues to rank as the best in Kansas City and in Kansas according to U.S. News & World Report.
The University of Kansas Hospital has been designated a Magnet® facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center since 2006.
Respect for all people
Named a leader in LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.

Related links