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Reconstructive Surgery after Weight Loss

Many of our patients find that, after losing 100, 200 or more pounds through weight loss surgery in San Francisco, their skin does not shrink to fit their new body. Excess, sagging skin and residual fat can create more than just cosmetic problems, and may prevent you from fully enjoying your smaller size. Dr. Rabkin and Pacific Laparoscopy offer reconstructive surgery for patients who want or need these procedures to complete their journey to a happier, healthier life.


After weight loss surgery in the Bay Area, many patients will require removal of excess skin, especially in the abdominal area. The common term "tummy tuck" is technically known as abdominoplasty. Many insurance companies will authorize payment for this procedure based on documentation of skin rashes, back aches, or other conditions that arise during or after weight loss. If these conditions are present, our insurance department can send a letter documenting medical necessity and requesting authorization from your insurance company. Hernia repair, if needed, can be requested at this time as well.

  • Average 2-3 day hospitalization
  • May remove up to 20 pounds or more of excess skin and tissue
  • Dramatically changes body contour, mobility, and clothing fit

Abdominoplasty is best done when weight loss has slowed down or stabilized, often 12-18 months post-op. Patients frequently go home with drains, scheduling office follow-ups for post-operative care and drain removal. Many patients feel abdominoplasty is the "frosting on the cake," although some report that it can be more uncomfortable than the original duodenal switch surgery or vertical gastrectomy because of the longer incisions.

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Thighplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the inner or outer thighs after excessive weight loss. It removes lax skin and fat and places the scars in the inner thigh area where it can be hidden.

  • 1-2 day hospital stay
  • general anesthesia
  • support garment for 2-3 months
  • restricted activity for a few weeks

Lower Body Lift

When there is a large amount of excess skin in the buttocks as well as abdomen, this procedure may be superior, allowing removal of the excess skin in both the back and tummy. The lower body lift leaves less scarring than individual procedures, and patients are satisfied with the improved appearance. For a first-hand account of the lower body lift experience, visit Patient Testimonials - Colleen G.

Brachioplasty or Arm Lift

This operation is done to tighten the loose skin of the upper arm. This surgery is not complicated; the excess skin is marked and then removed. The incision is placed on the inner and under surface of the arm and often curves or zigzags, sometimes around the upper part of the arm. To read about this procedure in the words of a real patient, visit Patient Testimonials - Theresa S.

  • General anesthesia
  • Outpatient or overnight hospital stay

Hernia Repair

Hernia means that the layers of the abdominal wall have weakened, resulting in a bulge or tear. In the same way that an inner tube pushes through a damaged tire, the inner lining of the abdomen pushes through the weakened area of the abdominal wall to form a small balloon-like sac under the skin. This can allow a loop of intestine or other abdominal tissue to push into the sac. The hernia can cause severe pain and other potentially serious problems that could require emergency surgery.

You may be born with a hernia (congenital) or develop one over time. The common areas where hernias occur are in the groin (inguinal), belly button (umbilical) and the site of a previous operation (incisional). If you have a hernia, this can readily be repaired with a simple operation, occasionally using a patch method. Most of the time, we combine repair of a hernia with removal of excess abdominal skin (abdominoplasty) following weight loss.

Mastopexy (Breast Lift)

Breast lift surgery is performed to elevate sagging breasts and remove excess, loose skin from this area. The result is improved breast shape and tone, consistent with new body contours. This procedure is often coupled with other procedures in order to utilize the same anesthetic.

To learn more about reconstructive surgery after weight loss, click here to request a consultation with Dr. John Rabkin. Or you can call Pacific Laparoscopy at 415-668-3200 to schedule your appointment

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