How Much Does Skin Removal Surgery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

A skin removal surgical procedure is the process of removing excess skin after a great amount of weight has been lost.  When a person gains weight, the skin stretches; however, as a person loses weight after gaining hundreds of pounds worth of body mass, the skin is left sagging, leaving it nowhere to go  This scenario is pretty common, especially for people who have gone through a gastric bypass procedure.

Surgery by Army Medicine, on Flickr
Surgery” (CC BY 2.0) by Army Medicine

How much does excess skin removal surgery cost?

The cost of skin removal surgery will greatly depend on the type of surgical procedure you need, the surgeon and where you live.   Many factors contribute to this surgery, and it can be hard to give an “estimate” because of it.  Some people want to focus on a specific area of concern, such as the breasts, while others may have skin irritations.  Costs, as you can imagine, can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.  Since there are so many areas of concern, refer to the table below to see what a surgical procedure may cost to remove any excess skin.

For the most part, insurance companies won’t cover any of these procedures since, most of the time, it won’t be deemed medically necessary.  If the purpose of your surgery is to improve your appearance and it’s not needed for your health, then plan on paying out of pocket.  If it will be correcting a medical concern, however, then talk with your insurance company to see if it may be covered because some carriers may pay for cover excess skin-related surgical procedures.

According to this MLive.com article, the cost of surgery will vary depending on a number of factors, but as a general range, patients should be expected to pay $14,000 to $16,000 for abdominal surgery or $6,000 to $8,000 for the arms, including the surgical and hospital fees.

This New York Times article said you should be prepared to see bills reach $20,000 to remove the skin from the abdomen, thighs and upper arms.

Type of Skin Removal ProcedureAverage Cost (without insurance)
Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck)$5,000 to $10,000
Body Contouring$5,000 to $30,000, depending on the procedures being done.
Body Lift$10,000 to $20,000
Breast Augmentation$4,000 to $8,000
Breast Lift$4,000 to $8,000
Breast Reduction$4,000 to $8,000
Buttock Lift$4,000 to $10,000
Thigh Lift$5,000 to $10,000
Upper Arm Lift$3,000 to $10,000

Excess skin removal surgery overview

Body contouring surgery, also known as a skin removal surgical process, is often the most popular option chosen by those who have lost an excessive amount of weight.  This surgery, for example, will do just that — the surgeon will “contour” your body, focusing on the areas which need the most work.  Contouring will require an incision to remove any excess skin and sutures to close any wounds.  The procedure will be performed under a general anesthesia, and if more than one surgery is needed, it may be done in stages, rather than at once, to help reduce complications and allow you time to heal.

Other specific options may include a breast lift, lower body lift, upper arm lift or thigh lift.  A breast lift involves removing the loose skin in the breast area, essentially lifting the breast and nipples.  Depending on the situation, an implant may be used to refine the shape.  A lower body lift will involve many procedures at once, including a tummy tuck and skin removal in the buttocks, groin and outer thighs.  During this procedure, a surgeon will create an incision near the bikini line to help minimize the scarring.  The skin will then be lifted, removed and any excess fat deposits will be removed via liposuction.  With most procedures, the patient won’t require an overnight stay at the hospital; however, with this procedure, a stay is often recommended.  An upper arm lift will remove any sagging skin in the upper arm, and during this surgical procedure, an incision starts at the armpit and progresses to the elbow.  Lastly, during a thigh lift, an incision will be made in the groin and will continue to the knee, removing any excess skin via liposuction if needed.

No matter how skilled the surgeon is, Everyday Health says you should expect to see scars.

What are the extra costs?

Many surgical procedures will often have a lot of individuals bills that show up in your mailbox, even months after you had the procedure performed.  This can include the anesthesiologist fee, hospital and/or surgical center facility fee, pre- and post-op medical tests, post-surgery garments, prescriptions and separate surgeon fees.  All hospitals and surgeon fees will have varying billing practices, so it’s always best to know what you should be prepared to spend before going under the knife.

Tips to know:

Risks, as with any surgery, can be possible.  This may include infection, blood clots, anesthesia complications or scars.

Most doctors, before they even consider the surgery, may require you to meet certain criteria, which could include maintaining a stable weight for 12 months, for instance.

How can I save money?

As mentioned above, health insurance companies won’t cover this procedure a fair majority of the time.  Many hospitals, however, will offer discounts to those who pay the bill in full up front or may be able to set you up on small payment plans.


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Average Reported Cost: $0

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Ralph Bennett (Grand Prairie,  Texas) paid $ and said:

    I paid only $100.oo and the service was great and I have been skin tag free for over 10 years.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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