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Dr. Michaels' Blog

I Lost 100 lbs! How do I get rid of the extra skin? Will my insurance pay the bill?

Massive weight loss, often 100 lbs or more, can leave loose hanging skin on the face, arms, breasts, abdomen, buttocks, flanks and legs. Whether the weight loss is from surgery or diet and exercise, if the loose skin becomes a health problem, insurance may cover reconstructive surgery to remove it.

Extra skin can fold in on itself, harboring moisture, bacteria and fungi. Chronic irritation in the folds can lead to recurrent infections, rashes and skin breakdown called intertrigo. If you suffer from intertrigo and require medical attention, you may qualify for skin removal.

Extra skin can get in the way of normal daily functions: Hooding of the eyelid skin can impair vision. Excessive loose skin on the arms can be inadvertently injured. Hanging lower abdominal skin can make hygiene difficult. Significantly redundant skin of the buttocks can make sitting painful, and pendulous thigh skin can make walking impossible. Insurance considers inability to perform daily functions a reason to cover skin removal.

Insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery, but it does cover reconstructive surgery to improve your health and normal functioning. If any of the scenarios mentioned apply to you, come in to the office. We’ll discuss your options and write to your insurance company asking for pre-authorization to cover your operation.