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Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss Columbus

“You look great!” After losing large amounts of weight through bariatric surgery, many Columbus, Ohio patients hear compliments such as this from friends and family. However, patients may not feel like they look “great” because they still have extra skin left over, especially in the abdomen. Due to typical fat distribution before bariatric surgery, the abdomen is usually the area of the body with the most excess skin. Tightening and removal of this extra skin is essential for the patient to be able to wear proportionally-sized clothing and to avoid getting rashes. Skin tightening, performed by Columbus surgeon Bivik Shah, is an excellent way for bariatric surgery patients to take another step towards leading a happier, healthier life.

Dr. Shah understands how intimidating skin tightening and bariatric surgery can be. At our Columbus practice, serving all of Ohio, we will make sure that you understand every step of the process and that all of your questions are answered. The procedure can be done at any Columbus area hospital that is convenient to you. Abdominal skin tightening at the Columbus Institute of Plastic Surgery is done in one of three ways: panniculectomy, tummy tuck, or belt lipectomy. The choice of method will depend on your health, as well as the amount of loose skin you have following bariatric surgery. Ohio surgeon Bivik Shah will also base their decision on your postoperative aesthetic goals.

  • Panniculectomy
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Belt Lipectomy


Panniculectomy is the skin tightening procedure that is most often covered by medical insurance. Dr. Shah will make an incision from hip to hip, and remove the excess skin that is hanging over your groin area. Unlike other methods, a panniculectomy will not tighten any muscles or affect the overall contour of the abdomen; the excess skin is simply removed in order to prevent rashes.

Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, is the most commonly requested procedure by patients who have undergone bariatric surgery. Columbus doctors Bivik Shah recommends this method of skin tightening to patients who have lost a great deal of weight, and would like to show off a fit new figure. A tummy tuck differs from the other methods of post-bariatric surgery skin removal in that both the muscle and the skin are tightened. In doing so, Dr. Shah can give you a flat, firm belly and a beautiful hourglass figure. The recovery from a panniculectomy or tummy tuck is about three to four weeks, and most people can return to work for a light-duty job by that time.

Belt Lipectomy

The third option for abdominal skin tightening is called a belt lipectomy, so named because of the incision used. Dr. Shah makes an incision that extends all the way around the abdomen, at approximately the same height where you would wear a belt; sometimes this is supplemented by an additional incision down the front of the belly to the groin area. Belt lipectomies are excellent options for patients who have excess skin in equal amounts around the abdomen, hips, and back. As one of the few plastic surgeons providing this kind of post- bariatric surgery in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Shah is proud to restore a natural and attractive figure to each patient who comes to the Institute of Plastic Surgery.

Abdominal skin tightening at our Columbus practice is normally an outpatient operation; you will be allowed to go home on the same day as the procedure in most cases. If you need extensive amounts of skin removed, Dr. Shah may recommend that you stay overnight at the hospital. In order to aid the draining of fluids, Dr. Shah will place two drainage tubes at the incision site; you will return to our office seven to ten days after surgery so we can remove them and examine how your healing is progressing. In addition to the drainage tubes, you will need to wear a binder around your abdomen for about six weeks to promote healing and to protect the sutures.

Dr. Shah will monitor your progress very carefully after your post- bariatric surgery. Our Ohio patients can usually return to light-duty jobs after three to four weeks of healing. You may notice that while you are recovering, you lack your usual amount of energy; this is completely normal and you can expect to recover your “pep” about two months after your skin tightening procedure.

To find out if you are a candidate for abdominal skin tightening at our Columbus practice, or if you have questions about any other kind of post- bariatric surgery, contact Ohio plastic surgeon Bivik Shah to schedule a consultation.

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