Body Contouring: For When Diet and Exercise Aren’t Enough

by Gregory S

Body Contouring: For When Diet and Exercise Aren’t Enough

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In the middle of his plastic surgery residency, Ryan Mitchell had an epiphany. Recognizing the cosmetic trends on the horizon, he pursued a fascination with an area of practice just beginning to develop, body contouring for patients who have undergone considerable weight loss. The young man even pursued a fellowship to specialize in the treatment.

“The surgery to remove the excess skin left behind is becoming more in demand, as obesity rates rise and bariatric surgery becomes more common,” Dr. Mitchell told MLive.


Passion is what drew Dr. Mitchell to the work. He realized that his work in body contouring would afford him the opportunity to help improve the health and physical needs of individual patients.

Dr. Mitchell now sees a wide variety of patients every year and says the patients who have lost weight in the neighborhood of 100 pounds may be healthier but they may experience frustration with the outcome. Dr. Mitchell jokingly refers to this phenomenon as “buyer’s remorse.”

The Need for Body Contouring

In other words, even with strict dieting and exercising, some patients are unable to lose their subsequent excessive sagging skin.

“People have said, ‘I look worse now than I did before.’ One patient said when she was larger, she was just the largest person on the beach. Now when she goes to the beach, she feels she gets looks and attention because she doesn’t fit into either mold,” Dr. Mitchell reported to MLive.

This is where body contouring comes in. The procedure offers to alter the shape of different areas of the body, including the arms, legs, belly, and buttocks. Contrary to popular belief, body contouring for excessive skin is not exclusively cosmetic. In fact, body contouring has several health benefits.

Insurance and Costs

“While health insurance sometimes covers removal of the overhanging skin on the abdomen, patients usually must pay out of pocket for contouring procedures on other parts of the body,” Dr. Mitchell commented to MLive. “The cost of surgery varies depending on a number of factors. But as a general range, the cost to patients can run from $14,000 to $16,000 for abdominal surgery and $6,000 to 8,000 for arms, including surgical and hospital fees.”

The plastic surgery, cosmetic and otherwise, may be “the final hurdle to get somebody to the place they’ve always wanted to be. To me, that’s the rewarding part – to be able to be involved in someone’s life and to be able to make that final difference.”

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