Where Can I Get Low Cost Bariatric Plastic Surgery?

Q: Hello! I had gastric bypass surgery in August 2008. Since that procedure, I have lost over 135 pounds. Here is the my problem. I have worked much of my life trying to gain control of my weight and now that I have done that I have excess and sagging skin that is a constant reminder of the overweight, unhealthy person I used to be. Furthermore, I am at a dead end financially as I had to pay out of pocket the expenses for by bypass surgery which was almost $50K. I am exhausted financially between the surgery and my four kids. Are you aware of any programs, grants or clinics that are available to assist bariatric patients with the skin removal they need after their weight loss?

A: Congratulations on your weight loss success. That is a big accomplishment. While such extreme amount of weight loss is a big first step, most patients with this much weight loss will have large amounts of deflated skin that just hangs. This is managed by a range of procedures known as bariatric plastic surgery. With the exception of an abdominal panniculectomy, these procedures are cosmetic from a financial perspective. I know of no doctors or clinics that perform these extensive procedures at low to no cost. They require a large amount of surgical effort and operating room expense which is why there are no limited cost facilities or programs that perform them.

I wish you continued success in maintaining your current weight and one day being able to complete phase 2 of your body metamorphosis.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana