The cost of skin removal surgery.

Skin removal surgery is scheduled for November.

Since the post where I announced my decision to have skin removal surgery, I’ve been asked a lot about the cost of surgery.

I’ve been hesitant to share.  Not because I think you’ll judge me but because me sharing my answer won’t be valuable to you… even though you think it will. I actually think sharing may do a dis-service to some in that they may shy away at even considering it because of the cost. In the bluntest of definitions, it is plastic surgery. An elective. The only way most insurance companies cover it is, in my own words, if you have so much skin it actual effects your quality of life in a physically debilitating way. Mine is more of an annoyance vs actually physically a “problem.”

If you are considering it even 10%, I highly
recommend you go talk to someone yourself
and not compare your possible cost to what mine costs.

Consider skin removal surgery similar to the purchase of a car. There are SO many variables that it really is up to what a person wants & how much skin they are removing (not how much it weights but how many different places on the body), where they go, what region of the country they are in, and the doctor. A car can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $50,ooo and so can skin removal surgery, depending on the variables.

The estimated cost of what I’m having done is in the middle of that range because I’ll be having it on 2 separate days which means paying 2x for anesthesia, OR equipment, etc. It is on 2 days because it is too much to have all on the same day.

A possible change in plans:

I haven’t discussed this with my doctor yet but I may have a change of plans in terms of the procedures. Here is what my current surgeries will correct:

  • Underarms
  • Breasts
  • Stomach
  • Back

I currently have my surgeries scheduled for this November to take advantage of the holiday time off from work. However the tornado may have caused a dent in that plan because of finances. While we have insurance & are lucky in that the insurance will cover everything tornado related, there are two HUGE areas which are an indirect result of the tornado that are not covered:

Guest Bedroom: When the contractors were replacing the ceiling in the master bedroom, they found rain dripping in the house – when they peeled back the layers, they found rotting wood. Since water drips down, they asked if they could open up one of the walls in the guest room right under the bedroom. Sure enough, they found the entire two corner walls rotted through – rotting that has been happening for 15+ years… so not tornado related but exposed because of the work being done to fix tornado damage. Fixing this is pretty extensive.

Basement/Landscaping: When the contractors redid the roof, they had to take down our gutters. With no gutters, every time it rained, more and more water puddled in our basement exposing what was a small problem before but now a HUGE problem. We also found out there is a leak in our outside water faucet so every time it is turned on, it drips inside the basement wall and into the basement. So now we need to regrade the outside as well as fix the leak in the pipe located in the cement wall. While we are at it, we are going to finish off the basement and make it a finished wide open space because we anticipate some of Carlos’ family staying with us around wedding time next year.

Because of these two unexpected expenses as well as a wedding to begin planning for August 2012, the decision to have skin removal surgery has come under consideration. Carlos and I have been talking about it and we may end up deciding to do half the surgery… but which half? The arms/chest or the stomach/belt lift?

Isn’t that just life, huh? We make plans, appointments, budgets, schedules and just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, some a tornado rips through disrupting everything you had so carefully planned.

I think I’m going to make another consultation w/ Dr. Gervais and talk through some things.


  1. I like this blog, but I’m not going to lie…I felt like the title of the blog was misleading. I get that you want a title that will grab readers but pulling a bait and switch, making it seem like you will discuss the cost of surgery and then not doing it is the fastest way to alienate your readers and lose eyeballs. Anyone who is at the stage of considering skin removal surgery knows that prices vary wildly depending on where you have it done and by whom. However, it still helps to understand individual, specific cases when making your own decisions. No one has ever made a better decision with less information rather than more. If you don’t want to share the cost…then don’t. Using a a title like “The cost of….” and then talking about everything but…including things that have no relevance to anyone else’s life feels very disingenuous. Really disappointing from bloggers who are purporting to to be lighting the way for the millions of other people on this journey.

    • Wow, some of you guys can get really vicious on Jen’s behalf. Patricia is entitled to her opinion and I don’t think she was rude in the way she phrased her comment. I’m not even interested in Jen’s skin removal surgeries, but I was surprised by how little she discussed dollar amounts at the end of the post. I’m not saying she should have to, but that I thought by the title that she would have talked about it more.

  2. I disagree with Patricia. While I understand where she is coming from, I think you did address the cost… you said it was somewhere in the middle of $1,000 and 50,000, which would lead us to assume it is probably in the 25,000 range. All it took was some simple math to decide, which I think is better than you coming out and saying your expenses. Personally, I don’t think its anyones business how much money you spend. It is your life and your decision, and while I understand that people want to know… it will still be different for everyone, so your expense should not affect them.

    I hope this wasn’t too forward of me, being my first post. I just want to let you know that I recently started reading your blog and I find it extremely inspirational. I myself am trying to lose weight, though my story is quite different than yours. It really helps to know that other people struggle as much as I do.

    Also, if you are looking for some advice on which surgery to get… think about what shows in your wedding dress. I’m guessing its the arms? For me, arm fat is one of the hardest things to lose… so I’m guessing its the same for skin. Not really sure though!

    Have a great day, and looking forward to reading what you have to say tomorrow!

    • also you have to understand that different areas/locations are gonna have different pricing issues as well as your over all health, what you want done (as she said) and don’t forget to take into consideration things like infections, medications, compression garments and things of that nature. your best bet is talk to a surgeon. they will tell you to the best of their ability. BTW thank you so much for the post. it was very helpful.

  3. I thought that the title fit great. I completely understand where Jen is coming from and really it is none of our business the cost. If you’re interested in the cost them like jen said go check it out.
    I love this blog because you are real! Life throws you challenges and you have to fight everyday for YOU. thanks for always being honest and opening up your life for all of us to a part of.

  4. Actually the reverse is true for me. I’m glad she decided not to give the numbers. Everyone’s surgery *will* have different costs and fees associated with it. I don’t feel that the title is misleading. She told us about the cost, not the price. A mighty big distinction.

  5. Wow. Sounds like getting the house fixed is going to take a lot longer than you guys thought, and that totally stinks.

    And to Patricia’s comment, I don’t think “cost” in this case only means $$. It’s deciding whether you can afford to fix your house or get the surgery, plan and pay for a wedding or get the surgery. Something like that is more than just money, it’s how it affects everything else in your life. And like Jen said, learning how much her surgery is costing doesn’t mean anything to anyone else – it’s such a personal thing and won’t be the same for any two people.

  6. I thought the title of your post was entirely appropriate. The cost of the surgery is relevant in light of the expenses due to the tornado repairs and having to make a decision about which surgery to have now since all of it would be too much. I don’t think you marching an exact dollar figure out for public consumption is truly necessary.

  7. Stupid tornado. I think if you need to choose, go arms/chest before the wedding for the looking extra sexy in sleeveless/lowcut stuff at all the wedding parties. 🙂

  8. Cost is so much more than money. Boob jobs mean no breastfeeding if you have kids, tummy/back is a comfort thing, arms is important for comfort & possibly for the wedding dress. They all cost more than just $$.
    I am sure you will make the right decision for you, whatever it is.

    • You can breast feed if you get a boob job…. It’s the reductions that you have to watch out for. Removing tissue makes it that much harder. Implants are okay for MOST people. And if it’s that important to you talk to your surgeon, but all the ones I spoke too said it would be fine. That being said- never had a boob job, but know a couple of have and have breast fed just fine.

      • Actually, even with a reduction you can breast feed. My cousin had a reduction and successfully breast fed two children.

  9. Would you health insurance cover any of the surgery? I know that sometimes because of excess skin their can be issues with moisture and issues with the folds?

  10. Jeez Louise,,,, some people are so negative. Jen, if I were you, i’d DELETE that first comment up there. Why do you even need to give the “negative” a voice on your “always” positive blog? You are a HUGE ray of sunshine in our world, so to read that downer comment “first thing” is a buzz kill.

  11. You know, the “cost” isn’t necessarily the same as the “price tag” . It seems to me that “cost” here includes other considerations, like whether or not it precludes doing the home repairs and remodeling.

    Anyway, I’m always happy (and a little jealous) to read about people who have the potential to at least choose… to know that money or funding is there. I’m STILL struggling with my insurance company.

  12. The cost is irrelevant and I’m surprised so many people are making a big deal out of it. Unless you got EXACTLY the same areas as Jen done and went to EXACTLY the same Dr, the costs are going to range significantly anyway!

    Jen – just a couple things to think about (which I am sure you have so don’t take this the wrong way).

    – If you and Carlos decide to have kids, the tummy and boobs are going to have issues. So if that is a possibility, you might want to hold off on those parts?

    – My coworker just got tummy tuck surgery and said it was the most painful thing she ever had done. She could not even stand up straight for 2 weeks after the surgery.

    – I understand wanting to get it all done but maybe break it up? Do the back and arms first and see how those feel and recover?

    Regardless, I think if it’s something you want and need then you should go for it! How exciting!! I’m 1/2 way to becoming a priorfatgirl myself and while I think I’ll keep myself just the way I end up I am always fascinated to hear about stuff like this! Keep us posted.

    • 33 weeks pregnant and tummy is holding up just fine for me two years post abdomniplasty and panniculectomy. (Tummy above and below the belly button, no belt for me). I think it depends on your surgeon and where and how your scar is placed. I’ve seen no new stretch marks and have complete faith that my pregnancy has not ruined anything for me. Also…. if I had gotten pregnant with all that skin hanging off of me. I’d be sad, profoundly so. Bump looks great. Shallow, sure? But I’d rather have this happy experience with even the slightest possibility of sag on the other side, than have put it off any longer. My baby won’t do to my skin what being 345 pounds did to it for sure.

  13. Jen, you do what you have to do to complete your journey. This is your blog and you can put up any title you want, and its your choice about how specific you want to be with your readers. I find it so strange that people feel entitled to know every little detail about everything you write about. Something tells me the folks who are interested in the exact price do not walk up to people post surgery and ask them how much their boobs cost, or how much did your new nose go for. The same courtesy should be paid to bloggers sharing their experiences.

  14. Mommahunt says:

    Im bummed for you….I know that you were so looking forward to this exciting new chapter in your journey. I think it’s a grate idea to meet with your dr to see his opinion. Although your house redo has put a damper on your plans, at least your house is going to be amazing when it gets done

  15. Maybe I think totally ‘outside the box’ but when I first saw the title, the LAST thing I thought about was monetary!? I was thinking more along the lines of emotional/psychological, etc. Monetary ‘costs’ vary for ALL medical procedures…my husband and my brother each had colonoscopies recently, one in central MN and the other in the TC and there was $800 difference for the exact thing. Even mammogram prices vary hospital to hospital. I agree with the others; the amount of money is irrelevant and if someone is seriously thinking about this procedure, they need to do their own homework, on their own time.

  16. I thought about making this a private email but I thought other readers might find what I have to say of use so I will post here. Jen, when I first read you were going to have all that done one week apart I was very concerned for your recovery. Since I have had all you mentioned done in 2 surgeries 6 months apart plus thighs I definitely know what recovery is like though of course we all heal differently. I actually had a really great recovery the first surgery (thighs and body lift) (though it still felt like a tough recovery) but the second was much harder (practically a second body lift with vertical stomach cut, breast lift and implants, arm lift and lipo) so my advice would be to break it into two surgeries. I was actually surprised to hear your doctor was willing to do all that in just a weeks time though then I’m sure he would have considered if the first surgery you weren’t recovering as well he would postpone the second one (guessing you might have talked about that anyway). My surgeon has 22 yrs experience and I think he definitely plays on the side of extra cautious when I haven’t always felt he needed to. Anyway, my surgeon recommended not having the breasts and body lift done at the same time he would have been willing to do arms and body lift at the same time. I say do what you think will make you feel the best but of course taking into account your surgeons advice as well. This all is definitely a personal choice between you, your doctor (and Carlos) so I wish you great luck with it all and please email me anytime if you have any questions about anything.

  17. Something else I forgot to talk about was revisions, I wasn’t totally happy with my body lift (or thigh lift for that matter) so he did revsions in the second surgery as well at a much reduced cost. If you have the surgeries so close together you won’t know what your not totally happy with. I don’t know how your surgeon works with revision fees but for me I still had to pay additional operating room costs and anesthesia costs. So I do think having 2 surgeries with some time between them isn’t a bad decision.

  18. Jen – I totally got the ‘cost’ was not just talking about the financial cost of the surgery, but there’s a cost to everything we do or having going on and “at what cost” will we do one thing over another or how do we chose to do one thing vs. another….. I LOVE YOU and fully support you in whatever decisions you make and the words you write in this blog will mean different things to different people, you know what it means to you and that’s most important! xoxoxo

  19. Jen – thank you for being so candid about such a sensitive and private subject! I know you are considering the positives and negatives to this life-changing surgery, and will ultimately do what’s best for you! I’m so happy for you, for moving forward with something you feel so beneficial and again – your honesty is what makes this blog so wonderful!! Thank you for having this discussion!! 🙂

  20. Hi Jen,

    If you are going to still have some surgery done this year, then if I were you I’d definitely go for whatever is going to make you feel the most confident on your wedding day.

    All the best no matter what you decide.

  21. I worry about the excess skin issue. But i freaking need to lose the weight before i get there! I’ll deal with the extra skin when the time comes 🙂

    One day at a time, sista! xo

  22. Jen,

    I am so sorry that finances are an issue. I am just hoping and praying that you will be able to get all that you want and need to be happy & comfortable. You certainly deserve it after all the hard work that you’ve put in to get where you are now! Hugs!

  23. I love this.
    the tornado here was metaphorical—but rip rip it did.

  24. You should skip the surgery and invest in more therapy.

  25. ron plummer says:

    no worries sweatie : )

  26. I would like to get info on skin donation. please. I had gotten the gastric bypass done in 2000 and I was over 500. I have dropped over 200 since surgery. I want to help save a life. Then see it go in the trash. I have been trying for 10 years to find someone that will pay for the surgery.
    Thanks for your time,

    • Jen, a priorfatgirl says:

      Hi Jennifer, in researching doctors, I called multiple burn units across the country to inquire on if they had any sort of program where they used the skin I was removing for someone else in need. I found nothing 🙁 I checked Minneapolis, LA, Chicago and Boston. One nurse told me she wished doctors would do it but none wanted to do it. I’m not sure the reasons, the nurses at the time didn’t seem to want to spend an extensive amount of time on the phone with me (and frankly, they had more important things to do in a burn unit than talk to me on the phone.)

      My opinion is that you will likely spend another 10 years trying to find someone to pay for your surgery. I’ve talked with multiple people who attempted to find someone to pay for it and they found nothing. You could save up for the surgery? I realize it isn’t ideal spending money on the surgery but the reality is, that may be your only option.



  1. […] in my journey. Finally and most recently, I shared that because of some financial changes, the skin removal surgery may not happen as originally […]

  2. […] it is expensive. Jen’s metaphor is perfect: it’s like buying a car. You can buy an affordable 2002 Honda Civic that will get you from […]

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