Do You Have Excess Skin from Weight Loss? Donate It

 
Rate This

It seems sort of a waste to not do something with that excess skin from your waist if you want to have surgery to remove it. In 2007, Dr. Beverly Shafer must have thought the same thing when she asked her patient Nina Esile if she would be willing to donate the excess skin from her tummy tuck to the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF). The New Jersey tissue bank is the only living skin donor program in the U.S.

Traditionally, skin donation has come from donors who are deceased. The skin used is extremely thin, thinner than a piece of Kleenex, and is used to treat burn patients. However in recent years, doctors have begun performing more complex surgeries that require larger and thicker amounts of skin. Researchers have developed newer techniques to be able to use skin from live skin donors to fill this need. These larger pieces of skin can be used for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, for abdominal wall covering after a hernia repair as well as filling any larger gaps that have created deformities elsewhere in the body.

According to Martha Anderson of the MTF as reported to Boston.com, "Recipients do not have to take antirejection drugs for living skin or deceased skin, because we have taken the cells out," Anderson said. "We don't have to do blood-type matching, either -- none of the matching you have to do with organs."

The technique for handling and treating donor skin has continued to be perfected so that unwanted fat and other cells are removed before the skin is stored and frozen for donation. There is no charge for donating live skin and the National Organ Transplant Act prohibits selling or buying any donor tissue.

According to Cindy Gordon of MTF, currently, there are only 70 surgeons who are working with MTF on the program but the need for live donor skin has grown tremendously over that last few years. As of 2007, there were over 300 live skin donations performed but the number has risen to over 1,600 in 2009.

If you or someone you know is interested in donating their unwanted excess skin, contact the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation at mtf.org/donor/living_skin.html.

Add a Comment16 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hello my name is condoa. I was wondering if I can do this. Two years ago I had a surgery to lose weight. How ever the weight went away but I have so much access fat hanging off of me. To the point that it's embarrassing to go to water parks wearing a bath suit. I'm 28 years old and I'm from Brooklyn ny. Can you help me olease

August 31, 2015 - 10:27am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Condoa

Well done on your weight loss.  Try here for more information:

Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
125 May Street 
Edison, NJ 08837
732-661-0202
800-946-9008
Fax: 732-661-2298
www.mtf.org

August 31, 2015 - 4:04pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi i live in brisbane australia and i have ALOT of lose skin from me being 200kgs plus and now down to 117kgs so yeah can only emagine how much lose skin i have im on a pension and money is really tight but i would be very happy to donate my skin to the burns unit here so if you could point me in the right place i would be more then happy to donate my skin thank you mellissa

August 31, 2015 - 4:24am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Mellissa!

Congrats on all the weight loss. 

 

This article focused on American hospitals. I suggest you call around to hospitals near you or send some emails to find out how you can help.

Best,

Susan

August 31, 2015 - 6:38am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Thank u will do that first thing in the morning as its 12:00 am here and I'm off to bed and thank you again for your help

August 31, 2015 - 7:07am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

my name is Joshua Dear and I used to weight 402 pounds but I have lost almost 170 pounds. I am looking for a way to get rid of my access skin and then seen your website and like what I see. I have plenty access skin on my tummy and legs and would like to donate if possible. I am a inspired personal trainer and this surgery would help me start my life over and move forward. Thank you for your time.

June 17, 2015 - 3:13am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Joshua - congrats on all that weight loss! 

Try calling: 

Contact Us

Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation
125 May Street 
Edison, NJ 08837
732-661-0202
800-946-9008
Fax: 732-661-2298
www.mtf.org

 

Best,

Susan

June 17, 2015 - 6:30am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I have a friend burned over 75% of his body. Young, has his first child due this coming May. I want to help, but I am on disability so money isn't an option for me.

I am not over-weight, but would gladly donate skin to help if that is an option? He is hospitalized in Memphis, TN.

Can you point me in a direction for answers?

Donna Adams
Lady_Grace2010@yahoo.com or Donna Jean on Facebook .

Thank you for your time and consideration of my request and God bless all.

April 22, 2015 - 4:03pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Donna! 

This is very generous of you but if you have no skin to spare, I don't think you would be a candidate. There are many fresh cadavers that could be put to good use. 

There are some links on this thread. Take a look and see what might be good for your friend. We wish him the best, I know that burns are nearly unbearable to live with. 

Susan

April 22, 2015 - 4:36pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am 55 yr old woman,since i was 13 yrs old i had big breasts..38ddd is my size,I'm 5"1 hight,my breasts had always been an inconvenience to me,also had brought me a lot of grief,my posture is damage,i have deep indentations in my shoulders area,plus don't have any upper body strenght from the weight,have terrible back pain.My breasts have never been of use to me, as a woman was never able to breast feed my three kids,never where of sexual use,clothes never fit right and thru all my life was bullied because of them.My health insurance will not pay for surgery and i was suggested by a friend to look into donation,I've been depressed about this all my life,i don't care if i end up with nasty scars,i'm not the type to show off my body,i just want to take this weight off of my upper body,so i can help my body feel better and maybe not have anymore pain in my neck,back and be able to take off my bra at night to sleep.Many times i thought about mutilating them and have wish to have breast cancer so i could rid of them. Please,i'm not doing this to be shallow,i just can't afford any expenses because I live from social security disability and on a fix income .and have a lot of health issues,this will be a big relief for my health and body.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and hopefully you will be of help to me

April 1, 2015 - 12:44pm
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

3647 Health

Changed

2239 Lives

Saved

2078 Lives
20 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

When going out in the sun, what SPF do you put on?:
View Results