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Do You Have Excess Skin from Weight Loss? Donate It

By HERWriter
 
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This article has been updated as of May 24, 2016.

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.

MTF used to have a program that accepted donated skin after weight loss surgery but that program was discontinued in 2011. MTF still accepts skin donations from deceased donors which is used for burn victims as well as breast and abdominal reconstruction. To find out more about this type of donation visit their site at www.mtf.org.

Unfortunately, finding a place to donate your skin after weight reduction is a lot more difficult than one would think and this is why.

According to University of Michigan, the problems with using live skin donation are numerous.  

The amount of usable skin from live donation is limited and requires having numerous health professionals participate in removing the skin, as well as time in an operating room.  

Cadaver donations provide much more skin from a single person and only trained tissue technicians are needed to remove it. 

The University states that cadaver skin can be used immediately after removal, while the FDA requires live donations to be quarantined for six months, then retested for HIV and hepatitis.  That means increased storage and testing costs.

A number of posters have asked EmpowHer about how to donate their excess skin after having had massive weight loss.  Many of these people are financially unable to pay for the surgery to have it removed, so they were hoping to donate their excess skin to help defray the cost.

Health insurance does not pay for excess skin removal unless there is a medical reason for its removal. 
 
Currently, your best options are below: 

1) Educate yourself about what having your skin removal will and won’t accomplish.  

You need realistic expectations. The surgery is optimally performed 12 to 18 months after gastric bypass surgery or gastric banding.

Add a Comment29 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hello my name is Lorraine I would love to donate my excess skin I have due to weight loss I think this is an amazing way to help heal burn victims. I live in south gate CA can someone please help me thank you......

April 26, 2016 - 6:17pm

Hello my name is catrina I had weight loss surgery 9 months ago I have lost about 200 lbs. I have alot of extra skin that I need removed but I do not have the money for a surgery to have it removed. I was wanting to donate my extra skin to burn victims. But I don't know who I would contact and if they would do it for free or hopefully really cheap. So I was hoping someone could help me and let me know a few places to contact. I am from greenville tx. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated. It's so hard to keep myself clean multiple showers per day and having to carry around baby wipes and powder to constantly clean the extra skin to prevent from rashes it's not easy and I could really use the help.

February 1, 2016 - 9:38pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to momatrina81)

Hello Catrina! 

Congrats on your weight loss!  

I know this is a longshot but there is a show called Skintight on TLC that is casting for people who have lost significant weight and who need skin removal surgery.  I believe there is financial help for this surgery provided by the channel. I've seen many episodes, they're really good and are not exploitative.  See below.

Good luck! 

Susan

 

From TLC:

SKIN TIGHT

Have you experienced significant weight loss and are now left with excessive amounts of hanging skin on your body?
If this describes you and your skin makes you feel embarrassed, prohibits you from achieving personal goals, affects your relationships, career or other aspects of your life, then please send us your NAME, AGE, HEIGHT, BEFORE & AFTER WEIGHT, CITY YOU LIVE IN, BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS, as well as a BRIEF BIO with your best contact PHONE NUMBER.
 
February 19, 2016 - 7:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to momatrina81)

I'm with her 340/130 to much can u plzs help me onate.

February 19, 2016 - 7:40am
HERWriter (reply to momatrina81)

Hi Katrina,  Good job on your weight loss.  If you read through the comments you will see that I suggest for other readers to contact doctors who are close to you one by one and ask them for help.  You can also try hospitals near you.  I would write a short letter and email any medical source you think may be worth contacting.  

You can also contact: Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation

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

To see if they have any suggestions.
Good luck,
Michele
February 2, 2016 - 5:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I live down in the panhandle area of Florida. Panama City Beach area. I had bypass surgery about 20 yrs ago, and lost 100 lbs and have heat it off. I have lots of loose skin on tummy, thighs, arms, etc... I actually have extra skin everywhere!!! I am disabled and can't afford to have it removed and I'm sure Medicare wouldn't pay for it, is there any place for me to donate the skin and are there any programs to help me pay the expenses of the surgery out there??

December 28, 2015 - 8:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Successful gastric bypass surgery left me with a lot of loose, hanging skin. My surgeon recommended an upper body lift and an arm lift - and I didnt want to get surgery again! I want to be healthy and skinny. I started using the Somlauxe Firming Lotion and I am very pleased with the results. The Somaluxe Firming Lotion is definitely an alternative to more surgery. Just use it for 1-2 months and your arms will get firm like mine! I can now wear short sleeves with confidence!

December 15, 2015 - 7:44pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thxs this skin is bad my thighs are crazy skinskin skin can't where short at all

February 19, 2016 - 7:46am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

I caution anyone who uses this skin product mentioned above that it may do nothing. Amazon sells it for $25 and I suspect the positive reviews are fake. Buyer beware.

December 16, 2015 - 5:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hello I'm Kiki,
Over the last two year I have lost 147lbs and I have a ton of extra skin. I was told that ULCA removed the skin for free if you donate it, and I would love to donate my skin. It's just I live in Arizona and I'm not 100% sure how accurate that information is. I still very much want to donate my skin and I wanna do it while I'm still young, which I'm 25 now. Like others I'm low on funds, so could you please show me the direction on where I could find the solution to my problem.
Thank you.
KIKI WESS

October 5, 2015 - 1:32am
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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.