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.