Santa Barbara Liposuction after Weight Loss? Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins Answers Your Questions

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Terry Perkins answers reader’s questions about Santa Barbara plastic surgery. If you have a question about cosmetic surgery, especially face lifts and liposuction in Santa Barbara, send Dr. Perkins an email with “Ask the Cosmetic Surgeon” in the subject line.

Q: Hi Dr. Perkins. I have just lost over 100 pounds after being over weight for many years! I am so excited with my “new me” but what bothers me the most is the excess skin on my upper arms, thighs and stomach. Tell me more about the skin removal procedure and will my health insurance cover it?


A: First of all, I’d like to say Congratulations for such an impressive feat! I have treated patients before in your situation and, like you, most of them have worked very hard to take the weight off and having the excess skin removed is their “prize” at the end of the race, so to speak. My patients have gotten excellent results and are very happy to be able to wear shorts, sleeveless shirts, bathing suits, etc., without having excess skin hanging on them.
All the liposuction and body contouring procedures would be done out of my Santa Barbara Cosmetic Surgery Center facility and you would be able to choose the treatments you want and have them done together or separately. Please understand that since I have not seen you in person I am giving you the most likely scenario(s) for each treatment and my recommendation would be for you to schedule a plastic surgery consultation with me at 805.563.0000 so we can tailor the body contouring procedures to your specific needs.
    • Arm Liposuction and Arm Skin Removal: The excess skin on the upper arm often looks like a “bat wing” hanging down. If there is fat, the fat can be liposuctioned. In the case of too much loose skin, the skin is removed leaving a scar on inside of the arm, above the elbow and will not be visible from the front or back. If there is only a small amount of loose skin, the removal can often be confined to or near the armpit – which means minimal or no scar visibility.


    • Abdomen Liposuction and Abdomen Skin Removal (Santa Barbara Tummy Tuck): If a smaller amount of skin needs to be removed, a “mini” tummy tuck is usually sufficient. The mini tummy tuck is done with a small incision that will lie at the upper edge of the pubic hair (similar to a C-section scar). If a larger portion of skin needs to be removed, a tummy tuck can be done, where the abdominal muscles are usually sewn together to further flatten the lower abdomen and the incision may be extended from hip to hip.


  • Thigh Liposuction and Thigh Skin Removal: If there is fat to be removed, it can be done through liposuction on the inner and outer (“saddlebag”) thighs. If skin removal is needed, this is done for the inner thighs. The incision line will lie on the groin and upper thigh area so that it is hidden.
As for your question about health insurance, we do not take health insurance and, in most cases, liposuction and body contouring procedures are not covered. However, we will provide you with any information you need so that you may make a claim with your insurance company if appropriate. We do have a payment plan through Care Credit.


You can view “before and after” photos on our Cosmetic Surgery Center website of all the procedures discussed above and more!
Dr. Perkins sees patients in Santa Barbara. Call for a consultation today at 805.563.0000. In many cases, if you decide to go ahead with the cosmetic surgery procedure(s) of your choice, your surgery can be scheduled within two to four weeks of your consultation.

“Mommy Makeovers” at Santa Barbara’s Cosmetic Surgery Center

Plastic surgeons across the country have seen a rise in plastic surgery amongst women who have gone through childbirth. The media has dubbed it the “mommy makeover:” a series of surgical procedures used to restore a post-pregnancy body to its pre-birth appearance usually consisting of a breast lift or breast augmentation, a tummy tuck and/or body sculpting with liposuction.

Many moms have chosen to reclaim their body through cosmetic surgery because the unwanted bulges in the areas of the abdomen, hips and/or thighs become much harder to shed after pregnancy. Unfortunately for some, the weight gain from pregnancy can cause the skin to be overly stretched out (especially in the abdominal area), and exercising and eating healthy cannot correct this. In those cases, the only solution may be to have the skin excised and the fat removed through a tummy tuck procedure.

Santa Barbara’s Cosmetic Surgery Center offers many plastic surgery procedures that can help moms to obtain the body they had before childbirth and even add additional improvements. Dr. Terry Perkins, cosmetic surgeon and founder of the Cosmetic Surgery Center, has been specializing in cosmetic surgery since 1978 and is an expert in helping patients restore their bodies to their pre-pregnancy state while providing them with a natural non-operated look.

Here are some common cosmetic surgery procedures Santa Barbara moms like best:

Tummy Tuck: Bulges in the abdomen and flanks are extremely common after pregnancy and they can almost always be treated with liposuction. If Dr. Perkins decides to remove excess abdominal skin, the procedure then becomes known as a “tummy tuck” where an incision is made along the upper edge of the pubic hairline. The doctor may also sew together the abdominal muscles to further flatten the abdomen. Dr. Perkins also performs a “mini tummy tuck“, which is a smaller incision, and requires slightly less down time. Whether you have a mini or full tummy tuck, plan to schedule plenty of downtime for yourself to allow for proper healing.

Stretch Mark Reduction: Women use copious amounts of lotion to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy, but the truth is they are often unavoidable and extremely difficult to treat. Dr. Perkins has developed an effective treatment for reducing the appearance of stretch marks in as few as four treatments. The procedure involves a proprietary formulation of vitamin and mineral injections and Multiwave LED Therapy with a 50%-90% improvement seen in four treatments or less.

Hips and Thighs: Liposuction can be used to reduce the circumference of thighs that have developed extra weight during nine months of pregnancy. Liposuction contouring can be done in the knees, calves and ankles as well but it is not for novice surgeons. Over-treatment can result in problems that are hard to correct. Liposuction is also a useful procedure for removing pockets of weight on the hips many women refer to as “love handles.”

Breast Lift: While Dr. Perkins does not do breast augmentation with implants, he can perform a very effective natural breast lift using the patient’s own body fat that he removed from their liposuction procedure. Dr. Perkins usually obtains enough fat to allow the patient to go up one cup size and the placement of the fat in the breast area can be very strategic – allowing Dr. Perkins to fill in certain spots or correct unevenness.

A “Mommy Makeover” often restores the body-image confidence that a woman had before she had children, which can have a positive effect on not only the woman, but for the children that she is caring for.

Dr. Perkins encourages women who feel unhappy with their post-pregnancy bodies to book a consultation with him to discuss their cosmetic surgery options.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Perkins sees patients at his Cosmetic Surgery Center office in Santa Barbara. 805.563.0000.

Liposuction in Santa Barbara by Dr. Terry Perkins of Cosmetic Surgery Center

Living in a coastal town, like Santa Barbara, where many months of the year can be spent on the beach or at the pool wearing warm-weather clothes and bathing suits, can make people very body-conscious about how their body looks and feels. Everyone is built differently and as we go through the natural progression of life, we watch how all of our bodies change through events such as having children, working at a sedentary job, or simply a slowing metabolism that comes with aging. Sometimes this change can be hard to undo, even with the help of a professional fitness trainer and a rigid nutrition plan. That is when people begin to explore other options to help sculpt, or in some cases re-claim, their body. One such option that we offer at Cosmetic Surgery Center is liposuction.

Liposuction is not a weight loss procedure. It is a body procedure that Dr. Perkins does to improve the contours of the arms, legs, and torso by removing excess fat, and sometimes excess skin. Many common areas of concern are the upper arms, the inner thighs and outer thighs (“saddlebags”) and the abdomen. Dr. Perkins has worked on all these areas and shares some of his before-and-after liposuction pictures on the Cosmetic Surgery Center website. For your convenience, we’ve provided links to the following:
Most of the liposuction procedures can be done comfortably with local anesthesia combined with oral sedation, making the recovery for the patient easier. In addition to that, Dr. Perkins can offer post-operative care and treatment at Evolutions Medical Spa, where he is the founder and medical director.

Dr. Perkins has practiced in Santa Barbara for over 30 years in the field of cosmetic surgery – specifically aesthetic facial surgery and body contouring through liposuction. A consultation can be booked by calling Cosmetic Surgery Center at 805.563.0000. Read more about your visit to Cosmetic Surgery Center.