Weight loss – whether through diet and exercise, surgery, or a combination of different Approaches – is not all glitter and smile "after" photos. If you shed a significant number of pounds, it is normal – and very common – to have loose skin. Also normal? A little baffled about it.
"This is a legitimate concern that patients have when they undergo obesity surgery," Dr. Vivek Prachand, Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Why is it after a heavy weight loss to loose skin? The maybe slightly worse (but real) truth: If you've been in a larger body before then, excess fat has probably stretched your skin. Combine this with the fact that collagen and elastin (an elastic protein) in the skin naturally lose weight as you grow older and you have a prescription for excess skin. Manish Shah, a plastic surgeon with specialist training in Denver.  "There may not be enough skin elasticity to contract to your new, smaller body size," said Constance Chen, MD, a plastic surgeon with specialist training in New York City.
Stretch Marks Are a Sign When the skin is stretched beyond the point of no return, when you see it, it is much more likely that significant weight loss will lead to loose, sagging skin, says Drs. Chen.
Does everyone have a loose skin? after big weight loss?
No, that's not inevitable Prachand. But it is not easy to predict who will experience it, he says. He had some patients who lost 200 pounds in one year after obesity surgery and have very little excess skin. On the other hand, some have lost less than 60 pounds and have more.
"The extent of weight loss does not predict how much excess skin you may have," he says. Other factors such as genetics, smoking (which collagen and elastin breaks down) and sun exposure also play a role in the elasticity of your skin.
It's also common to think that losing weight quickly can lead to flabby skin, but that does not have to be the case, either. "Sometimes, patients are considering operations where they can not lose weight as fast as they can because of the fear of excessive skin," says Dr. Prachand. "I understand these concerns, but there is no clear indication of how quickly you lose games." a role.
Will loose skin ever disappear on its own?
It may be, but that may take a long time.
"In general, weeks can take months – even years, "says Dr. Chen. If the skin is still loose after a year or two, it may not be firmer, she says.
Is it possible to tone loose skin without surgery
Unfortunately, probably not. "Non-surgical methods that help tighten the skin are generally not effective enough to tighten the amount of loose skin that occurs during massive weight loss." Chen.
For example, abdominal binders can help relieve back pain, but have a positive effect on the skin from xzess skin, but they also do not cause long-term changes.
Dr. According to Shah, devices like Bodytite and Renuvion, both of which are minimally invasive body shaping technologies, can be helpful in small amounts of loose skin. "The best results are far from the surgery," he says.
What does an operation on loose skin look like?
Body shaping surgery is often a tummy tuck with arm, chest, face, lower body or thigh lift, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Prachand and dr. Chen said that there are certain indicators they are looking for before recommending surgery for removing loose skin:
Patients must be at least two years away from their weight loss surgery.
Your weight must be stable for at least six months.
Your BMI should ideally be under 30.
Patients are not allowed to smoke.
Patients with diabetes require stable blood glucose levels.
Oh, and if you have We must undergo a bariatric surgery to lose the weight. This is a surprise: Surgery to remove excess skin is more difficult to overcome.
Prachand. It is important not to give up the seriousness of the operation if you think it is "cosmetic" as it is much more.
You'll probably need two to four weeks to recover. Six months after surgery, Dr. Shah. (This may mean that you may not see the desired results aesthetically.)
"The pain in the operation is relative and moderately intense," he adds. However, you will probably be too exhausted to go to work: In the first few weeks, a simpler daily routine is a must, says Dr. Shah.
You should also know that you may need repair work. "Scars need to be refined, some areas of skin become loose and need to be tightened, and there may be asymmetries," he says.
In the long term, this surgery can actually help to lower the weight. Investigations in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that patients receiving body shaping surgery were more likely to maintain their weight loss than patients undergoing bariatric surgery alone.
Physical and social functions contribute to the strengthening of a healthy lifestyle, "says dr. Prachand.