Losing a lot of weight – whether through diet and exercise, through surgery or through a combination of different approaches – is not all glitz and smile after photos. If you shed a significant number of pounds, it is normal – and very common – to have loose skin. Also normal? I feel a little confused.
"This is a legitimate concern patients have when undergoing obesity surgery," says Vivek Prachand, M.D., Bariatric Surgeon and Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine.
Why does weight loss lead 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. [1
Stretch marks are a sign that the skin is stretched beyond the point of no return: when you see it, it's far more likely that significant weight loss will lead to loose, sagging skin, Dr. Chen.
Does anyone have sagging skin after a serious weight loss?
No, this is not inevitable, says dr. 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 magnitude 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 is also common to assume that losing weight fast can lead to flabby skin, but it does not have to be. "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?
That may be, but that may take a long time.
"In general, it can take weeks to months, even years." 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. "Methods that help tighten the skin are generally not effective enough to tighten the amount of loose skin that occurs during massive weight loss," says Dr. Chen Compression Clothing Can Be Worn However, to keep excess skin, it does nothing to change in the longer term. "
Dr. Shah says devices such as Bodytite and Renuvion, both of which are minimally invasive body shaping technologies, can help with small amounts of loose skin." The best results come far from the operation, "he says.
What does surgery for loose skin look like?
A body shaping operation is often a" tummy tuck "with the arm, chest, face, lower body, or thigh lift following the procedure American Society of Plastic Surgery.
Dr Prachand and Dr. Chen state that there are certain indicators to look for before they give patients an operation on removing loose skin:
- Patients must be at least two years away from their weight loss surgery.
- You must have a weight Stayed 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 weight. This is a surprise: surgery to remove excess skin is more difficult to cure.
"Body contouring requires a more complete healing of the body than the obesity operation itself, which is a minimally invasive procedure," says Dr. Prachand. It's important not to give up on the seriousness of the operation if you think it's "cosmetic" because it's much more.
You'll probably need two to four weeks to recover. Six months after surgery, Dr. Shah. (This means that you may not see the desired results until aesthetically.)
"The pain in the surgery 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 who received body shaping surgery were more likely to maintain their weight loss than patients who underwent bariatric surgery.
"After body contouring, improving physical and social functions helps to change lifestyle habits," says Dr. and skin care, with works that have been published in "Women's Health", "Glamor Health", "Men's Health" etc.