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Will I Have Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?

  • Many patients who undergo weight loss surgery lose so much weight (often more than 100 pounds) that they develop loose or sagging skin. 
  • Because the skin does not disappear, the majority of patients are left with extra skin and report that their skin is looser or saggier than before surgery. 

  • This is because when you gain weight, your skin expands to accommodate the extra mass your body is producing. When you lose weight, your skin usually lacks the elasticity to shrink back down.
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What Effect Will Loose Skin Have on Me?

  • How much of an impact will this have on you? It's difficult to say because everyone is unique. The amount of loose skin you'll have afterwards is determined by factors beyond your control, such as your previous weight, age, smoking history, and genetics. 
  • It may also be determined by the type of surgery you select. Researchers discovered that duodenal switch patients had more excess skin than Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients, most likely due to the fact that duodenal switch patients lose more weight.
  • Consider excess skin as a result of losing weight; the more weight a person loses, the more excess skin they are likely to have. 
  • Because most people will have some extra skin after significant weight loss, it's important to consider the potential reactions. It is natural to believe that the extra skin bothers you, but it is also natural to believe that it does not.
  • If the extra skin bothers you after surgery, we can talk about options when the time comes. If you want to get rid of the extra skin, the most effective solution is to see a plastic surgeon who can remove the excess skin and restore a normal body contour. 
  • Plastic surgery is considered cosmetic by insurance companies, so most patients will have to pay out of pocket. However, when an extra skin problem causes a medical problem, insurance will sometimes cover the portion of the skin removal that is related to this problem.

Excessive Skin Issues

  • To begin, you must understand the problems that can be caused by excess or loose skin. Excess skin can cause chafing and rashes, especially if it rubs against other skin folds or remains moist. 
  • Folds in saggy skin frequently rub against one another. Chafing occurs when the top layer of your skin, your epidermis, tears over time, causing irritation.
  • This can be avoided by removing excess skin and wearing non-chafing clothing.
  • Excessive skin can also cause infections. To begin with, loose skin causes folds that are more difficult to clean. 
  • Second, chafing can occasionally cause skin breaks, which can lead to infections.
  • Chafing may occur in the thighs, groin, underarms, or stomach of many people who have excess skin after weight loss surgery, but it can occur anywhere there is extra skin.
  • Loose skin is important to many people because of how it appears. If you stick to your diet and exercise routine after bariatric surgery, your health will improve, and you'll look and feel better than you have in years. However, some people may still find their sagging skin unappealing.

How Do I Avoid Excess Skin Following Weight Loss Surgery?

  • If you're concerned about loose skin after surgery, whether for health reasons or for cosmetic reasons, it's important to know that there are many ways to minimize sagging skin after surgery. Let's go over some of them together:
    • A vitamin-rich, well-balanced diet.
    • Exercise.
    • Taking care of your skin.
    • Cosmetic surgery (if none of the above are enough).

    1. Balanced Diet After Weight Loss Surgery

  • Following bariatric surgery, a well-balanced diet high in protein can help you maintain your weight loss, retain lean muscle, and feel better than ever. 
  • This diet may help to reduce loose or excess skin to some extent.

        1) Getting Enough Protein 

  • Getting enough protein may aid in the maintenance and growth of lean muscle. Weight loss causes loose skin because there isn't enough muscle and fat beneath the surface to completely "fill out" your skin. Losing fat is great, but preventing muscle loss—and even gaining muscle—may help fill out your skin, prevent saggy voids, and minimize loose skin.
  • Getting enough protein may also help to improve your skin's elasticity, allowing it to better accommodate your new frame. It is critical to consume 60-100g of protein per day following bariatric surgery.

        2) Getting enough vitamins

  • Getting enough vitamins may also help to keep your skin supple after bariatric surgery. Vitamins C, A, E, K, and B-complex vitamins, as well as trace minerals like zinc, are all beneficial to skin health. 
  • We will recommend a comprehensive vitamin strategy following surgery.

        3) Drinking Water

  • You should also make an effort to drink plenty of water. After completing your 6 week post-operative dietary progression back to regular food, you should drink at least 64 oz of water per day. 
  • However, because your body is mostly water (including your skin), you should gradually increase your consumption up to a maximum of 100 oz/day. Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin healthy and may even make it more elastic.

    2. Exercise

  • Exercise, like eating protein, can help prevent loose skin after weight loss surgery. When you avoid losing lean muscle mass, you reduce skin looseness. Gaining muscle causes your skin to fill out more.
  • Following surgery, our team will work with you to develop an exercise program that will help you lose weight, feel great, and minimize any excess skin.

    3. Taking Care of Your Skin

  • Your skin, like your liver or kidneys, is an organ, and if you want to avoid loose skin after losing weight, taking care of this organ can help.
  • After surgery, it is recommanded to use a soft bristle brush. This feels great, and it may increase circulation in your skin, which will aid in the transportation of collagen and elastin throughout your skin. This may assist your skin in optimizing its elasticity, allowing it to shrink around your new thinner body following bariatric surgery.
  • Excess skin is frequently exacerbated or alleviated by your overall health, particularly your skin health. If you ignore your skin and diet, you will develop more loose, saggy skin. 
  • However, if you take care of your skin and your body as a whole, you can achieve tight skin that will look good even after you lose weight.

    4. Cosmetic Procedures

  • All of the above will help, but the fact is that after losing 100 or 150 pounds, it is reasonable to expect some excess skin after weight loss surgery.
  • Even after following the above recommendations, the majority of our patients still have some saggy skin. Again, because everyone is different, some people do not believe this is anything to be concerned about, while others believe it is a major concern.
  • If you decide that your excess skin is a problem that you want to permanently solve, cosmetic surgery can be a powerful solution. According to the National Institute of Health, 65.6 percent of bariatric surgery patients reported improved cosmetic appearance following cosmetic surgery.
  • Cosmetic surgery involves the removal of excess skin and fat from your body. One of the more common procedures is a tummy tuck after weight loss surgery. Scars are left by cosmetic surgery, but a good surgeon can often conceal these scars in body creases, making them less visible.
  • If you decide to proceed with surgical body contouring, timing is critical for the best results. To maximize your body contour, you will need to wait several months until your weight stabilizes at your new size (usually around 18 months after bariatric surgery).
  • Otherwise, as you continue to lose weight, you are likely to develop more excess skin, necessitating another skin removal procedure after you have lost even more weight. If your weight has remained stable for at least six months, it may be time to consider cosmetic surgery.
  • If you are considering this option, it is critical that you choose a reputable plastic surgeon with a high number of positive reviews. A good place to start is the American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons. Alternatively, please contact our office and we will gladly make a recommendation.

Should I Get Bariatric Surgery?

  • If you're thinking about having bariatric surgery but are worried about having loose or sagging skin afterward, you should know that there's a lot you can do to minimize sagging skin. 
  • A healthy diet, regular exercise, skin care, and cosmetic surgery can all help you minimize loose skin and look great.

Is Bariatric Surgery a Good Option for Me?

  • Is your weight interfering with your life? Do your joints ache, and do you find it difficult to participate in normal daily activities with your friends and family, such as going for a walk? Do you have diabetes or high blood pressure and wonder if you'll ever be healthy again?
  • You are not by yourself. In fact, many of our patients were exactly where you are now just a few months ago. They were able to lose weight, keep it off, and regain their quality of life thanks to bariatric surgery.
  • You can expect to lose 65-80 percent of your excess weight with weight loss surgery. This could imply losing 150 pounds or more. Consider how that would feel.
  • It's natural and understandable to be concerned about loose or sagging skin. It is critical to fully address your concern and ensure that you have the information you need to look your best after surgery. It is also critical to recognize the advantages of bariatric surgery. Don't let apprehension about excess skin prevent you from making a life-changing decision. 


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