weight loss surgery loose skin
When first consulting, preparing for, and during the early recovery phase after weight loss surgery, most people are focused mostly on doing everything they need to do in order to lose weight and become healthier. And that’s where your focus should be!

Sometimes, even with very successful weight loss, there can be unexpected things that come up that maybe you weren’t prepared for or hadn’t thought about. One such issue that can occur is excess or loose skin after significant weight loss. 

Since we want to be totally open and honest about all things related to weight loss surgery at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery, we will tackle this subject in this article. The possibility of excess or loose skin is nothing to fear!

What Causes Excess or Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?

When you gain weight, your skin expands around the new mass that your body is adding. When you lose weight, your skin may not have enough elasticity to shrink back down. Therefore, excess, loose, or sagging skin can be a result of losing such a significant amount of weight after weight loss surgery, such as gastric sleeve. It does happen to some people, but not everyone.

For those who do have to deal with it, there are solutions and things to know that will hopefully relieve any fears you may have about excess skin after weight loss surgery.

When it comes to how much excess skin you will have, each person is different. The amount of loose skin present after weight loss surgery depends on several factors, such as your weight before surgery, age, smoking history, and genetics. 

To what extent excess skin bothers each person varies as well. It’s totally normal for it to be a big issue for some, while others aren’t bothered by it much at all. A common concern is that saggy skin increases the appearance of premature aging.

The problems that arise from excess skin are not always simply cosmetic though. Excess skin may cause chafing and rashes, especially when it rubs against other folds of skin or when it stays moist. With saggy skin, folds often rub against themselves, and these folds may be harder to keep clean. Over time, the top layer of skin (epidermis) can tear, creating irritation from chafing. This chafing can lead to infections.

Addressing Excess Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

If you’re worried about loose skin after weight loss surgery, whether for health reasons or because you’re concerned about how it may look, there are several ways to minimize sagging skin after surgery. Here are some strategies to think about:

  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water — This is crucial after weight loss surgery anyway. A balanced diet with plenty of protein and vitamins can help you keep the weight off and retain lean muscle. This diet may also help minimize loose or excess skin to some degree. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, which will help keep your skin healthier and may improve elasticity. 
  • Exercise — Exercise can prevent loose skin after weight loss surgery. When you lose lean muscle mass, you may increase the looseness of your skin. When you build muscle, you actually fill out your skin more.
  • Treat your skin well — Your skin is an organ, and if you want to avoid loose skin after weight loss, taking care of it can help. This includes using sunscreen regularly when outdoors, using moisturizers, and drinking plenty of water to keep your whole body hydrated.

If the above strategies aren’t enough, cosmetic surgery is also an option. After losing 100 or 150 pounds, it is realistic to expect that you may still have some excess skin. Cosmetic surgery removes excess skin and fat from the body. A tummy tuck after weight loss surgery is one of the more common procedures. If you’re looking at this option, it’s important to work with a reputable plastic surgeon. The American Society of Bariatric Plastic Surgeons is a good place to start, and we will be happy to make a recommendation as well.

Contact Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery to Get Started on Your Weight Loss Journey

The caring group of professionals at Birmingham Minimally Invasive Surgery will help you get started on your weight loss journey and stay with you every step along the way. Dr. Long and his team specialize in all types of bariatric surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Visit us today at http://www.bmisurgery.com/ or give us a call to set up a consultation at 205-833-6907.