Ways to Fight Excess Skin. Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery, helps people with morbid obesity to lose weight. The surgery can also help control obesity-related medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and others.
But certain weight loss surgery can enable the patient to lose so much weight (more than 100 pounds) that they experience problems with loose or sagging skin. Because the skin is not rescued with the weight, most people are left with excess skin. The skin appears looser or soggier than it was before the surgery.
When a person gains weight, the skin around the new mass or muscles that are added in the body expands. But when they lose weight, the skin usually lacks enough elasticity to shrink back and adjust according to the new size.
Bariatric surgery is an effective procedure that aims to help people reduce weight and restore a healthy BMI. Different weight loss surgeries work in different ways – by restricting or malabsorption or both. India is a highly preferred choice for all kinds of complex and advanced medical procedures including bariatric surgery.
Indian hospitals are international standard tertiary care centers that cater to patients from various different countries. The low bariatric surgery cost in India attracts many international patients as it helps them save up on the total expense for the treatment. The health packages offered by the hospitals are cost-effective and considerably lower compared to several other countries.
The amount of loose skin a person has after a bariatric depends on a number of factors, including the BMI before the surgery, patient’s age, history of smoking, and genetics. It can also depend on the type of surgery the person has.
It has been found that patients who had duodenal switch procedures report more excess skin than other procedures such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients. This may be because the duodenal switch tends to result in more weight loss. The excess skin is more like the consequence of weight loss and the more weight a person is able to lose post-surgery, the more excess skin they are likely to have.
What you can do about this excess skin after bariatric surgery?
Body contouring is a popular plastic surgery procedure that can help people who have bariatric surgery trim the excess skin from the desired places on the body.
This procedure can be done for various parts of the body, depending on the patient’s needs and desires. Some common parts for which body contouring is done include:
A standard body contouring procedure that is performed for the stomach region is known as an abdominoplasty. During this surgery, the plastic surgeon removes the extra skin from the abdomen and tightens the muscles to make the area appear tighter and aesthetically appealing. Experts suggest that some patients who had a significant amount of weight loss, a procedure called circumferential or belt lipectomy, in which they go all the way around the body, are considered.
A lower body lift may also be considered. In this procedure, the patient’s abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks are reshaped.
Breast surgery may be required by both men and women. This procedure helps remove the extra skin that hangs from the chest. The procedure is similar to a breast lift surgery for women while for men, a gynecomastia procedure may be required. This surgery is usually performed for men who develop breasts due to a hormone imbalance.
After a bariatric procedure, many patients complain of deflated arms, known as a batwing deformity. This happens because of the extra skin that is hanging down the arms like a batwing. It is a safe and specialized procedure that is performed by an expert plastic surgery, but it may leave a scar.
In this surgery, the surgeon will remove the extra skin on the thighs. However, this can be a more complex procedure, depending on how heavy the thighs are after bariatric surgery and the anatomy of the skin.
The plastic surgeon removes the extra skin from the patient’s face. This phase of the body contouring process is often left for the last.
It is important to fight the loose skin that occurs due to a massive weight loss as it can result in several physical and emotional challenges:
Excess skin can make a person feel uncomfortable. It may even interfere with normal activities. This problem is more prominent in people who lost 110 pounds (i.e. 50 kg) or more.
Skin irritation and breakdown:
Many people have reported skin pain, ulcers or infections after a weight loss surgery due to the loose skin. These people often opt for a skin tightening or contouring procedure.
Decreased physical activity:
Loose skin has caused the problem of limited exercise mobility for many people.
Body image issues:
Loose skin due to massive weight loss can impact a person’s body image and mood, as they feel it is not aesthetically appealing.
Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare Management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and works as an International Patient Coordinator at Lyfboat.