Individuals who have had weight loss surgery will have to deal with one of the most common post-surgery consequences – excess skin.
If you think it’s not a big deal, well, think of it this way: we are talking here of an extra 5 – 10 pounds of loose, hanging, or folded skin! In fact, 70% of weight loss surgery patients reported having to deal with the discomfort of excess skin after the procedure.
And sadly, the more weight you lose over a short period, the more excess skin you will have. And while it is a testament to the achievement of your weight loss goals, carrying that excess skin around can be a bummer, to say the least.
The surgery may have helped you lose weight, but the skin that has held that excess weight for years remains. Your skin’s ability to stretch itself to hold your excess weight eventually reaches a point where it cannot go back to how it was when you were lighter. Excess skin will remain post-surgery… unless you do something about it.
What is the cause of excess skin after weight loss surgery?
Excess skin after weight loss surgery can be attributed to several factors.
One factor is the amount of weight loss and the length of time it took to lose the weight. For example, a 50-pound weight loss in three months will result in more excess skin than, say, a 50-pound weight loss over one year.
The type of weight loss surgery performed also has an impact on the amount of excess skin you will have to deal with after the procedure. Other factors that determine excess skin after weight loss surgery are your genetic makeup and your age, both of which affect your skin’s elasticity.
Why should you be bothered with excess skin?
Why, indeed bother with excess skin? Is it really that bad?
Well, here’s the truth: excess skin IS a bother, to put it mildly. Let’s say you’ve lost 100 pounds. Imagine the loose skin that remains after!
There will be sagging, folded, and hanging skin over your chest, belly, thighs, and arms. The excess skin could be rubbing against each other when you walk, causing you plenty of discomforts.
Also, consider the fact that post-surgery excess skin has been described as physically and mentally invasive. Dressing up and looking at the mirror brings anxious thoughts and feelings, and affects one’s self-confidence. Dealing with this regularly can lead to anxiety or even depression.
Even bathing must be done carefully as excess skin is prone to infection. Can you imagine bathing lying down and stretching the skin? Individuals dealing with a significant amount of excess skin have to bathe this way to clean out the folds and make sure these are thoroughly dried to prevent infection.
Plus, excess skin is where bacteria grow. Not exactly an appealing idea, is it?
In short, you should do something about excess skin, because, in the long run, it will affect your life negatively. Here’s the big question though: how do you go about minimizing excess skin after weight loss surgery?
How to minimize excess skin after weight loss surgery
There is no one way to go about minimizing excess skin after weight loss surgery. You may even have to try out a combination of ways to achieve your weight loss goal and enjoy better physical and mental health.
The following should help you get on track towards minimizing excess skin after weight loss surgery.
Eat more protein.
After your weight loss surgery, immediately transition to a high protein diet as this will help with skin elasticity. Be sure to include lean protein-rich food in your diet to stay on course with your weight loss goals.
Make sure to stay hydrated. Consume three liters or 12 glasses of water daily. Sufficient hydration helps with skin elasticity and flexibility.
Build your muscle mass.
Help your body build muscle mass through physical activity, strength, and resistance training. The muscles will help fill out your body after weight loss surgery, thus improving the appearance of excess skin.
Another plus of building muscle mass is that it helps prevent weight gain and further contributes to your weight loss goals.
Slow down further weight loss.
Losing weight gradually over time is an ideal way to minimize excess skin. Doing it this way has many benefits including sustained weight loss, manageable excess skin, and overall better physical and psychological health.
Individuals who have the time and patience to go through gradual weight loss should opt for a surgical procedure that supports losing weight slowly. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of weight loss surgeries with your doctor.
Wear compression garments.
A quick remedy to the appearance of excess skin is the use of compression garments. Excess skin is tucked in a compression garment, thus preventing skin from chafing or rubbing up against each other. This in turn can help prevent rashes or infections.
Do take note that compression garments do not minimize excess skin permanently. However, even reducing the appearance and the discomfort that goes along with the loose skin may help individuals cope physically and mentally.
Undergo a body contouring procedure.
With the loss of a significant percentage of body weight, the most optimal way to go about minimizing excess skin is to have weight loss and skin removal surgery. Through body contouring procedures, significant excess skin and tissue in the abdomen, breasts, arms, face, neck, and thighs can be removed.
Body contouring helps to significantly improve body appearance. It also addresses the physical and psychological distress that accompanies significant excess skin. Body contouring can help you regain your confidence after dramatic weight loss.
Do take note that body contouring is not a one-off procedure though and may require several surgeries in various parts of your body for a while. This is to allow your body to heal after each procedure.
And as with any medical procedure, there are risks involved. Discuss these risks thoroughly with your doctor to find out if the procedure is right for you.
Move past excess skin after surgery with expert medical help.
Weight loss for individuals who need to lose a significant amount of weight is a long, winding, and rocky journey. While losing weight and keeping it off is the ultimate goal, it is just one of the many things that have to be considered to achieve overall optimal health. Individuals considering bariatric surgery need all the help available to lose weight and minimize excess skin after the procedure to ensure overall success.
Fortunately, experts such as Dr. David Davtyan and his team at the The Weight Loss Surgery Center Of Los Angeles are ready to help individuals minimize excess skin after surgery. Dr. Davtyan and his professional staff will help you become the person you are meant to be. It is one of the best decisions you can ever make in your life.
Give us a call. We will gladly answer any questions you may have. With our complimentary consultation, you are taking the first important step to a new, better, and healthier you.
We look forward to hearing from you!