What Is Post-Bariatric Surgery Loose Skin?
Unfortunately, some effects of obesity might stay with you for the rest of your life, even when you reach your ideal weight. After all, some changes are irreversible.
That’s why even though bariatric surgery is the ultimate solution for obese patients, still there is one big concern: what to do with excess skin after weight loss surgery?
Before going through any type of weight loss surgery, a lot of questions about excess skin prey on your mind: how much bariatric surgery causes loose skin? Why my skin becomes saggy in the very first place? Isn’t there a solution for saggy skin? Can I improve my skin elasticity after the surgery?
In addition to the physical hassles saggy skin brings about, most people don’t like to see their bodies in such form. After all, weight loss surgery is both about improving your health and the betterment of your appearance.
The first and foremost point you should bear in mind is that all people do not experience excess skin after weight loss surgery in the same ways. There are many factors that directly or indirectly affect this process.
However, the good news is that like all the other side effects of bariatric surgery, this one has many solutions as well. So, stay with us for the next few minutes to get a better overview of excess skin after surgery and the ways you can overcome this obstacle.
Why Do I Have Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?
In general human skin is elastic, which is because of some proteins like collagen and elastin fibers. After gaining some weight, your skin is stretched, however, when you lose that extra weight, your skin elasticity allows it to snap back to its former shape.
But all of this process depends on the duration and the amount of excess weight. If you’re overweight for a long period of time, or the excess weight is high, these collagen and elastin fibers lose their functionality noticeably. So, when you lose that extra weight, your skin won’t gain its former shape, which means the extra body weight is gone, but instead extra skin has remained.
Even thinking about it is frustrating, isn’t it? But no worries, with some changes in your lifestyle, you can simply treat and manage extra skin after weight loss surgery. Moreover, if you find them difficult, you can always go for plastic surgery.
What Factors Affect Loose Skin After Bariatric Surgery?
Depending on your age, genetics, amount of weight loss, sun exposure, smoking, length of time being overweight, and the overall circumstances before and after weight loss surgery, you might experience loose skin differently.
How to Avoid/Reduce Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery
The ways that help you in the process of excess skin removal after bariatric surgery are basically divided into two groups. The fastest, most popular solution is surgery. However, you might want to know whether there is a non-surgical treatment for wrinkly loose skin after bariatric surgery or not.
First, let’s take a look at the most effective excess skin removal ways that need no surgery. Then, if you’re not satisfied, you can take a look at the different surgical options you have.
1- Stick to a Healthy Diet.
If you’ve been considering bariatric surgery for some time, you might have been overwhelmed with advice on maintaining a rich, healthy diet. But nothing is as important as what nutrition your body’s delivered.
Remember when we talked about collagen and elastin fibers that are responsible for your skin firmness and how they are damaged after a long time of being overweight?
Make sure your diet contains a sophisticated amount of proteins, collagen in particular.
Chicken, fish and shellfish, egg whites, berries, and tropical fruits are rich resources of collagen. Take a look at the list of other food containing the highest amount of collagen. Make sure to have enough of them in your everyday meals.
Do not forget vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids as they’re necessary for increasing skin elasticity, especially in parts that damage the most including face and abdominal skin.
2- Take Care of Your Skin.
When it comes to skincare, a lot of people are strongly resistant as they think it requires a lot of time and money. But if you’re thinking about bariatric surgery, you must have skincare as an inseparable part of your life.
You don’t have to necessarily use expensive cosmetics in order to avoid or minimize loose skin. There are many home remedies, like using aloe vera gel, that’ll help you have firmer, healthier skin. Just make sure not to underestimate the significance of daily skincare even before going through weight loss surgery.
3- Exercise Regularly.
Sticking to a regular exercise schedule improves the process of tightening both your muscles and skin. Moreover, being physically active is something you must add to your post-bariatric surgery life.
But it does not have to be a heavy schedule. You can start by taking regular walks and then go to the next level by adding swimming, dancing, yoga, or even lifting weights to your plan.
Just be careful not to be hard on yourself, otherwise, you’ll damage your body in addition to eliminating the joy of exercise. Moreover, focus more on parts like abdominal muscles where more saggy skin may occur.
4- Give Your Skin Enough Time.
In most cases, your skin gets back its firmness to some degree. However, its pace might be slower than that of your weight loss. Don’t be disappointed. You should at least give your skin 12 months as it is the average time for your body to recover.
If implied all the above-mentioned treatments, yet got no noticeable response after 12 months after the surgery, you can start to think of surgery as the final, yet a certain solution for excess skin.
5- Cosmetic Surgery
If you don’t want to undergo another operation after bariatric surgery, that’s totally fine. However, some people do not get the satisfactory outcome of nonsurgical treatments.
Cosmetic plastic surgery has proven to be the fastest, most practical solution for bariatric patients who suffer from any type of post-surgery skin breakdown. Known as body contouring procedures, these types of plastic surgery are performed after weight-loss operations on specific body parts including the abdomen, chest area, upper arms, thighs, and face. The surgery includes one of the following procedures:
Lower body lift (circumferential body lift)
- Thigh & buttock lift
Upper body lift procedures
- Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)
- Panniculectomy (skin removal surgery)
Other medical solutions:
- VelaShape (makes skin more flexible using infrared, suction, and radiofrequency)
- ThermiTight (shrinks the tissues under the skin using radiofrequency)
A Word to the Wise
Do not postpone bariatric surgery in fear of saggy, excess skin caused by fast weight loss. Remember, the younger you are, the better your chances are that your skin will get back to its pre-obesity days.
Make up your mind and take action today. Rest assured that the problems regarding loose skin after weight loss surgery can be solved much easier than the troubles obesity will get you into.