How Can I Avoid Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery?
Losing a great deal of weight offers a remarkable list of benefits for your health and overall wellness, but it can also result in a new problem: loose skin. For many people, loose skin after weight loss can feel like all of their hard work was for nothing. At Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Reston, VA, our team of board-certified plastic surgeons helps patients finally complete their weight loss journeys with skin removal and body contouring procedures. Here, we’ll discuss ways that patients may be able to avoid or minimize skin laxity after weight loss and explain what options you have should you ultimately develop loose skin.
Will my skin be saggy after weight loss?
Some people are more likely to have loose, hanging skin after losing weight. Risk factors for post-weight loss and loose skin include:
- Being overweight for a long period of time
- Extreme weight loss (100 lbs or more)
- Thin skin
- Older age
One of the most common reasons for loose skin after weight loss is that the skin has been irreversibly stretched out due to many years of being overweight. A natural loss of skin elasticity associated with the aging process can also make it challenging for middle-aged and older patients’ skin to “snap back” to a newly slimmed frame after weight loss.
Can I prevent loose skin after losing weight?
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to completely avoid loose or wrinkled skin after weight loss, though there are a few things that can help encourage the best skin elasticity possible. These include:
- Lose weight at a healthy, stable pace
- Lift weights/increase muscle tone alongside weight loss
- Do not smoke
- Avoid direct sun exposure
- Wear sunscreen
- Keep the skin moisturized
Even with healthy behaviors and a steady rate of weight loss, it may be impossible to prevent loose skin altogether. For patients who do go on to develop hanging skin after weight loss, body contouring surgery, skin removal, skin tightening, and other treatments and procedures can be highly beneficial.
How does skin removal after weight loss work?
Following a thorough consultation and review of the patient’s health history, our surgical team will create a customized after weight loss skin removal plan that best meets the patient’s individual needs and goals. For patients with isolated areas of mild skin laxity or wrinkled skin, nonsurgical skin tightening treatments may be useful. Patients with hanging skin folds and more advanced skin laxity will likely require more extensive skin removal and body contouring procedures, such as:
- Tummy tuck
- Lower body lift
- Thigh lift
- Butt lift
- Breast lift
- Arm lift
While the details of body contouring after weight loss will vary from case to case, most patients can expect their surgery to be performed using general anesthesia and last around 3 – 6 hours. Many patients will require an overnight stay in the hospital and drains placed postoperatively. Full recovery after weight loss skin removal surgery may take 3 – 6 months, depending on the extent of the procedure.
With patience, a healthy lifestyle, and stable weight, the results of body contouring surgery can give you a slimmer, firmer, more natural figure you can finally feel confident about for years to come.
Finish what you’ve started with skin removal surgery after weight loss in Northern Virginia
Don’t let loose, hanging skin hold you back any longer. Cross the finish line in your weight loss journey by calling Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery to schedule your consultation with one of our Reston, VA board-certified plastic surgeons today.