17th Jan, 2021

How can you remove excess skin after weight loss?

Body lift Wollongong Sydney

Losing a significant amount of weight is not easy. Some people are able to achieve it through being very dedicated to lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Others choose bariatric surgery to help them lose the excess weight. Most people who decide to lose a lot of weight are primarily hoping to feel better and be healthier, but they are often also hoping to look better once they slim down. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out as they hoped. People who have lost a lot of weight may find themselves with excess folds of sagging skin in various areas around the body.

Why does this happen? And is there anything that can be done to get rid of the excess sagging skin?

Why is there excess skin after weight loss?

In a person who is very overweight, there has been a gradual accumulation of fat tissue over the course of years. As fat tissue grows, the tissues overlying it need to grow also, in order to accommodate the larger body. Skin is able to stretch to some degree, but this will usually not be enough, and so extra skin and other tissues need to grow in order to accommodate the excess fat tissue.

When the fat tissue shrinks, however, the new skin that has grown does not simply disappear. The excess tissues remain, even though they are no longer needed. Skin has some elastic properties, and so the tissue may shrink back down to some degree. However, the deeper layer of the skin is made of connective tissue, which is a type of tissue that does not easily shrink once it has been stretched. As a result, many people find that the skin does not shrink back down enough to comfortably accommodate their new body shape.

Will diet and exercise help?

Sometimes, people with this problem may hope that leading a healthy lifestyle will help. Although a healthy diet and exercise plan are certainly to be recommended, they will unfortunately not work to shrink the skin back to what it previously looked like. There is also no cream, lotion, or supplement that will fix the problem. 

The only way to remove excess skin is through a surgical procedure known as a body contouring procedure, or body lift. There’s no medical reason that it’s necessary to perform this; if a patient is not bothered by the excess skin, then there’s no need to remove it surgically. However, this is an option that some people choose in order to tighten the remaining skin to match their new body shape.

What is a body lift?

A body lift is a plastic surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and tighten what remains. In each area of the body that needs attention, an incision is made in order 

Different people have different patterns of weight gain, and so the areas that have excess skin will be different for everyone. The procedure is therefore customized for each patient. 

Some of the procedures that may be included are:

  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck; addresses the abdomen)
  • Breast lift
  • Lower body lift (addresses the buttocks, hips, and outer thighs)
  • Thigh lift (addresses the inner thighs)
  • Upper arm lift

In some cases, all of the necessary procedures are performed at the same time. In other cases, it may be better to stage the procedures. For example, the first surgery may address the abdomen, while the second one addresses the buttocks and outer thighs. Whether it’s beneficial to do separate procedures depends on the specific situation. This will be discussed in detail at your appointment, and the risks and benefits explained, so that you and your surgeon together can decide whether you’ll have one body lift procedure or two.

Body lift Wollongong Sydney

If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight and are bothered by excess sagging skin, you may be considering body contouring surgery. It’s recommended that you wait at least a year after your weight has stabilised to have the procedure, to give your tissues time to adjust and see how much your skin will shrink back down on its own. At this point, if you’re still not satisfied with your body shape, then you can seek a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon in order to learn more about the procedure and what might be involved in your case. Then you can decide whether or not it’s right for you.

If you’re in the Sydney area, we invite you to visit one of our offices in Kogarah, Miranda, or Wollongong for a consultation with Dr. Sjarif. As a highly-qualified plastic surgeon with years of extensive training, he is experienced in performing body contouring surgery. If you’d like to book an appointment, you can contact our office.

Posted on January 17, 2021 in

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