In fact, one study found that around 20% of obese and overweight people reduce their weight and maintain it for over a year.
Add to this the fact that more and more bariatric surgeries are taking place, and you have a growing population of people who have lost substantial amounts of weight.
However, there’s a seldom acknowledged side effect to weight loss that can prove extremely frustrating for those who experience it: loose skin.
Inspiring stories rarely mention that even though your body might drop impressive amounts of fat tissue, there aren’t many lifestyle changes that effectively combat the extra skin you’re left with once the weight is gone. Unfortunately, if you’ve worked hard to reach a goal, you may feel utterly demoralized to discover that you still feel self-conscious about your body. No matter how lean and toned your muscles become, your hard work is hidden under skin that has naturally stretched to accommodate your previous size.
Loose skin is a normal part of a body changing, but it can negatively impact your confidence or even overshadow the accomplishment of reaching your fitness goals.
There are many factors that affect skin elasticity, including how quickly you lost weight, genetics, sun exposure, general skin health, whether you smoke, and age since we all lose skin elasticity as we grow older. People also commonly experience loose, sagging skin on their belly and torso after pregnancy, and find that the excess skin remains even after the muscles have recovered and the excess weight has been lost.
Luckily, cosmetic surgery is an effective way to address loose skin after weight loss or change.
There is a range of plastic surgery procedures designed to tighten, lift, and tone skin that can help you feel more comfortable in the body you’ve worked so hard for.
Keep in mind, however, a majority of Medbelle surgeons recommend waiting at least a year after substantial weight loss before moving forward with surgery.
This allows your weight to stabilize which reduces the chances that your results will be impacted by any further significant weight changes after surgery.
Breasts can sag after weight loss because the ligaments supporting them become overstretched. Combined with less overall volume after weight loss, breasts may appear “deflated” and droopy. Your surgeon can discuss your options for restoring your shape, which can include excess skin removal, a breast lift, breast enlargement with an implant, or some combination of these procedures.
A breast lift removes excess skin while lifting the nipples and breast tissue higher on the chest, providing an overall more youthful and perkier shape.
Breast enlargement can also address excess skin by restoring any volume lost during your weight loss journey. Considerable weight loss, pregnancy, and breastfeeding can all result in breasts that appear droopy and less full. A breast enlargement whether by implant or fat transfer can make the breasts appear fuller and firmer. An enlargement can also be combined with a breast lift to reposition the nipple and improve the overall shape by removing excess skin.
Abdominoplasty, commonly called a tummy tuck can remove loose skin around the midriff and tighten the underlying muscles of the abdomen.
While diet can reduce excess fat tissue and exercise can tone the abdominal muscles, tightening skin that’s lost its elasticity is a little more challenging. Loose skin from pregnancy or drastic weight loss can leave the skin looking crepey but a tummy tuck can help firm the skin while also tightening the underlying ligaments and muscles to give the stomach a flatter, smoother appearance.
No two bodies are exactly the same, and weight gain and subsequent loss will affect everyone differently.
If you’re interested in regaining body confidence and removing excess loose skin, a Medbelle surgeon can recommend procedures that will help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
Facelifts, eye lifts, arm lifts and buttock lifts are just some of the other procedures that also remove excess skin from these parts of the body to provide a firmer appearance.
Whether caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, age or substantial fluctuations in weight, excess skin can be removed with the right procedure and help you feel even better in your body. You’ve done the hard work of reaching your goal weight, but if you have even further goals for your body, a plastic surgeon like a Medbelle expert can help you get the body you want.