This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions that we hear at DayOne Health from our prospective patients. What we usually tell our patients is that cosmetic surgery is a personal decision and it’s hard to tell whether, after losing weight, one would need it. If you’re asking us whether your skin will fully retract after losing weight, the answer is: it depends.
Skin elasticity is determined by multiple factors such as your age, how heavy you are, and how long you’ve been overweight. The rule of thumb is that the older and the heavier you are, the more likely that you will have some surplus skin left. Moreover, if you’ve been overweight for a long time and have many stretch marks, it will be even harder for your skin to shrink back to your new figure. Despite all of those natural obstacles, there are ways to prevent or minimize sagging skin after major weight loss.
In contrast to gastric bypass, lap-band patients lose weight in a slower and steadier manner, which gives the surplus skin time to retract. There is a reason why experts say that the healthiest weight loss approximates around 2 – 3 pounds a week. Shedding extra pounds too fast may take a serious toll not only on your body but also give displeasing esthetic results. While weight loss surgeries are often covered by health insurance, skin removal is not considered medically necessary and therefore has to be paid for out of pocket. This is why, especially during the first year after surgery, when the weight loss is the most profound, we at DayOne Health recommend ways to help you minimize unnecessary sagging of the skin.
How to make my skin firmer?
First of all, never underestimate the value of a work out. While you’re losing extra pounds, it is highly recommended that you exercise. This will not only help you lose weight, but also tone your body and help new muscles to develop for the skin to adhere to. To maximize the results in your exercise plan, you should concentrate on problem areas such as abs, inner thighs and triceps. For optimal results, we usually advise our patients to do cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training weekly.
Faster doesn’t mean better! You should never starve yourself, or cut down on your portion sizes to accelerate shedding pounds. As mentioned before, sagging skin is most often caused by rapid weight loss. With this in mind, try to stick to your dieting plan, monitor portions, and don’t put yourself on an extremely restrictive diet. To maximize your results, you can try to use over-the-counter creams to tighten the loose skin, drink a lot of water and keep on exercising.
Cosmetic Surgery after weight loss
Because connective tissue loses its elasticity with age, the problem of surplus skin is much more prevalent among older patients. Nevertheless, even if you are left with some extra skin you need to realize that undergoing plastic surgery should be the last resort in your fight. If you decide to undergo the cosmetic procedure, your plastic surgeon will most likely ask you a variety questions including: how much, in what period of time, and how long it’s been since you lost the weight. Most surgeons won’t decide to do the surgery unless you have maintained your recommended weight for over a year. This constraint is not only aimed at exhausting all other options before deciding for surgery, but also for making sure that you won’t regain the weight you lost.
Even though the problem of excess skin happens from time to time in lap-band patients, don’t let the idea of sagging skin stop you from losing excess weight. Like we mentioned above, there are ways to steadily prevent sagging skin before it happens. If you would like to hear more about the topic of this blog, or lap-band surgery please call our Chicago clinic at 312-291-7501 or schedule your one-on-one consultation.