As everyone knows, considerable weight loss is a very important success for many people. Sometimes with a regular diet and exercise program, sometimes with the help of cosmetic surgery, we can get rid of our accumulated fat. However, if you lose a massive weight, you will probably face the common problem of loose skin after weight loss. In a recent study, 68% to 85% of these patients desire body-contouring surgery to remove this loose skin.
The situation is quite similar also after pregnancy that you may face with loose skin after baby and want it to be removed and sculpted. To solve these problems, your skin needs to be tightened through loose skin surgery. Those surgeries are collecting under the same title called body lift, but they differ according to the body part. Surgeons may recommend you to have a single or combined treatment for loose skin on the stomach, in neck, belly, on face, under the chin, on arms, on tummy, and thighs. All of the body lift procedures, grouping as upper body lift surgery, lower body lift surgery and total body lift surgery, are mainly focused on removal of loose skin that bothers you.
These procedures are complex and part of a careful process that needs an experienced plastic surgeon. As some complications may occur, both the patient and the surgeon need to be aware and willing to deal with them.
In this article, we are going to focus on body lift surgery as a solution to the loose skin problem after a massive weight loss. Just be aware that you are not alone on this and try to catch some tips from this article.
Body Lift Surgery for Loose Skin
If you recently lose extreme weight by yourself or by having a liposuction surgery or have bariatric surgery at least 2 years ago, you probably have loose skin on your body. Body lift surgery is divided into 3 categories: Upper body lift surgery, lower body lift surgery and total body lift surgery. According to the loose skin density in your body, your surgeon will decide the type of your body lift surgery.
Although there are some differences in the procedure among the types, the surgeon generally collects the loose skin with the help of small incisions. This application tightens the skin and shapes the skin contour. Then he/she use stitches to close the incisions.
After the loose skin removing and stretching operation, you are going to look slimmer, and your clothes will fit better. You won’t need to feel uncomfortable in some places like the beach or swimming pool, and you will probably say goodbye to some problems like extreme sweating and rashes.
Reasons and Results of Loose Skin
Because the skin of overweight people is stretched over a long period, collagen and elastin fibers of the skin are damaged. Collagen, which makes up 80% of your skin's structure, provides firmness and strength to your skin. Weight gain in these people often begins in childhood or adolescence. For that reason, the fibers have partially lost their ability to recover and tighten.
When an overweight person puts on weight too much, the enlarged skin cannot get stretched by itself anymore. The more weight loss, the more visible the sagging of the skin.
Also, studies have shown that weight loss surgeries (bariatric, liposuction or tummy tuck surgeries) result in fewer collagen in weight loss patients and lower collagen quality compared to supple and healthy skin.
If you suffer from this problem, you have to start searching body lift surgery to have your slim body contour back. Especially after the weight loss, you will satisfy the result. To see the final result may take one year but you will have an improved look during this whole period.
After Getting Rid of Loose Skin by Having Your Body Lift Surgery
For having a healthy recovery time, your surgeon will explain to you the caring instructions to follow. If you follow them well and attend your follow-up appointments, you will get better as soon as possible.
Here are some post-surgery tips for you:
• After your surgery, you will generally stay one or two nights in the hospital. It is essential to stay in the hospital for the health of your surgical scars against any complication.
• Taking one week off from your job will be sufficient for your recovery. Most patients are able to return their daily routine and work in about 10 to 14 days after the body lift. However, if you are only having an upper arm lift or breast lift, you may be able to return to work within one week and be ready to continue your routine exercises within one month.
• It is very important to rest well and do some light activities like walking during this period.
Strenuous exercise and physical jobs are usually allowed after 6 weeks after extensive lower body lift procedures.
• Having pain after the body lift operation for getting rid of your loose skin. This is normal. Basic painkillers will help you to stop it.
• You will face some swelling and bruising in your surgical areas. More extensive procedures, such as lower body lift, will require a longer recovery. Temporary drains will be placed for the first 1 to 2 weeks to ease swelling, and the discomfort can be significant for the first few days, but then it is gone.
• You will also need to wear your compression garments after your loose skin removal operation. Although it depends on the patient and the complexity of the surgery, you need to wear your compression garment for 1-3 weeks and to follow special dietary instructions for several weeks.
• Most patients are able to take a shower within three days after loose skin stretching surgery. You need to be very careful to take a shower so gently. After your shower, you need immediately to redress your wounds.
• During four or eight weeks, you will need to attend follow-up visits to your surgeon. With these visits, your surgeon can follow the healing process of your tissue and scars.
• Do not forget to take pictures of your loose skin areas after your body lift operation. Because it is the best way to monitor the improvement of your recovery.
• Finally, you will meet the new shaped form of your body that freed from the loose skin after massive weight loss. Enjoy it!
Average Cost of Loose Skin Surgery
Improving the loose skin after massive weight loss operations are generally performed as body lift surgery according to the body part the patient has excess skin. Although the cost depends on the complexity of the operation, if we consider average, it is € 13,500 worldwide and € 8,100 in Turkey.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in February 2019.