Many people that are about to embark on the Lap-Band® Procedure, or are at least weighing the options, wonder if excess skin removal will be necessary once they’ve lost a majority of their weight. Many patients will lose weight in excess of 100 pounds, which can cause excess skin around the belly. Some individuals may become so frustrated with their excess skin, that they feel as if the way they feel on the inside does not match how they look on the outside.
If you have excess skin following bariatric surgery, you can opt to meet with a plastic surgeon and talk about having loose skin removed. Plastic surgeons can complete a series of surgeries to trim excess skin from different areas of the body called body contouring. While many consider plastic surgery to be a cosmetic procedure, it can actually be considered a practical procedure for individuals with excess skin. The loose skin can become uncomfortable—causing rashes and chafing. Sometimes, it can become a medical necessity to have it removed because of infection. Body contouring can be done on the tummy area, chest, face, thighs, and upper arms. The surgeries are both a time and money commit, and patients need to mentally prepare for the surgeries because they require months of recovery. However, the procedures are highly effective in removing excess skin and helping to reshape the tissue.
It is important to note that loose skin after weight loss is most common when weight is lost very quickly and drastically. Because the Lap-Band helps you lose weight more gradually than other bariatric procedures, you may not experience saggy skin. It also depends largely upon your body; everyone is different, and age and skin quality plays a role. One of the ways in which you can help prevent saggy skin during weight loss is to not only focus on gradual weight loss that will give your skin adequate time to contract and adjust, but to build muscle and take care of your skin. Use sunscreen, don’t smoke, avoid high alcohol consumption, and follow a healthy diet.
It’s important to note that, if you do experience excess skin after major weight loss, it is your decision whether or not you elect to have it removed. You should wait approximately one year after you’ve lost most of your weight to give your skin enough time to adjust and tighten. If you aren’t satisfied after one year, then talk with a doctor.