Loose Skin Following Bariatric Surgery

For most patients, bariatric surgery is a life changing procedure. Significant weight loss can often lead to a happier, healthier life. Often, many patients can get a new zest for life and all the joys and happiness we all deserve. It can lead to improved blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and decreased medication requirements. With significant weight loss, whether from diet and exercise or from bariatric surgery, it can also lead to a significant amount of loose skin. Once the health benefits are realized from weight loss, often, the amount of loose skin is the next issue bariatric patients look to tackle.

What can be done for loose skin? Exercise won’t tighten skin and no amount of supplements or fad treatments will provide any major changes to skin laxity. There are three ways to tighten loose skin:

1. Add volume. Volume can be added to tighten loose skin usually through the use of your own fat, use of an injectable filler, or with the use of an implant.

2. Use heat. Adding heat, especially to the connective tissue beneath the skin can cause extra collagen to be formed resulting in tightening of the skin.

3. Cut it out. This is the gold standard for skin tightening especially in bariatric surgery patients. Nothing can replace the results obtained from removing the excess skin completely.

The most powerful option for improving skin laxity is the surgical option. Surgical options for loose can include abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), breast lift, face lift, thigh lift, buttock lift, arm lift and more. Occasionally, we can combine the surgical option with one of the other ways of tightening the skin to further improve the results. For example, when adding volume with an implant to the surgical option of a breast lift can further improve the results for your breasts.

It is very important to seek out a surgeon who has experience in treating patients after significant weight loss. Often, the goal is not only cosmetic improvement but also functional improvement. An example of this is when someone who has developed a large pannus (the loose skin hanging at the bottom of the abdomen) after significant volume loss following bariatric surgery. This extra skin can be burdensome for activities of daily living, exercise, and occasionally hygiene in that area. Yeast infections often occur because the warm and wet environment along with the micro trauma of the skin rubbing together in this area. By removing the skin, hygienics can be and overall quality of life can be improved. At Image Surgical Arts, we provide care for many patients who have undergone massive weight loss and are able to provide multiple options to help obtain the best and safest results possible.

There are multiple options when it comes to surgical removal of excess skin. For example, depending on how much skin needs to be removed, a traditional abdominoplasty may be adequate. If there is an extreme amount of skin, sometimes we will suggest a “fleur-di-lis” tummy tuck to remove even more skin than a traditional tummy tuck can provide. Multiple options for breast enhancement are available as well. Do you need a breast lift, a breast augmentation with implants, or both? Image Surgical Arts can provide answers to these questions as well as many others to help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Image Surgical Arts is a state-of-the-art cosmetic surgery center with locations in Nashville, TN and Murray, KY. Our Nashville location provides a state-accredited surgery center where we perform all of our surgical procedures. Because we have invested in our own surgery center, we are able to avoid the exposure of a hospital setting. Your safety is always our top concern and we go above and beyond to make sure your experience is as safe and enjoyable as possible.

If you have additional questions or would like to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Brady Harris, please call us at 615-499-4224. You may also visit our website for additional information at imagesurgicalarts.com. We look forward to seeing you!

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