Losing a significant amount of weight is a great accomplishment, giving you a new body, better health, more energy, increased self-image and a renewed outlook on life. However, what many people don’t realize is that there’s also a downside to extreme weight loss.
In many cases, people who lose 50 pounds or more are left with loose, sagging skin, which can be very frustrating. After working hard to get a “new body,” it’s discouraging for both men and women to have folds of skin hanging on them, much like their old large-size clothes did. Also, excess skin is a reminder for many of their old life and the emotional issues they were struggling with when they were at a higher weight.
In addition, as well as being unsightly and embarrassing, saggy skin has negative health consequences. It can cause rashes, chafing, infections and back pain. It can also keep people from being as active as they want to be, which not only affects their health but might make it easier for the weight to come back.
My recommendation in these instances? A tummy tuck.
Why does skin not rebound after weight loss?
When I get asked this questions by my patients, I tell them to think of their skin as a rubber band. Yes, skin is elastic, but its ability to “snap back” after weight loss depends on how long you were overweight. Whether you shed pounds quickly or slowly, the longer your skin was stretched out, the less likely it is to return to its original shape (much like a deflated balloon).
There are other factors that affect your skin's ability to contract and bounce back after weight loss, including the quality of your skin tone before you lost weight, your age, genetics, the amount of weight you gained and lost, sun exposure, and lifestyle factors such as smoking.
How does a tummy tuck help sagging skin?
A tummy tuck (or abdominoplasty) is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, contours fat, narrows the waist and tightens the muscles of the abdomen, giving you the appearance of a flat and toned midsection.
Requiring 1-2 hours in the operating room under general anesthesia, a typical tummy tuck is able to remove several pounds of stomach fat and excess skin and tighten abdominal muscles. Recovery times vary, but most of my patients are back to work in 1-2 weeks.
Who is a good candidate for a tummy tuck?
Optimal candidates for tummy tucks are in good health but have excess skin, loose muscle and excess fat which they would like removed. Ideal patients are within 20% of their ideal body weight. Other good candidates are patients who have had significant weight loss (either from diet and exercise or surgery) and have kept the weight off for 6 months or more.
Who should not consider a tummy tuck?
If you plan to get pregnant, you should postpone a tummy tuck until after you've had children. That’s because during the surgery, the vertical muscles are tightened and future pregnancies can separate those muscles. Also, if you’re planning to lose a lot of weight, you should not have a tummy tuck.
If you are interested in a tummy tuck
I understand that choosing to have a tummy tuck is an important decision for a woman. I also know how much it means to each and every patient to achieve the results she wants.
If you are thinking about getting a tummy tuck and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me and I will send you additional information prior to your appointment. To make sure you are fully informed about your surgery options and understand exactly what results to expect, I will take all the time you need to make sure your questions are answered.
Learn more about body sculpting procedures
For further information on body slimming, toning and contouring procedures, you might find these pages on my website helpful:
- Body Procedures
- Mommy Makeover
- Butt Augmentation
- Brazilian Butt Lift
- Lower Body Lift
- Tummy Tuck
Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), Samuel J. Beran, MD is a highly accomplished plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With more than 20 years’ experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, Dr. Beran consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body. Recently, Dr. Beran was named a “Top Doctor” by RealSelf for his dedication to responding to consumer questions and patient feedback. The “Top Doctor” designation is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf physician community.