How To Tighten Sagging or Loose Skin After Bariatric Surgery

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Loose skin is a worry for many people who decide to lose weight. It’s particularly pronounced in those who lose weight very rapidly.

Those who lose weight slowly and naturally (2 pounds per month) are unlikely to deal with any sort of loose skin problems, and if they do, it’s likely related to other factors such as aging.

First and foremost, it must be said: loose skin is NOT unhealthy and it does NOT pose many risks! It’s annoying, somewhat unsightly, and can cause rashes. But it is significantly healthier to lose excess weight and have loose skin afterward, than to maintain a high weight! If you have to choose between loose skin or obesity, choose loose skin.

So what can you do about loose skin after getting bariatric surgery? Let’s find out.

How To Avoid Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

Unfortunately, there isn’t too much you can do to avoid loose skin after weight loss surgery. Loose skin is largely determined by a combination of various factors.

One such factor is your genetics. Some people have naturally looser skin than others, which causes more sagging. Another factor is age: older people have less elastic skin, and because of this, it does not tighten after being stretched out. The third factor is the degree of weight loss. Someone who has lost 200 pounds will have more loose skin than someone who has lost 100 pounds.

Smokers are more likely to have loose skin, and those who exercise are less likely to have loose skin.

But there is good news: most loose skin after bariatric surgery is temporary! Skin has a natural elasticity to it that allows it to easily bounce back from being stretched. Skin is stretched all the time in daily life, and as a result, it can deal with a lot. Weight loss can result in loose skin, but after about a year, you should see this skin start to tighten back up a little bit.

However, you may still be left with some excess skin. Here are some ideas to help tighten it.

How To Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss Surgery

Loose skin is much less likely if the patient has proper nutrition post-op. Of course, the nature of bariatric surgery does prevent some vitamin absorption: however, patients are asked to take multivitamins every day in order to make it easier to recover from the procedure.

Compression garments can be used in order to reduce the appearance of sagging skin. It’s unclear whether or not they actually help improve skin elasticity. We recommend using compression garments to reduce risk of rashes and to give your body a more contoured appearance as you lose weight.

Using skin creams is not likely to improve loose skin. It may reduce some of the stretch marks, though.

By far the most common (and effective) option for patients with loose skin is to have that skin removed surgically. Skin removal procedures have been popular for years, and are often sold as tummy tucks or mommy makeovers. Those who have lost a lot of excess weight will usually want to have surgery on their arms, thighs, abdomen, and lower back.

All in all, loose skin isn’t much of a medical problem, but it can feel unsightly. We recommend that patients wait at least a year before electing to go under the knife to remove excess skin.

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