Losing weight offers many benefits for your health and appearance. Unfortunately, men and women shedding 100 or more pounds may struggle with excess, sagging skin. Loose skin can interfere with your ability to exercise, may cause skin chafing, and affects how your clothing fits. Losing weight is difficult, and drooping skin can prevent you from enjoying your hard-earned results. Our board-certified plastic surgeons in Granite Bay can remove excess abdominal skin with tummy tuck.
What Causes Loose Skin After Weight Loss?
Outstretched skin that doesn’t bounce back into place is linked to elastin. The middle layer of your skin is called the dermis and contains a dense network of elastic collagen fibers that are tough yet stretchy. Elastin is about 1,000 times more pliable than collagen fibers, but both proteins are essential for skin health. Elastic fibers are like a rubber band, stretching with your skin, but to a point. Skin stretched beyond its capacity during weight gain or pregnancy loses that shrinking or recoiling ability.
The theory of loose skin after weight loss is that the strain or stretch of the skin damages the tissues. A 2015 study published in ePlasty analyzed images of skin from patients with morbid obesity who lost a large percentage of their excess weight. Researchers found damage to the elastic fiber network with significantly less dense and thinner collagen. Weight gain weakens the skin’s ability to recoil with less thickness and density in collagen fibers and damaged elastin.
Tummy Tuck Eliminates Loose Skin After Weight Loss
The abdominal region is one of the most common areas for loose skin, especially for women after childbearing. You may have an “apron” of skin that hangs over your panty line despite being at or near your goal weight. Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) removes excess skin and tightens underlying muscles for a flatter, tighter body contour. Patients with loose skin in other areas may also choose lower body lift, thigh lift, or arm lift. Sometimes, liposuction is added to abdominoplasty to remove residual fat pockets.
Tummy tuck patients should be near their goal weight and maintain a stable weight for six months to a year. You must be in good health for invasive surgery and general anesthesia with enough time to recover.
If you have loose skin after weight loss, contact The Plastic Surgery Center to schedule your consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons. Contact our Granite Bay, California, office at (916) 773-5559 and our Sacramento, California, office at (916) 929-1833.