what to do about extra skin
June 19, 2006 1:32 PM   Subscribe

This is embarassing: I would like to know if there is any surgery ( cosmetic or otherwise) to remove excessive rolls of skin I have on my belly after a serious amount of weight loss. With clothes on I look fine, but undressed I am so self conscious. I am very small, and my belly used to be much bigger, (pregnancy etc.) but now that it isn't there is nowhere for all that extra (stretched) skin to go. Any thoughts?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can't speak from personal experience, but I believe this is a fairly common procedure. Talk to a cosmetic surgeon.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:40 PM on June 19, 2006

Tummy tucks can take away the excess skin, but they will leave some scarring. How noticable the scarring is depends on the skill of your surgeon & your body's tendancy to scar.
posted by raedyn at 1:42 PM on June 19, 2006

Two things:

1. Cosmetic surgery can indeed get rid of this. I have a friend who did exactly that. Note that there will be some scars.

2. Sadly, it looks like cosmetic surgery is basically the only thing that'll get rid of this extra skin. It won't shrink on its own.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 1:42 PM on June 19, 2006

(also not speaking from personal experience)
posted by raedyn at 1:42 PM on June 19, 2006

Tummy tuck! Your problem is very common among folks who have lost a lot of weight. The only person I know personally who had it done had a lot of complications (infections, etc.), it is serious surgery. Anyhow, google for "tummy tuck" and you'll find a wealth of information.
posted by bonheur at 1:44 PM on June 19, 2006

I don't know how medically established this is, or if it's even possible for some (all?) people, but this guy claims that plastic surgery isn't the only way to get rid of the appearance of excess skin following substantial weight loss.
posted by penchant at 1:46 PM on June 19, 2006

I'm surprised people DON'T know about this kind of surgery - I think I watch too much Discovery Health Channel.
posted by agregoli at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2006

My sister had that sort of surgery after she lost weight (due to gastric bypass surgery). I forgot what it was called, but it is like a heavy duty tummy tuck.
posted by necessitas at 2:14 PM on June 19, 2006

Speaking from personal experience, after "massive" weightloss, yes there are surgeries that can correct the problem.

I lost around 150lbs via diet ( atkins ) and exercise and had excess skin around both the belly and the inner thighs.

Sometimes the surgery can be called "body recontouring after massive weight loss" but in general you probably want an Abdomioplasty ( tummy tuck ) and maybe an Inner thigh lift.

In general, the surgeon will do a little more work on you , a little more "suck with the tuck" to shape your torso. Also, your abdominal muscles will be stiched because they are also stretched out.
posted by petethered at 2:24 PM on June 19, 2006

Check out the message boards at makemeheal.com. Someone pointed me there for liposuction info (I just had my surgery three days ago) and it's a wealth of personal stories on tummy tucks and more. If you asked this question over there, you'd get all sorts of interesting and practical responses.
posted by mykescipark at 3:40 PM on June 19, 2006

someone asked a similar question a while ago. they were pointed to the weight loss and skin faqs which are really informative.
posted by jessamyn at 4:28 PM on June 19, 2006

I haven't seen your belly so I don't know how bad it is. But you might see if Thermage could help you. Scroll down for an example of what it can do for bellies when the stars are right (link to my boss -- you aren't in Seattle, are you?). Probably 70% of the doctors doing Thermage also do surgery, so be aware. Ask to see before and after pictures, and specifically ask if the pictures were taken in house. It isn't cheap, but it's less expensive and less invasive than surgery.
posted by ilsa at 5:32 PM on June 19, 2006

This is common after major weight loss (surgical or not). Talk to a plastic surgeon.
posted by radioamy at 9:01 PM on June 19, 2006

Oh and congrats on your weight loss!
posted by radioamy at 9:01 PM on June 19, 2006

A previous thread with related questions
posted by nanojath at 9:58 PM on June 19, 2006

And another thread about loose skin after weight loss(probably the one referenced by Jessamyn above).
posted by hot soup girl at 1:06 AM on June 20, 2006

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