When you say “excessive skin”, you are automatically referring to extra weight. Having excess skin also translates to being obese. Obesity is considered an epidemic today because it is experienced by millions of people around the world, particularly in developing countries. Obesity or having excess skin refers to a condition where the amount of fatty tissues stored in your body exceeds healthy limits.
Excess Skin: An Overview
Over the years, a lot of people have always been patient enough to get rid of excess skin by losing weight. Then again, only five percent of these people maintain losing weight for a long period of time. Those who couldn’t maintain a long-term weight loss routine resort to bariatric surgery — a procedure undergone by 100,000 patients last year in the United States.
Surgical techniques for removing excess skin started in France and Brazil. It took the industry 40 years before the techniques were further developed, since these procedures displayed complications like inconsistent results, long recovery time, unnatural contours and poor scarring.
Many excess skin removal techniques are being employed today, like lower body lifts, high lateral tension abdominoplasties, brachioplasty or arm lift, inner thigh lifts, breast lift or mastopexy and tummy tuck or abdominoplasty.
Most people prefer dealing with excess skin through lifts since better results are seen from these procedures. Natural contours become smoother while results are more long lasting, while the skin quality is improved. Patients should remember to check on their doctor’s background though. Once a lift is done the wrong way, the recovery time gets longer, while the scars take more time to heal. The operating time is also doubly agonizing and the cost is naturally increased.
Before the Procedure
Ideally, you will have to lose weight until you achieve a specific body weight. Be sure that this weight is stable prior to the procedure. You can also meet with your surgeon at least two times a week. Seek for a second opinion before you finally decide to undergo such procedures.
Discuss issues with your doctor, such as the possible risks of massive weight loss after a procedure. You will need blood work and health check. In some cases, patients bank their own blood. You may also need to avoid blood thinners like ibuprofen or aspirin. Preparation techniques vary from one individual to another.
During the Procedure
When the specific excess skin removal procedure is performed, you will be injected with general anesthesia. One of the major concerns of doctors when performing excess skin removal like inner thigh lifts, liposuction, arm lifts and tummy tucks is when the body gets too cold. Once you suffer from this condition, called hypothermia, doctors will do other procedures to keep your temperature above 35 degrees Celsius. If not, other complications will arise like bleeding, infection and risk of lung problems.
When doing an excess skin removal surgical procedure, DVT or deep vein thrombosis must be prevented. Doctors employ low molecular weight heparin or use compression stockings to prevent DVT. If you are using birth control pills, you will be advised to stop taking them in before the operation.
After the Procedure
Excess skin removal always involves extensive surgical procedures. You need to recuperate for a while, like around one to two days in the hospital after the operation. You need to walk around a little on the day of the surgery. Sutures are dissolved after a few days. If drains are used, these are removed after a week or two.
You will also be advised to use compression garments to enhance some contours that may stay for a long time. If the excess skin removal involves your arms, you may need to undergo physical therapy to make recovery faster. Physical therapy is important when you need to speed up the healing process on some parts of your body that you use everyday.
If you undergo inner thigh lift, also called high lateral tension abdominoplasty, it may take you a few days before you can normally walk like you used to. You will be need weeks until you can carry anything that weighs 10 to 15 pounds. You can only engage in a vigorous activity after a few months with this type of excess skin removal procedure.
The Next Steps
While patients with dramatic weight loss are prone to complications, it can also happen to you no matter how minimal the changes involving your body weight are. Watch out for seroma as fluid may accumulate under your skin. Use drains to minimize this problem. You may also experience hypertrophic scarring, reaction to sutures, wound breakdown and infection. You doctor will help you deal with the after-effects of excess skin removal procedures.
Undergoing excess skin removal isn’t easy, right? Now that you know how difficult it is to get rid of excess, observe a lifestyle that helps you prevent excess skin. Practice a healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise regularly and stay physically fit so you won’t have to go through all these difficulties anymore.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of excess skin.