New Jersey Bariatric Center® views weight loss surgery (gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND®) as an effective way to improve your health through weight loss. Cosmetic improvements are one of the side effects of surgery that many patients look forward too as well!
While exercise can help tone muscles, unfortunately in some cases, no amount of exercise will get rid of sagging or excessive hanging skin caused by major weight loss. Sagging skin occurs after weight loss when the skin and tissues lack the elasticity needed to conform to the reduced body size. Skin that was severely stretched becomes unsupported and sags or hangs.
Is there help for excess skin around my abdomen?
If you find that you have excessive sagging or hanging skin after weight loss with gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND®, you may be a good candidate for panniculectomy. During a panniculectomy, surgeons will remove excess skin in your abdominal area called the pannus, which causes an apron-like overhang.
The hanging skin can cause a host of health problems, including infections in the folds of the skin, back pain, hygiene issues and the inability to fit comfortably into clothing. For most weight loss surgery patients, a panniculectomy addresses these issues.
Do I need a tummy tuck?
Whereas a panniculectomy removes just excess skin around your middle section, a tummy tuck removes excess skin and also involves tightening of the abdominal muscles under the skin, in most cases. If you are concerned about having a firmer, smoother stomach after weight loss, (for instance, women who want to wear a two-piece bathing suit), a tummy tuck (also known as an abdominoplasty) is more likely to give you the results you desire.
Do I need body contouring?
Body contouring after major weight loss removes excess skin and fat and improves the shape and tone of your underlying tissue. For people who’ve lost major amounts of weight through gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND® surgeries, areas of concern often include:
- Breasts may flatten and hang with nipples pointed downward
- Buttocks, groin and thighs can sag and cause hanging pockets of skin
- Upper arms may sag and appear loose and full
The result is a more normal appearance to your body, with smoother contours to your figure.
Panniculectomy, tummy tuck and body contouring are not substitutes for weight loss or exercise. Patients who have lost weight through gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or LAP-BAND® should be at least two years postoperative and have reached their goal weight prior to having cosmetic procedures and skin removal.