Gary D, Breslow, MD, board certified plastic surgeon at The Breslow Center in Paramus, New Jersey, explains how excision can rid the body of excess skin after massive weight loss.
Hi, it’s Dr. Breslow. I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you about a common problem people come in for which is excess loose skin, and what you can do to help treat excess loose skin.
There’s all these fancy little gimmicky things that are out there to help tighten loose skin, especially on the torso, that really just don’t deliver results that as a plastic surgeon I can be confident you’ll be happy with.
For some patients who absolutely don’t want surgery because they’re terrified by it and just want a slight improvement, these options may be beneficial and you may be happy with the results. But generally, the only way we can address excess skin at this time is by excising it.
Whether it’s from a brachioplasty, which means some of the hanging skin that happens under your arm after weight loss, or if it’s some of the excess skin on your belly or torso (man or woman) after weight loss, that excess skin that can be tightened to give you a better body contour has to be removed through surgical procedures.
Patients who lose an excessive amount of weight – say for instance they were 150 or 200 lbs overweight and worked very hard to be able to get back down to a healthy lifestyle – can really benefit from getting rid of a lot of excess skin that just hangs over their torso and doesn’t give them nearly the body image that they desire after working so hard to lose all that weight.
Unfortunately, these excisional procedures leave scarring behind. Even when treated with scar management techniques using silicone sheeting and laser procedures for example, the scars are there and sometimes more apparent.
I always advise my patients that I really can’t control scarring, especially in really overweight patients, and we really do the best we can to minimize scars, but we’re really trading contour for scarring if you want an excisional procedure.
Often, patients want to know if there’s a non-invasive modality that we can use to help get rid of that excess skin. Unfortunately, those things all seem to fall too short and don’t provide the results needed to make my patients happy, which is the end goal.
Hopefully this was helpful for you. I appreciate the time – I’ll see you soon. Take care.