When you begin your weight loss journey with the LAP-BAND® Procedure, you will inevitably have many questions. One concern you might have–especially if you have a larger amount of weight to lose–is excess skin. Depending on how fast a bariatric patient loses weight, their skin might not be able to adjust accordingly.
After undergoing weight loss surgery, there are numerous changes that take place, including diet changes, exercise routine tweaks, and possibly plastic surgery. When a person loses a large amount of weight, there can be excess skin that does not rebound on its own. Often, the only way to get rid of this skin is through cosmetic surgery.
Is Plastic Surgery Necessary?
The short answer is: sometimes. Everyone’s weight loss journey is different. Those who require plastic surgery are people who lose a large amount of weight quickly. While this might sound like a good idea, the elasticity in your skin can’t handle a quick, drastic change. The Lap-Band procedure is designed to help patients lose weight gradually, giving skin time to bounce back. This means that some patients might elect to have the surgery, while others won’t have the need for it.
When Should I Consider Plastic Surgery to Get Rid of Excess Skin?
Excess skin can cause problems and prevent some patients from living life to the fullest after their weight loss. Exercise or mobility might become a problem, or daily tasks might become difficult. There are a few things that people can do at home to try and improve the appearance of extra skin– the most important of which is taking care of yourself. Exercise helps to tighten skin, as well as building muscle.
It’s important to give your skin some time. You might not understand how much your skin will rebound until some time after your weight loss. If you do elect to have a skin removal procedure, it’s important to wait the proper amount of time. Keep in mind that the longer you were overweight or the older you are, the harder it will be for skin to rebound.
Doctors differ on a timeline, but typically, a surgeon won’t want to perform a cosmetic procedure (often called body contouring) until they feel comfortable that your weight has stabilized. Some might wait three to six months after you last major weight fluctuation, others a year after your Lap-Band procedure.
Again, this all depends on your weight loss journey–and everyone is different. The Lap-Band system is designed to prevent excess sagging skin with a healthy, gradual weight loss. If you have any excess skin concerns talk with your doctor to find a treatment plan that is right for you.