Managing the side effects of weight loss

Weight Loss | Dr. David Altamira TXIf you’ve undergone extreme weight loss, either through diet or surgery, you may be amazed at the changes you experience as a smaller version of yourself. You will likely need a new wardrobe, and you should be able to move more easily in the gym and in life. For many weight loss patients, however, the skin doesn’t cooperate. They can find themselves with excess skin, practically from head to toe, and this side effect of weight loss can definitely take away from the positive outcome they worked so hard to achieve.

Fortunately, there are options that can deal with unwanted skin. But don’t forget to celebrate your weight loss achievement and all it can do to improve your health as well as your appearance.

Take stock of the benefits your weight loss can provide

When you lose significant weight and keep it off for at least a year, you’ve achieved a personal victory – and you’ve also beaten the group odds. In fact, research shows that only about 20% of us are able to maintain a weight loss of 10% of our body weight for one year. You have also:

  • Reduced your chances of developing heart disease
  • Reduced your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced many other health risks related to obesity

If you are left with excess skin, you may question your weight loss methods, especially if they allowed you to drop pounds fairly quick. But you shouldn’t.

Slow weight loss is no guarantee your skin will adapt

The factors that actually do affect how your skin will look after weight loss include:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Highest weight
  • History of weight gain/loss

Talk to your surgeon

If you’ve exercised throughout (and after) your weight loss, you may notice some improvement in your skin tone. Weight lifting can help sculpt your arms and improve the appearance of other areas of your body.  But most people who lose a significant amount of weight discover they need additional help, such as an arm lift, tummy tuck and/or thigh lift. Your surgeon can discuss options and help put together a treatment plan that can address your needs. Call for a consultation today: 713.271.9000.

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